The series, done in collaboration with IDC and available as free downloads, will continue with a new chapter every month until the final one rolls out at WPC in July.
Microsoft has been increasingly vocal over the last year about getting its partners to invest in cloud, and cloud – to no one’s surprise – will be top of mind at the upcoming Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July. To help partners make their cloud practices more profitable, Microsoft has launched an eBook series in collaboration with IDC. The first part is now available as a free download. The remaining parts are scheduled to roll out over the spring, with the final part becoming available at WPC.
“In this time of great transformation, we know that partner profitability is particularly important, so to assist with that, we just launched our latest eBook in partnership with IDC,” said Phil Sorgen, Microsoft’s global channel chief.
The first part, The Booming Cloud Opportunity, is available as a download now at aka.ms/boomingcloud. This part is primarily background for the next four volumes, and looks at the cloud opportunity, customer trends, and emerging opportunities.
“The second volume will look at the skills that most successful cloud partners have,” Sorgen said. “This includes differentiating themselves in the cloud marketplace, and building first party IP.” It will launch on April 11.
“The third volume is about modernizing sales and marketing, and leveraging social media to do this,” Sorgen said. It will launch on May 9.
“The fourth volume deals with optimizing operations, which is incredibly important,” Sorgen said. “It focuses on how to establish repeatable methodologies to drive down costs.” It is scheduled to be available June 6.
Finally, the final volume, defining lifetime customer value, recognizes that cloud has fundamentally changed the customer relationship.
“It’s no longer an issue of doing a deal, and then not seeing the customer regularly after that until you want to sell to them again,” Sorgen said. “It’s about how to build a customer for life, and serve them effectively over time.”
The new eBook builds upon a long-standing Microsoft relationship with IDC, starting with a study on the cloud back when people were still asking why they should move there, as opposed to how to be effective there.
“A year and a half ago, we launched a how-to book with IDC,” Sorgen said. “Last year, we talked about attributes of successful partners, and we shared 20 workloads with best practices and white papers. This new eBook dives deeper into those areas, where we worked with IDC to share this insight with our partners.”
Sorgen also emphasized that the series makes extensive use of partners relating their experiences.
“We are making sure we are sharing the voice of partner,” he said. “Partners tell us they want to hear from other partners.”
Sorgen also pointed to Microsoft’s pleasure at the momentum of the Cloud Solution Provider program launched last July.
“We brought this to market based on what partners told us they wanted, and the participation has been beyond our expectations,” he said. “It provides a clear way that our partners can sell cloud, add their own value-added solutions and maximize their own profitability.”
While Sorgen could not discuss specifics, he said that partners could expect interesting things from Microsoft at its upcoming Toronto WPC.
“We are in the home stretch of bringing partners to Toronto in four months, and they can expect both some consistent themes and some new ones around cloud and the partner opportunity. That’s now the essence of WPC – building partnerships between partners around cloud, as well as learning more about how to capitalize on the cloud.”