Dan Truax General Manager, Global Partner Solutions

Accelerate customers’ digital transformation with the new Cloud Solution Provider Program Guidebook

Partner at laptop

It’s commonly said that every company is now a tech company. As organizations of all sizes adapt to this reality, demand has increased exponentially for solutions and services related to the cloud, cybersecurity, remote work, data and analytics, and all other aspects of digital transformation. IDC expects IT spending to grow by almost 6 percent over the next five years, which will result in an estimated USD1.2 trillion generated by our partner ecosystem from Microsoft technology by 2024.

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program puts partners at the center of customers’ digital transformation (see graphic below). As I shared in a previous post, this program is our primary partner sales motion for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and smaller corporate customers within the new commerce experience. For our enterprise customers, our primary sales motion is our Enterprise Agreement. Partners play a key role in the enterprise sales motion today, and will continue to do so, especially as it relates to advising, consulting, and building with our customers.

The Cloud Solution Provider program now has more than 90,000 participating companies and continues to grow rapidly. Once enrolled in the program, partners can create and deliver differentiated offers to customers, manage the entire customer engagement lifecycle, and build credibility with customers over time. They can also sell the Microsoft cloud portfolio and third-party solutions from the Microsoft commercial marketplace alongside their own value-added solutions and services.

To help you maximize the benefit you receive from the Cloud Solution Provider program and Microsoft Partner Network, Microsoft has released the Cloud Solution Provider Program Guidebook. The purpose of this step-by-step document is to help you navigate the program and accelerate your cloud business growth while expanding your revenue opportunities. In this post, I’ll walk you through some of the topics covered in the guide, as well as how this resource can set your organization up for success.

Partner growth opportunities and sales plays

The worldwide public cloud services market is expected to reach USD266.4 billion by the end of this year, and advanced digital capabilities are disrupting industries on a global scale. The Cloud Solution Provider program positions your organization to help your customers embrace the powerful benefits of digital transformation. It can open opportunities for you to sell and co-sell across a variety of solution areas with Microsoft and other partners.

Access to the program can make a world of difference for your organization. According to PTG CEO Reed Wilson, “With [the Cloud Solution Provider program], we have transformed how we go to market. Wrapping our services and Microsoft's solutions—all into a single bill for our customers—has opened up greenfield opportunities as well as upsell and cross-sell motions.”

In particular, the guidebook will help you leverage sales plays and go-to-market assets around:

  • Modern Work & Security: Empower users to work the way they want, safely and securely.
  • Apps & Infra / Data & AI: Meet your customers at every step of their cloud journey.
  • Business Applications: Support your customers with unlocking growth in their businesses with Dynamics 365.

For more information related to the go-to-market sales plays, check out the “campaign in a box” that best fits your marketing initiatives at https://aka.ms/GTM-Sales-Plays-Campaigns.

Accelerate your cloud business growth

To maximize your experience with the Cloud Solution Provider program, it’s important to understand the journey partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program can go through. The guidebook clearly outlines each stage and related resources that partners can easily leverage, including:

  • Learn and onboard: Identify your opportunities in the cloud and enroll in the program.
  • Build practices: Develop your business plan and define your offers, then build your practices and solutions and enhance your skills with technical training.
  • Go-to-Market: Understand priority opportunities and sales plays. Create your marketing plan, launch your offers and drive demand.
  • Sell: Get customers leads with referrals, grow your pipeline with better customer targeting, and co-sell with Microsoft and other partners.
  • Manage and expand: Manage customer satisfaction and expand your practice

New commerce experience and Cloud Solution Provider program evolution

As I discussed in a previous blog post, the new Microsoft commerce experience is a multi-year journey that once fully launched, will enable customers to digitally transform by creating a consistent and simplified purchase experience with greater flexibility in how and where they buy. The guidebook provides a helpful overview of the new commerce experience and the critical role partners will continue to play by influencing customers’ digital transformation, regardless of where they are along the customer journey or how they decide to transact with Microsoft. 

With new commerce, you’ll be able to reach more customers by establishing broader, sustainable business while reducing licensing complexity and costs. For example, we recently announced that partners will be able to sell perpetual software licenses in the Cloud Solution Provider program beginning in January 2021.

We’re committed to the profitability and growth of your organization and the entire Microsoft Partner Network—and the Cloud Solution Provider program is a key element of our mutual success for our SMB and smaller corporate customers. I hope you find the new Cloud Solution Provider Guidebook helpful, and I encourage you to take advantage of the strategies, resources, and assets it contains. I’m confident that as you do so, it will help you reach new customers and grow your business. I’m excited to see how you leverage the Cloud Solution Provider program to better meet the needs of your customers as we enter the new year and beyond.

Visit the Cloud Solution Provider program page at https://aka.ms/csp to stay updated with the program.