Working with solution providers to understand how to better access, power, and master the cloud is core to what we do every day. One of the more popular topics of conversation lately has been Microsoft Azure.
Working with solution providers to understand how to better access, power, and master the cloud is core to what we do every day. One of the more popular topics of conversation lately has been Microsoft Azure. Despite all of the information in the market related to Azure, managed service providers (MSPs) are still looking for someone to help them chart a course for a profitable go-to-market strategy. The strategy should leverage the power of the Azure platform by supporting their partners in new and innovative ways.
The enablement process for an MSP can be complicated. Here are five basic elements that we find to be critical when establishing a new Azure go-to-market motion:
Quick check: Do a brief 10-point inspection to assess how Azure fits with your current value proposition and support capabilities. This is the time to be honest with yourself on how Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) fits into your strategy TODAY. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, so a quick evaluation on tier customer support, business model type, cloud infrastructure capabilities, and depth of customer relationships can provide clarification. For some organizations, we take it further with an in-depth online assessment to more systemically define gaps.
What would it look like?: Once you know where you are, you can start to have a real look at where you want to go. A consultation from someone experienced, combined with the right planning tools, can pay huge dividends in the decision process. We like to leverage a customized version of the Business Model Canvas to help our partners frame up an Azure-specific go-to-market plan.
The Kit: The activation of an extreme growth trajectory driven by Azure needs to be a more holistic approach with everyone growing in the same direction. Azure will touch all parts of your organization, making everyone’s role critical to success. Our experience is in building out a framework for training and enablement activities that blends self-service and consultative resources to drive right-sized building of competencies.
The Platform: There are obvious technical requirements to access a marketplace, but don’t forget about purchasing, accounting, and operations in general. Provisioning and billing is different than legacy selling, so support departments will need to be armed with the right skills. A platform that can help them stay on top of the numbers and bill efficiently is key to these departments having an ability to work efficiently—and for you to make sure that complexity of operations doesn’t eat away at your profit margins.
A Little Extra Motivation: Change can be hard—really hard. Sometime a little extra motivation can make the difference between a well-executed go-to-market motion and one that falls flat. In the world of Azure, we’ve seen success in helping partners more easily activate key accounts with Azure Health Check tools, incentives to cover initial workload activation, and cost coverage for post-sales support.
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