​Every partner organization is in a different stage of its cloud journey. From seasoned partners who provide deeply integrated hybrid and multi-vendor cloud solutions to those who haven’t yet formulated a cloud strategy. In the past few years, Microsoft and our partners invested in building the capabilities of partner sales and technical teams to sell, implement, and service cloud solutions. But we learned that the journey to the cloud is so strategic and touches so many parts of an organization, it’s crucial for senior partner executives to be brought onboard early and fully for that organization to arrive at its desired cloud destination. So, we embarked on a journey of our own to see how we could help.

To begin, we talked with successful cloud partner executives from around the globe to capture their approaches and advice based on their experiences. Then, with the research collected, we created a course to share the lessons these partners learned and the best practices they developed. The result is the Cloud Business Model Transformation (BMT) Workshop―a senior-level partner leadership course, delivered by world-class, outside business consultants.
Here’s some of the ground Cloud BMT Workshops cover:
  • A framework to proactively evolve your business to take advantage of the cloud opportunity.
  • The economics of a sustainably profitable cloud practice.
  • Creating cloud-relevant services that fit your current business model.
  • Developing an integrated marketing and sales strategy to accelerate customer acquisition and to close deals faster.
  • Best practices in staffing and compensating a cloud sales team. 
When partner executives leave the workshop, they take a very specific, tailored action plan with them to help facilitate the shift to a cloud business model.
Since we rolled out Cloud BMT Workshops, more than 3,000 partner executives have participated; the feedback—and the results―have been overwhelmingly positive. Just six months after partners participated in a workshop, sales data showed a two-fold increase in new cloud customer adds per month and a nearly three-fold increase in the number of seats per customer.
Let me share a few comments from partner workshop participants:
The workshop took a holistic approach to business model transformation, which enabled us to successfully move to the cloud while keeping the lights on.
– J. Arnold, Datalan
Offered dedicated time for the executive leadership team to discuss, identify, and validate existing business model processes that are working and those in need of refinement. It helped remove key concerns to start embracing cloud-based solutions.
– Rob Husted, Cerium Networks

You’re invited

If you plan to be at WPC, I’d like to invite you to attend an in-person Cloud BMT Workshop on Friday, July 13th, the day after the close of the 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. Led by two experienced business consultants, the workshop will also give you the chance to hear from previous attendees about how they’ve successfully applied the practical knowledge they gained from the workshop experience. Here are all the details, including how to reserve your spot. There’s no cost to attend, but seats are limited; reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.
Up to sharing your cloud story, and hearing a few of my favorites? Let’s get together on WPC Connect! Safe travels to Toronto!