Alex Hazeldine, Vuzion Partner Account Manager, writes …
Microsoft is changing how it does business, with a move to a modern commerce business model to make life easier and simpler for both customers and partners.
The key point for partners to note is that CSP is to be added to the Microsoft modern commerce platform - and which opens up many exciting opportunities.
The model comprises of:
- Microsoft’s modern commerce platform, to include a single offer catalogue.
- 3 channels through which customers can choose to purchase - Partners/Self-service/Microsoft-assisted (including field sales and inside sales).
- A single Microsoft agreement that all partners sign.
- A single Microsoft agreement that all customers sign.
Single offer catalogue
One of the biggest advantages of the new platform, is that it incorporates a single product catalogue, across all Microsoft licensing programmes - and meaning that partners will be able to add their own offerings through the catalogue.
As a Vuzion partner, the single product catalogue will be available through the Vuzion CORE Portal, and for which we have a large number of exciting updates scheduled for the coming year.
One Microsoft partner agreement
With modern commerce, all partners will sign the same agreement. Every partner will be able to sell any offer for which they’re qualified, with the partner agreement containing core terms, and the partner signing additional terms for the specific offers.
One Microsoft customer agreement
The new model means that all customers will now also sign a single agreement - regardless of which channel the customer is purchasing through. The customer then signs additional terms, depending on the individual products and services purchased.
Again, Vuzion CORE will make this an easy process, enabling input of the details of the end user who read and accepted the Microsoft customer agreement when the first order is placed.
Microsoft’s increased focus on inside sales means more business for partners.
Microsoft has always recognised the massive amount of value that partners can add to a sale. They’re now stepping up the amount of leads to be passed from Microsoft to partners, and particularly to those that have value-add services.
How you make money: value-add services
One of the main messages to come from Microsoft is that partners will need to move away from a transactional focus, and to be able to maximise profits, will need to make value-add services core to services offered.
This follows the lines of discussions I have with many partners - the key is to develop those value-add services.
Transactional services = low profit margins.
Key revenue streams that will thrive in a modern commerce world include project services, managed services, and packaged IPWhat the new modern commerce platform does, coupled with the flexibility of CSP, is to enable you to easily wrap your value-add services into Microsoft cloud. And it’s also important to note that, Microsoft is far more likely to send customer leads to partners that are offering value above and beyond a licence transaction.
That value add can cover many aspects - incorporating the experience your business has working on large client projects, for example, or the premium managed service wrap around you offer for Microsoft services. It could be the packaged IP you offer, such as a workflow app that runs on SharePoint online. Whatever your value-add service, they increase your margins and create a far stickier client.
It’s worth bearing in mind that different revenue streams result in higher margins.
However, it’s also essential to offer value-add services that best fit your organisation.
Vuzion partner value-add services
Expanding on your value-add becomes even easier when you partner with a CSP Indirect Provider, like Vuzion. Our value adds - including our 22 years’ experience in the cloud, 24*7 partner support and as the fastest growing Azure provider - become your advantages, too.
And you can increase margins even further through benefitting from our partner services:
- Vuzion CORE our marketplace and eCommerce platform, automating the provisioning and billing of services
- Vuzion EDGE our training, enablement and upskilling programme for technical and sales teams
- Vuzion PRO enabling you to benefit from our cloud expertise and support, including pre-sales, solution design, cloud discovery and support services
- Vuzion GROW our marketing and sales support offered through go-to-market materials, campaigns-in-a box and partner to partner connect.
For more information …
For more information about Microsoft’s modern commerce platform and the opportunities created for partners, you might like to view the recording of the webinar I ran earlier in the week - Microsoft Modern Commerce Webinar.