Kymber Lowe headshot
Kymber Lowe Senior Director, Global Partner Enablement, Global Partner Solutions

New resources for developing profitable cloud offerings

Microsoft partner at work

As business practices for building and selling profitable cloud offerings continue to evolve, especially during these extraordinary times, we are ramping up our enablement resources to provide updated guidance on effective business strategies for reaching today’s cloud service buyers. 

We have laid out amazing partner opportunities across the Microsoft focus areas with our Practice Development Playbooks and Guides, and I am excited to announce new strategic planning resources and ready-to-use assets for winning deals and driving profits. 

New learning path 

Cloud Business Development Essentials provides fundamental best practices for building a profitable cloud partner practice. Each resource in the learning path offers guidance on essential steps for cloud business development, from how to evaluate current capabilities to creating a business plan, shifting to a subscription revenue model, developing an industry focus, and scaling the practice.  

The learning path includes the Transformation Readiness Assessment, an important step in cloud business development and a starting place for guidance on how to improve your cloud solution capabilities. Take the assessment regularly to evaluate your level of digital transformation across Microsoft’s core cloud capability categories. 

If you are developing new cloud solutions, or moving on-premises applications to the cloud, you can find guidance on building a recurring revenue stream by shifting from a time-and-materials revenue model to a subscription model. You will also find tips for aligning sales and marketing activities with the new purchasing journeys of today’s cloud buyers. 

One of the key strategies for successful cloud partners is specialization and developing an industry focus--time-tested ways to drive higher win rates. Make sure to watch the video 10 Steps to Getting Started on an Industry-Focused Strategy

The learning path also includes preparation videos and a template for creating a lean, agile business plan. 

Pricing guide 

A key piece of any partner transformation initiative is a careful analysis of the opportunity to disrupt a marketplace with an innovative pricing strategy. The Microsoft Partner Network Pricing Guide is meant to accompany our Cloud Practice Development playbooks with options and recommendations for how to evaluate the creative pricing models now employed in the partner community. Value-based pricing strategies seek to drive consumption of cloud services and build off the value delivered with more services that can be added to a subscription over the customer lifetime. 

The ability to provide subscription services through the cloud means the sales and marketing team is up-selling and cross-selling throughout the customer lifecycle; customers want to see their options to obtain specific outcomes and the price for each option. It also allows customers to upgrade their service to higher levels of value as their needs and trust in the provider grow. 

Tiered subscription services 

To perform such value-based pricing for their offers, partners must understand the types of value to consider and the pricing units that will best deliver that value. To help you evaluate a pricing model that works for your practice, we have collected the considerations and partner best practices for making the price an innovative component of their offers––something they proudly showcase in their marketing and sales motions. 

Cloud buyers now favor low risk, pay-as-you-go services with no upfront costs. Such services increasingly carry fixed prices and a vastly accelerated go-live to increase margins. And services with industry-specific customization can deliver immediate value and return on investment.  

The new Cloud Business Development Essentials learning path and Pricing Guide are just some of the resources available for partners.  

Be sure to check out the new Build a Practice page, which consolidates our practice development resources—most notably our Digital Transformation content—onto one page that offers guidance on how to use those resources to build a business with Microsoft. To access the full catalogue of these practice development tools, please be sure to sign in with your Microsoft Partner Network credentials. Check back often as these resources are regularly updated.