Microsoft unveils plans for not-for-profit Office 365

Categories: Product Updates
Tags: Charity
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Michael Frisby, Vuzion MD, writes,

There are 168,000 charities in the UK, and Microsoft’s launch of their charity sector offers in the CSP channel only serves to remind us of the importance of the sector to resellers, and the opportunity not-for-profit organisations represent.

It’s not just the number of potential customers that make the charity sector such an interesting market. While needing to be as efficient as possible with often limited resources, many of these organisations also have little or no in-house IT capability and, therefore, outsourcing is the perfect model for them. For most resellers, the majority of revenue and margin comes from the wrap around services rather than the base Microsoft licenses, and so charities are a prime audience for those service offerings.

Microsoft’s Office 365 Not-for-profit programme provides a couple of free licence options – Business Essentials and E1 - with heavily discounted Business Premium, E3 and E5 plans also available, which allows for a mix-and-match approach to meet individual needs. These three plans will obviously bring in revenue– but, whichever plan a charity chooses, there is the opportunity to wrap around your services and skills. In addition, Microsoft will be offering discounts on other solutions, such as Power BI for Office 365.

At Vuzion we’re here to help partners develop their skills and expertise delivering to the charity sector. We understand the needs of this type of organisation – which are often as sophisticated as any commercial enterprise’s but with limited resources to deliver.

In addition to the Microsoft portfolio within the Vuzion ecosystem, we have cloud solutions and services from other vendors, and with whom we can negotiate charity discounts – such as eSignature solution provider DocuSign, and security and archiving provider Mimecast.

It seems that the importance of digital transformation for organisations within the charity sector can’t be over emphasised. In their eBook, The New Imperative of Non-profit Digital Transformation Microsoft speaks directly to charities: “Non-profits everywhere are competing for the same pool of resources, and many are innovating with digital technology in ways that could limit your access to donors, volunteers, and high-skill employees. Are you prioritizing innovation to respond to these threats?”

We believe that the not-for-profit sector represents a major opportunity for resellers – and a win-win scenario, with resellers knowing that their skills, expertise, and services are helping charities to further their work.

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