Today, I’m excited to announce the launch of a new IDC eBook series that is designed to provide you with actionable insights in identifying your path to profitability. This series takes a look at the most successful attributes of a modern partner and is focused on helping you build a scalable, profitable, and sustainable cloud strategy.
Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And we’re committed to realizing this mission through our three bold, interconnected ambitions: Creating more personal computing, reinventing productivity and business processes, and building the intelligent cloud. Across Microsoft, we work every day to inspire our customers and show them the potential of technology, but our mission cannot be realized alone.

Our partners play a critical role in helping us deliver on that promise.

We’re fortunate to have the largest channel network in the industry, and for over 40 years we’ve been investing in that channel to create a thriving ecosystem. And as we have grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of our customers, so have our partners.

As technology is woven more and more into the fabric of society, businesses are changing how they approach IT, and our partners are responding to new challenges in novel and innovative ways.
When it comes to the changing world of IT, the cloud has become a primary driver for business transformation. And customers are in the driver’s seat.
According to the research, more than 80 percent of customers are either deploying or embracing cloud technology. And the greater cloud market—including hardware, software, and the professional and managed services surrounding cloud technology—will exceed $500 billion by 2020!

We are committed to helping our partners take advantage of this opportunity and support them through their business transformation.

The first eBook in this series is The Modern Microsoft Partner Series, Part 1: The Booming Cloud Opportunity, an IDC eBook sponsored by Microsoft. The eBook is available today, and it focuses on one of the greatest profitability areas for partners today, the cloud. It also digs into deeper insights, including what customers are saying about the cloud and how cloud technology powers other areas of innovation.
The next four eBooks, which will launch between now and WPC 2016, dive deep into the four successful attributes of a modern partner:
1. Differentiate to stand out.
Differentiation is key to standing out in a competitive cloud marketplace. Partners are differentiating their businesses by targeting verticals or industries, establishing a technology specialization and building intellectual property.
2. Modernize sales and marketing.
IDC has estimated that more than 65 percent of the buying decision-making process is completed online before a customer even talks to a vendor. With this dramatic shift in the customer buying process with the cloud, it is critical that partners invest in modernizing their sales and marketing engines.
3. Optimize business operations.
One of the most critical elements of running a profitable business is to look for every opportunity to create efficiency and scale. I encourage partners to think about how they can optimize their businesses across people, process, tools, and technology to create a more streamlined, profitable business.
4. Deliver customer lifetime value.
One of the biggest changes as partners move to the cloud is that there is no longer a major cash event when a new customer is acquired. Instead it is important to think about how to build lasting relationships and over time increase your customer lifetime value or average revenue per customer.
Whether you are new to the cloud or a veteran seeking out new opportunities, I encourage you to check out our IDC eBook series for the latest research and tools that can help you maximize your profitability now and into the future.