You may have noticed a tremendous amount of disruption in the Microsoft Office 365 space recently. There are many ways to purchase Microsoft Office 365 (Open program, Advisor, and now CSP) and no real direction on the best partner and program to choose. But who can help you maximize your profit and margin? Directing your customers to purchase direct through the Advisor program is not the preferred method for a per user/per month billing option, as you earn less money and have no control over the billing. If you’re an MSP selling in this space, you should be working with a Tier 2 Microsoft CSP Partner. Here are the top five things to look for from your Tier 2 Microsoft CSP distribution partner:
- Technology. Look for a distributor who has API integration with Microsoft. Let’s face it—in today’s age of instant gratification, nobody wants to wait for a cloud product. Partners should have the ability to place orders instantly, receive credentials and implement services on their timeline. This means your distributor would need a cloud marketplace to accomplish this.
- Strategic partnerships. Find a distributor who is integrating and partnering with industry enablers. For example, do you use professional services automation like ConnectWise? Wouldn’t it be great if you could purchase Microsoft CSP direct through your PSA platform? Yes, it would be great, but they aren’t permitted by the vendor to sell you Microsoft CSP products. It’s a good thing they partner with Tier 2 distributors like Tech Data Cloud. Now you can be a ConnectWise Cloud Console partner and purchase direct, all from the comfort of your ConnectWise Cloud Console platform!
- Services, services & more services. Are you a small reseller company learning how to offer cloud and make a profit? It’s no secret that the special ingredient to cloud profitability is services. Partner with a Tier 2 Microsoft CSP Partner who can augment your services offering to make you shine. Do you need Help Desk as a service, billing solutions that can keep up with the transactional churn, or cloud assessments for your customers to show them how migrating to cloud is affordable and more secure? Did I mention services are the key to the cloud profit castle? It should be no surprise they need to be affordable, and white labeling your services allows for this. Tier 2 distributors have the capability to provide the economies of scale to make billing, supporting and consulting services more affordable than powering all these services in-house.
- Transformation tools. Whether you are new to offering cloud or have been “doing this before it was called cloud,” knowing how to transform your business and cater to your customers’ needs is important. You may know why cloud is important to your future relevancy, but can you help your customers understand the value? Do you have the templates and tools to effectively sell cloud in executive meetings to your prospective clients? Make sure your cloud distributor offers Cloud Business Transformation training, templates and tools. This training should include methodologies to drive cloud sales, presentation templates to help you sell cloud business outcomes, and training you can pass along to your sales teams to help them understand and drive the value proposition message of “Why cloud?”
- Ease of doing business. The whole point of cloud is to provide the on-demand, low-cost solutions that come with an ease of doing business for all parties involved. The ease of doing business is equally important to the partner as it is to the end-user customer. When considering ease of doing business, consider the transactional churn. Does your Tier 2 CSP Distribution partner bill you for every transaction at varied intervals? Have a candid conversation about the billing methodologies used by your CSP Tier 2 distributor. Furthermore, make sure your CSP Tier 2 distributor is open to hearing how they can improve and incorporate you into regular sessions to solicit your feedback. Distributors are here to serve the partner community.
To see how Tech Data’s Cloud Marketplace can help you profit in Microsoft Office 365, check out some of our enablement tools here. If you’re ready to dive right in and start selling Microsoft Office 365 through the CSP program, click here and we’ll be happy to help!