Dan Truax General Manager, Partner Digital Experiences and Programs, One Commercial Partner

Unlocking value with the Cloud Solution Provider program

Man at laptop

Amplified by the widespread transition to remote work, the pace of digital innovation continues to pick up speed. Direct digital transformation investment is expected to approach USD7.1 trillion by 2023 according to IDC, which means an organization’s ability to keep up can make the difference between growth or decline.

Our company’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more—including here at Microsoft. In addition to investing in technology, we bring this vision to life by mapping and evaluating the journey our customers and partners must go through to experience success. This research helped us identify an opportunity to advance digital transformation for ourselves, our partners and our customers by evolving our commerce platform, including the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program.

In this post, I’ll discuss the Cloud Solution Provider program and the potential benefits for your organization when you participate. But first, I’ll provide an overview of Microsoft’s new commerce experience and what it means for partners.

The new Microsoft commerce experience

Our new commerce experience supports your customers’ digital transformation by creating a consistent and simplified purchase experience with greater flexibility in how and where they buy. You will be able to reach more customers and expand your business with continuous selling, develop enduring business through value-added services, and reduce costs—all while accelerating your customers’ success.

New commerce capabilities, available today and that we’re planning for in the future, will connect you to customers through Microsoft marketplaces for broader, peer-vetted solutions and pricing, as well as provide a simplified transaction process that saves time and money along the buying journey. You will be able to publish offers for your apps and services in the Microsoft commercial marketplace and make them available to customers, other partners, and Microsoft sales teams.  

With our commerce model, we’re differentiating between large accounts and small and medium accounts with distinguishing factors and different customer requirements:

  • Large accounts are often multinational organizations with multiple affiliates and multi-tenant requirements. Purchasing and deployment decisions involve a wide variety of decision-makers, and these companies often have strong central IT and procurement practices. The primary sales motion is the enterprise sales motion, where offers, experiences and economics are optimized for eligible customers with complex needs including large corporate, enterprise and public sector organizations. Partners play a key role in the enterprise sales motion today, and will continue to do so, especially as it relates to building, consulting and advising our customers.
  • Small and medium accounts tend to have more needs for partners to support via IT expertise and managed services, and they typically have fewer purchasing and deployment decision-makers. They are serviced primarily by partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program, equipping partners to fully serve these customers while providing best-in-class partner margins and incentives. The primary sales motion for small and medium accounts is the breadth sales motion. Partners own the end-to-end customer relationship and continue to have full discretion over pricing, partner-provided support and service delivery.

Microsoft partners often benefit economically from engaging in deals with customers of all sizes. However, when it comes to the transaction, it is important to note the sales motion guidance is also transaction guidance. Partners play a central role in helping all customers succeed, regardless of size, with their technology decisions and delivery—no matter how they choose to transact. In the enterprise motion, partners play an important role in presales and post-sales activities, working with Microsoft to accelerate customers’ digital transformation. In the breadth sales motion, partners play a critical role in all stages of the customer lifecycle.

The partner opportunity in the Cloud Solution Provider program

Partners touch 95 percent of our commercial revenue, with 60 percent of partner transactions occurring through partners in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program.

As I discussed in a recent blog, the Cloud Solution Provider program is our primary partner sales motion for small and medium size businesses (SMBs) as well as smaller corporate customers within the new commerce experience, and it has grown exponentially to more than 90,000 participating companies to date.

The Cloud Solution Provider program empowers partners to:

  • Expand new revenue opportunities by integrating their value-added services with a comprehensive cloud portfolio provided in one program.
  • Increase profit with deeper engagements and accelerate customer digital transformation by owning the end-to-end customer lifecycle.
  • Deliver differentiated solutions that enable new cloud business scenarios with Microsoft’s industry-leading products and diverse partner ecosystem.

Through the Cloud Solution Provider program, partners—regardless of whether they are enrolled as indirect resellers or direct bill partners—can manage the entire customer engagement lifecycle, helping them accelerate their customers’ digital transformation as a trusted advisor. They can also create and deliver differentiated offers to customers using Microsoft’s comprehensive cloud portfolio and third-party solutions alongside their value-added solutions and managed services. We recently announced that partners will be able to sell perpetual software licenses in the Cloud Solution Provider program starting in January 2021, which will reduce the time and costs associated with managing multiple licensing programs and lead to improved sales and operational and management capabilities. Learn more about how to enroll in the Cloud Solution Provider program.

We have a shared commitment to our partners’ profitability and growth—your success is tied directly to the success of the entire Microsoft Partner Network. We will continue to invest in the Cloud Solution Provider program as our primary sales motion for SMBs, as well as Microsoft’s overall commerce experience, to provide the differentiated offers and capabilities you need to grow your business. As we work together to capitalize on this evolution, I’m confident we’ll unlock better experiences for our customers and increase scale for our organizations and the partner network as a whole.