One of the best aspects of Microsoft is that it offers so much – a stack of services and devices rich enough to supply the biggest tech appetite. However, that can also make the world of Microsoft seem overwhelmingly complex to our customers. One key way partners add value to their relationships with their customers is by being that trusted liaison who guides them through the maze of products, devices, and services to just the mix they need to grow their business.
Of course, even the partners don’t know everything about the Microsoft stack, and that’s where the connections we make between partners – through IAMCP and at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) – become invaluable. When I explain the value of WPC to partners who have never attended, I tell them it’s not about one partner type or one set of solutions, it’s about the opportunity to expand your knowledge and offerings to be an even better advisor for your customers. WPC is where you meet up with that SharePoint provider who completes the solution your client needs. It’s where you find the Dynamics partner who bridges a gap. IAMCP is where those connections and conversations happen the rest of the year.
Here’s an example: Strata Information Technology does a lot of cloud deployment solutions. We at US Licensing Group know them through our local IAMCP chapter, we’ve built a relationship, so when we have a customer who needs to license Office 365, our next question is, do you have someone to help you with onboarding? If the answer is no, we’re able to link Strata IT in on that deal. And we’re seeing more of these partnerships through IAMCP and WPC.
Partner cooperation extends everyone’s reach. There’s no shortage of opportunity out there, but there is a shortage of skilled talent in the workforce. By partnering with partners who have the skills and workforce already in place, we’re able to say to our customers, “yes, we can do CRM, we can help with O365 migrations” – so many things we couldn’t offer before. We’ve unlocked the “bonus features” of the Microsoft ecosystem with partner-to-partner cooperation, and ultimately, it’s the customers who truly benefit.