Microsoft Cloud Partners Nearly Double Profits, Growth: Study
Based on the IDC study showing that cloud-oriented partners gain 2.4 times more new customers, Microsoft is pointing to the empowerment of a new set of customers that cloud services enables as part of that shift. With cloud services, “it is very clear that that line of business leaders – the CXOs, the chief marketing officer, the chief operating officer, the chief sales officer, they’re getting much more involved in these cloud services purchases,” Roskill said. “And what we found in this study is that these cloud-oriented partners have figured this out and they’ve latched onto this trend and they’re driving hard. So part of this is we’ve got to learn how to speak to a different customer. It’s no longer about speeds and feeds.” Added Cloudbearing’s Vossburg: “We also know that for today’s CIOs and business leaders, the cloud presents an opportunity to redefine the role that the IT and non-IT business functions play in implementing a business’ strategy. Because of its power to fundamentally change how businesses operate and compete, the cloud is a game changer for many companies.” Meanwhile, the IDC study also showed that cloud-oriented partners earn higher revenue per employee. Roskill said he believes this is because cloud-oriented partners have learned to restructure their delivery teams – moving away from traditional hierarchical structures to a new centralized services model that pushes the senior technical leaders out to be more customer facing.“So we have an advisor channel with more than 20,000 partners in it that are typically solution partners offering cloud solutions through the distribution model,” Roskill said. “We have the classic distributor/VAR, which has been participating through a program we have called channel developer for distributors. And we put Office 365 out there in our open licensing program. We have Office 365 and other cloud offerings like Azure and CRM available inside the enterprise agreement for our large account resellers that sell to EAs. And then we clearly have relationships with partners like telcos that we have a syndication offering that is typically sold through that partner type. And lastly we have hosters and we work with them with our service provider licensing.” He said Microsoft entered into this model thinking about the breadth of its partner ecosystem and how it could we make its cloud offering accessible and resalable through partners’ business models rather than have them change their business model to comply with Microsoft. Roskill said last week marked his twentieth year at Microsoft and he has been through several transitions -- from client-server, into the Internet and now the cloud. “We’re not going through this cloud transition to come out intact and poking along,” he said. “We’re driving hard to come out stronger and grow the Microsoft business through partners even greater.”
He also noted that Microsoft made a conscious decision several years ago that it would not ask its partners to change their business models to sell Microsoft’s cloud offerings, but that the company would offer our cloud services in many different business models so partners could pick the model that best fits their business.