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Microsoft Partner Success - Best Practices


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Existing Microsoft Cloud Partners from across the world outline their experiences and satisfaction to drive synergies in the SMB market by deploying Microsoft Office 365. This paper captures the 5 best practices and recommended business models to achieve higher growth and profitability by deploying Office 365. If you're interested in becoming a Microsoft Cloud Partner, call us toll-free at 1800-102-1100. You can also write to us at or SMS MS Cloud to 56060.

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Microsoft Partner Success - Best Practices

  1. 1. Five Keys to Partner Success in SMB with Office 365® How partners are using Microsoft® cloud solutions to drive business results July 3, 2013
  2. 2. Executive Summary Information Technology (IT) is changing, with significant impact to partners selling and delivering IT solutions. Existing business models are evolving. Some partners are embracing the cloud and transforming their businesses, increasing revenue and profit. How are these partners transforming their sales and delivery of IT solutions? How are they changing what they sell? How are they engaging customers differently? And how does Microsoft Office 365 fit in? We found out. We interviewed a set of the high-performing Office 365 partners, understood their formulas for success, and distilled them into simple, actionable guidance. The paper highlights specific best practices, recommendations, supporting examples, and resulting economics that will allow other partners to replicate their success. Read the paper to see how high-performing partners implement the following best practices: ① Implement a low-touch, centralized sales and service model ② Acquire new smaller customers in remote locations ③ Sell annuity-priced bundles ④ Target business decision makers for cloud services and devices opportunities ⑤ Expand the conversation to focus on selling cloud capabilities Typical Deal Economics 500 Seat Customer Typical Deal Economics 50 Seat Customer $150 K Add-ons $9 K Add-ons $25 K $36 K $5 K $30 K $4 K Services $2 K Services $84 K $10 K $4 K $30 K $27 K $27 K POR Fees POR fees Licensing Deployment & Migration Service Year 1 Revenue Annual Support Add- on Software Projects Recurring Annual Revenue Licensing Deployment & & Migration Deployment Service Year 1 Revenue Annual Support Add- on Software Projects Recurring Annual Revenue These partners report that Office 365 is great for business. Revenue opportunities extend beyond selling the initial Office 365 licenses to multiple opportunities with substantially more revenue, including deployment and migration services, managed services, add-on software, and other related projects unlocked by Office 365. In addition, partners report additional benefits such as the value from increased retention (lower churn), new market growth, better marketplace perception, and increased competitiveness. Read on to determine if you are ready to be one of the partners who embraces modern IT to grow and profit from your Office 365 business. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 2
  3. 3. Introduction The goal of this paper is to provide our partners new insight on how to grow their businesses using Office 365. If you aren’t familiar with Office 365, below is a brief overview, or you can visit for more product information. This paper provides Best practices: Specific recommendations and examples from highperforming Microsoft partners around the world on new practices they have adopted to succeed and profit from growing Office 365 sales and related businesses. Economics: Detail and examples of economic opportunities, as reported by our partners. Recommendations: Specific actions, aligned by typical partner business models. Customer value—complete Office in the cloud Office 365 offers business customers virtually anywhere access to the Microsoft Office tools they already know and rely on, plus business-class IT services that are easy to administer. The business customer value proposition for Office 365 is strong:  Easy to set up and use—it can be installed and deployed quickly, new user accounts can be set up in seconds, and it updates automatically, so users always have the most up-to-date tools.  Work from anywhere—Business users get virtually anywhere access on select mobile devices, they can work on their Office files online or offline, and all their files are automatically backed up.  Worry-free IT—Businesses stay safe with built-in anti-malware and anti-spam protection, they can count on a guaranteed 99.9% uptime, financially backed SLA, and their IT resources can be focused elsewhere. Partner value—achieving your business goals In addition to strong customer value, Office 365 helps partners in the pursuit of key business goals.  Meeting customer expectations—Customers today expect IT providers to offer cloud options. For many new and high-growth businesses, cloud alternatives are the default solution. For some older businesses that would otherwise require significant infrastructure renewal, Office 365 can be an economic necessity.  Staying competitive—Most IT resellers and service providers, including some “born in the cloud,” are ready with Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings that business customers want. On-premises–only providers will soon appear out of date. In addition, some consumer and direct online providers are encroaching on business territory with offerings that appear inexpensive, but are not truly business-grade.  Providing exceptional service—Business customers appreciate the flexibility, lower downtime, and faster time to value of Office 365, as well as the fact that it is always up to date without IT intervention.  Engaging business decision makers—Because the business impact of Office 365 is so strong and the IT requirements are so light, this product offers an opportunity to shift customer focus from IT implementers to business leaders, opening a more strategic relationship where you can identify new solution opportunities.  Unlocking new revenue opportunities—With this new SaaS solution, partners are finding new related services and solution offerings to attach to their Office 365 sale. You will also be able to expand sales into smaller and more distant markets because delivery is done remotely, with little or no onsite contact needed. Methodology To determine these best practices and the other content in this paper, Microsoft conducted in-depth interviews of several highperforming partners (VAR, SI, and LAR) from North & South America, Europe, and Asia in May 2013 that service the SMB customers. Partners were selected based on success in selling Office 365 (including Office 365 Midsized Business) and innovation in the cloud sales business model. All examples, quotes, and economics are based on a composite view of multiple partners, similar in characteristics and type. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 3
  4. 4. Practice 1: Implement a low-touch, centralized sales and service model Some partners we surveyed were “Born in the cloud” and designed their businesses to fit the cloud sales model, but most were successful existing partners who carved out a separate practice to focus on Office 365 and other cloud offerings. Why separate? Partners told us that it is important to separate the cloud sales team from the mainline licensing and product sales for two main reasons. 1. Overall differences in the offering and the audience—in the Phenomenal growth traditional model, Office was often “attached” to other sales, many of Profit growth of 160% last year, 110% the these sales were face-to-face, and the sale was often focused on prior year larger IT Projects or a hardware refresh. In the cloud model, Office “A core element to sales success has been to 365 is usually the lead product, and it’s often sold to Business create a separate cloud sales group from VL Decision Makers (BDMs) as part of a broader bundle or offering. sales. The economics and incentives are too 2. Significant differences in sales process and execution—including different to have the same staff sell both. If quotas and compensation, customer target and demand generation, we had, they would have pushed onremote vs. on-site sales, as well as sales training to address customer premises and only proposed cloud if onconcerns, requirements, and restrictions for cloud and Software as a premises was unsuccessful.” Service (SaaS) sales. VAR based in India One partner first incubated cloud sales as a separate practice and later integrated these sellers as specialists in their mainline sales organization. Many partners without significant existing software licensing revenue are able to add cloud offerings to their mix of product recommendations by creating cloud/Office 365 leads as a subset of their sales team within their existing structure. Call center sales While large customers (>100 seats) still expect face-to-face meetings, Office 365 prospects (particularly small- to mediumsized businesses) are more open to buying remotely through phone-based sales combined with on-line videos/demos/etc. Lync® meetings are also helpful in working thorough customer requirements and discussing SKU options while simultaneously showing Office 365 in action. Remote service delivery Along with the move to remote sales was the shift to remote service delivery. Partners reported that there are dramatically fewer issues overall with cloud services and very rarely do the problems require on-site support to diagnose or fix. Phonebased (or Lync and/or Remote Access) support to IT or end users was an important part of customer satisfaction, trust, and relationship building—as well as key contributor to partner economics. For customers without internal IT, services included managing users and basic SharePoint set-up/changes. Partners also offered remote, pro-active monitoring of servers (particularly on-site Active Directory Federated Services) and even desktops. Becoming a self-described “Cloud Zealot” Recent growth has been 18-50% “Traditional demand gen is in-person, hightouch, but for cloud we use digital marketing: Search Engine Optimization, Click Through, Pay per click, Ad Words. Sales is phone-based and centralized, and primary support is remote.” US Systems Integrator Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices Digital marketing Many partners find that providing information about cloud offerings through webcasts (often combined with in-person seminars) is a valuable marketing tool. Partners target their existing customers through emails and reach new customers through both traditional local marketing and digital marketing (extending beyond their usual geographic territory). Partners also use new digital marketing opportunities to generate demand for Office 365 sales. Some leverage search engine optimization and even keyword advertising, though several comment that this was more expensive than traditional marketing. Others partner with LARs to access new customers, with licensing going to the LAR, and the VAR offering accompanying services (migration, training, support, or SharePoint configuration). Microsoft’s Pinpoint is also an important source of referrals. 4
  5. 5. Practice 2: Acquire new smaller customers in remote locations Office 365 can be delivered and serviced remotely, and it can also be effectively marketed and sold that way. This makes it possible to expand potential sales territory nationally or globally and sell profitably to much smaller customers. Serving smaller customers profitably Office 365 customer base has grown from 15 to 900 customers in one year Using inbound tele-sales, responding to demand generation (largely from Microsoft Pinpoint Partner referral program), word of mouth, and morning breakfast briefings on cloud technology, one VAR switched from focusing on Enterprise customers as a SharePoint Systems Integrator to Office 365 sales to smaller customers, and increased revenue per seat/month by 600%. UK VAR Show success and extend Getting in the door without the involvement of IT “We have had success selling to smaller groups, for example 10 seats, within large organizations, because you can often bypass IT to get in the door. Once you show success quickly, you can then extend the solution for even more profitability.” US Systems Integrator The economics of remote selling and service are extremely compelling. One partner estimates that phone/online sales cost 1/10th of their traditional face-to-face sales model. This makes it economical and profitable to reach smaller customers than your current focus. These partners served 25-1000 seats customers. Partners who focus on the smallest customers encourage them to view online videos and demos to increase sales velocity without tying up sales people. They also stress the importance of understanding what else to sell with Office 365 to make the customer relationship economical and designing a sales model to fit the customer scale. Because marketing and selling to customers remotely eliminates the need and expectation of travel to the customer facility, several resellers with highly-local operations have been able to successfully expand to a national marketing and sales model. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 5
  6. 6. Practice 3: Sell annuity-priced bundles Partners cite many opportunities to package and/or price their offerings to fit with the cloud annuity model, as most cloud services offer fixed pricing around a standard suite of offerings. Below are a few examples from a broad range of creative offerings. Fixed support contract Many partners offer support services at a fixed price per customer, rather than charging per hour or per incident as they had for on-premises support. Two factors support this. First, with remote, proactive monitoring, partners are better able to avoid disruptions that impact users. Second, with cloud solutions requiring substantially less support than on-premises (both fewer issues and less time to resolve them), the fixed cost is a bargain to the customer support costs, and highly profitable to the partner. “Productizing” support packages Deployment services now sold for fixed cost per seat “By standardizing this and fixing the scope, we avoid delays in negotiation. We eliminate the technical discussion. Our sales team knows how to sell this.” US LAR relative to their past on-premises solution Partner of Record cloud support Partners frequently offer some basic services in return for retaining Partner of Record status and thereby capturing that profit stream. In some cases (particularly with SMBs), this consists of helping a customer understand and leverage the Microsoft cloud support included with their subscription, such as helping them interpret system status, communications, billing, and updates from Microsoft. Office 365 Midsized Business bundled offering One particular area where partners show great interest in bundled offerings is in the new Office 365 Midsized Business. Because this is sold through the partner, rather than being billed directly to a customer credit card, partners are excited to include Office 365 as a part of their overall IT service offering, particularly to small and mid-sized customers. With this bundle, customers can make one payment to the partner (annually or monthly) in return for the partner ’s software/templates, services, and support, and all the device and backend capabilities of Office 365. That one payment can even include hardware and/or network services. Attaching offerings The partners we spoke to identified a wide range of new value-added offerings related to Office 365 that extend its capabilities or simplify its implementation and utilization, often tailoring their solution to a particular industry or business need. Partners also tell us they are able to capture a larger “share of wallet” from existing customers for several reasons:  On-site infrastructure offerings that they had not previously sold are now available as a service (e.g. storage, servers, etc.).  Solutions by 3rd party providers (e.g. web conferencing, online storage, backup/archive), which customers had paid directly are now replaced by the integrated Microsoft offering through the partner.  IT labor savings are now monetized in cloud offerings like Office, Windows Intune™, and Windows Azure™ (e.g. device or server management). It’s important not to think of Office 365 as replacing Office 2013 revenues. Think of it as reducing ALL of the customers’ costs associated with hosting and supporting on-site, with savings shared between the customer, the partner, and Microsoft. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 6
  7. 7. Successful value-added offerings Partners are succeeding with these add-ons: Software templates One partner offers industry-specific, pre-configured SharePoint® templates in the Microsoft Office Marketplace to shift custom configuration to more of a self-service model. SMS text messaging add-ons Another partner created a software service for health care practices that automatically issues SMS text messages as reminders to patients with appointments. Deployment support A LAR who had not previously been engaged in customer deployment has added an online repository of deployment guidance, templates, and best practices for customers who retain them as Partner of Record. ADFS identity management and server support Several resellers and systems integrators now offer Active Directory Federated Services (ADFS) support either onpremises or through Azure, and several offer either their own hosted servers or support for the remaining on-site customer servers. Integrated Lync, Exchange, or SharePoint solutions System Integrators (SIs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) tell us that offering their custom solutions integrated with Office 365 increases customer retention because the power of the integrated offering with Outlook® (email, presence, and IM), SharePoint (collaboration, intranet, and storage), Lync conferencing, and cross-device access is simply too great to be replaced with any standalone competing solution. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 7
  8. 8. Practice 4: Target business decision makers for cloud services and devices opportunities Successful Office 365 partners report that they are engaging with different roles at customer organizations. In mid-size and larger companies, IT has traditionally, and almost exclusively, been the customer contact. Today, partners with success in cloud offerings are marketing directly to business decision makers (BDMs), or getting them involved early and deeply in the sales cycle. Engaging BDMs According to IDC, there is a strong trend toward BDMs having an increased role in IT spending. Already, 58% of new IT projects involve business roles, and 56% of technology decisions involve the CEO. Generally partners with strong IT contacts engage them first to identify and bring in BDM contacts. But increasingly, partners may market to BDMs directly either at smaller firms with limited IT, or in larger businesses where central IT has been less responsive. Because of the low cloud implementation hurdle, piloting and deployment happen in weeks, not months, so the business advantages are more immediately apparent. Often, partners find opportunity in engaging a BDM who needs quick solutions to problems that central/corporate IT has been unable to address, and the BDM may only engage IT as the last step in the sale. Partners tell us that many in IT are risk and change averse, and “the technical team can always find a reason not to go to the cloud.” That’s why reaching BDMs is so important. A business leader can weigh the financial and agility advantages to decide the change is worth it. BDMs want business value Cloud offerings build higher-rate business consultancy, increasing revenue “Office 365 adds business value to customer conversations. With on-prem, the focus is a technical discussion with IT Admins on configuration, settings, policies, etc. For cloud offerings, we are also talking to business decision makers on how they use the tool, how it can make a difference in their business. This gives access to more customer business problems. Our discussion is about ‘why’ instead of ‘how’. On-prem has more configuration services revenue, but cloud has us building skill in [higher-rate] business consulting, so revenue goes up and we are engaged in broader discussions.” Why BDMs care VAR based in India BDMs are more interested in Office 365 discussions than prior version upgrades for several reasons. Mobility, device form factor, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and pervasive office connectivity from home or elsewhere create business opportunity and process changes for many organizations. Office 365 can play a strong role in that change (for example by opening access to deskless employees). Similarly, new forms of collaboration through Lync, Presence, instant messaging, and SharePoint— internally within and across teams and externally with customers, suppliers, or partners—are important to BDMs and can also lead to significant business value. In some cases, the business process change involves a line-of-business tool like Microsoft Dynamics® CRM or Microsoft Project, and Office 365 becomes an add-on capability. In other cases, the shift to a cloud model calls for BDM input due to the potential regulatory considerations of data being housed off-site or the financial impact of the shift from capital expense to operating expense. Almost universally, the immediacy of implementation (and short time to implement process change) puts Office 365 on the radar for BDMs. Increased business opportunities Once you begin engaging with business decision makers, the conversation shifts from IT configuration to solving business issues, and that conversation can lead to much greater awareness of new opportunities including device sales or line-ofbusiness (LOB) applications. One partner expected services opportunities to decline as activity shifted to the cloud, but instead is experiencing much higher demand. Without the cost, delays, and implementation barriers of on-premises IT solutions, business customers are asking for more and more. One challenge to meeting this demand for more businessoriented strategic partnerships is the need to employ more Business Architects and fewer Infrastructure Engineers. However, partners noted that Business Architects bill out at a higher rate, so this shift increases profitability. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 8
  9. 9. Practice 5: Expand the conversation to focus on selling cloud capabilities A key driver for engaging BDMs (and more senior IT roles) is a shift in emphasis from discussing “how” the solution will be implemented (settings, configuration, desktop and server requirements, and deployment) to discussing “why” the new capabilities (e.g. mobile multi-device access, Lync conferencing, internal and external collaboration, and SharePoint intranet) can be used to strategic advantage. Partners selling Office 365 tell us that it’s important to change the upgrade conversation from describing the improvements and new features of Office to the business advantages of Office in the cloud. Learning how to effectively conduct this new conversation is part of the advantage of using cloud sales specialists, at least through an incubation period, as outlined in the best practice 1. Gateway to cloud capabilities Back-end value without major investment “Office is really just the front end to a powerful set of servers and productivity tools—a dashboard that people are used to—but it enables things like BI (SQL), collaboration (SharePoint), and this backend is very expensive and out of reach for small and mid-sized companies. Office 365 should not be compared to Office 2013, but to the value of the full infrastructure delivered. However Office 365 is very digestible, it makes it easy to begin seeing the value without major investment. It’s the gateway to the whole Office ecosystem.” Enterprise-class capabilities One of the most powerful advantages of Office 365 is that customers without VAR CEO significant internal IT support and infrastructure gain enterprise-class capabilities that were formerly well out of reach without major upfront capital costs. Office 365 functionality including hosted Exchange and instant messaging; SharePoint for collaboration, website and intranet; and Lync integrated conferencing can be a game changer for these customers. So the comparison is not between Office 20XX and the “New version of Office,” but rather Office plus the back-end of Exchange, SharePoint servers, SQL servers, unified communications, and mobile device access, plus the hardware and technical support to manage them. For many smaller businesses, these capabilities have been unrealistically IT intensive and/or expensive. For larger organizations, using Office 365 frees up IT staff and infrastructure to focus on more strategic opportunities instead of managing email and upgrades. Email is an especially potent pain point with some customers and therefore one of the best openings to discussing cloud services. E-mail today is mission critical, however many organizations have aging infrastructures, where storage is squeezed, file sizes are constrained, and reliability is far below that expected of a business critical system. The upfront cost in hardware and licensing to upgrade to a high-availability integrated platform can be well beyond recent IT budget levels. Office 365 offers what some customers find a “miraculous” solution with a fully-redundant, high-SLA enterprise email, storage, and communications infrastructure, without the significant upfront capital investment that would be required to add even a few servers. No more upgrading For customers who typically resist Office upgrades because of the perceived issues around cost, disruption, integration, and effort to implement, Office 365 can be positioned as their “last upgrade” as future capabilities are added automatically without IT effort and user downtime. At the other end of the spectrum, for customers who recognize the business value of having the most advanced capabilities, Office 365 is the roadmap to access the latest features first, at a faster refresh rate than on-premises installations can achieve without bolt-on 3rd-party solutions. The last migration to the cloud Upgrading to the cloud opens the door to more cloud services “We position Office 365 as the last [productivity] migration customers will need to do. This is particularly strong for customers on Office 2003 or Office 2007. They might as well migrate to cloud and not have to migrate again. This gives them the ability to always stay on the latest technology.” “Office 365 opens the door to more cloud services. Customers are willing to try email in the cloud once they see how well it works they are open to adding SharePoint Online. Then they look at shifting business apps to Azure. Once customers experience the cloud, they want to do more.” US Systems Integrator - VP Sales Business value Partners who engage BDMs in this “different conversation” focus on exploring the business value of these cloud capabilities and the new opportunities they create for their customer’s business. Customers welcome the ability to empower their field with full in-office connectivity, to collaborate across any device, to share work space with their customers and suppliers, and to respond faster with integrated communications. The speed with which these capabilities are deployed (in just weeks) offers a competitive advantage and a powerful motivator to act now. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 9
  10. 10. Partner Revenue Opportunity We asked the partners to provide us information about the revenue from their deals in the 25-1000 seats range. The graphs below show partner economics for 25-100 and 250-1000 seat customers. This partners reported revenue in the following categories, frequently described by almost all partners. Typical Deal Economics 50 Seat Customer $9 K Add-ons $25 K $5 K $4 K Services $10 K $2 K $4 K POR fees Licensing Deployment & Migration Service Year 1 Revenue Licensing advisor and deployment fees $30 K Add-ons $36 K $30 K $84 K $27 K $27 K POR Fees Licensing Deployment & & Migration Deployment Service Year 1 Revenue Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices Projects Recurring Annual Revenue $150 K Deployment service Partners selling Office 365 find that most customers are looking for support in migrating from current systems (e.g. on-premises Exchange to the hosted solution). While some still charge for migration support services, device set-up, training, and user change management on an hourly basis, many offer it as a bundle with fixed pricing (especially to smaller customers). Add- on Software Typical Deal Economics 500 Seat Customer Services The Partner of Record (POR) receives subscription fees the first and every year thereafter. Partners also receive a deployment fee and seat threshold incentives. The total can be up to 23% the first year. With Office 365 Midsized Business, partners sell a three-year pre-paid subscription in a model similar to Open Licensing. Partners control the mark-up from distributor prices, and report healthy revenue and margins. If you are interested in learning more about partner licensing revenues, please contact Microsoft. Annual Support Annual Support Add- on Software Projects Recurring Annual Revenue 10
  11. 11. Annual support Partners have great success offering annual or monthly support contracts at a fixed price, based on size of customer, complexity of environment, and level of support. The offering might include help desk support, new user set-up, and perhaps ADFS directory management. There services tend to be highly profitable because software-based service issues are far less common with cloud solutions and because resolution can generally be performed remotely rather than on-site Add-on software or services Partners further leverage their customer relationships with the sale of add-on software or services that go along with the Office 365 sale. In some cases, these are internally developed like those outlined in Practice 3, and some sell Microsoft applications with tailored configuration such as Microsoft Project and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. While there is wide variation in these offerings, pricing, and customer win rates, most of these offerings drive annuity revenue Projects The biggest payoff for many partners, particularly those with a strong systems integration practice, is in project work. Office 365 provides a means to boost customer capabilities to the point where SharePoint services, Exchange integration, or custom application development (often for mobile devices) becomes a customer’s next step. You can offer anything from “starter intranet sites” as part of Office 365 deployment then grow it into a larger project, or offer larger department or business-capability-specific customization and integration projects. More profitability Continuous income over time “Internal calculations show Office 365 to be a more profitable solution for us. While not as much profit on day 1, with revenue based on number of seats activated, now we can get paid monthly as customers deploy a more continuous engagement.” Global LAR Additional value In addition to the revenue sources outlined here, partners expect over time to add value from other cloud services from Microsoft (e.g. SharePoint storage) or other cloud providers. They comment that with the on-going subscription model, they anticipate lower churn in customers who previously bid out renewal/upgrade licensing at 3-year intervals, increased profitability from customers with long upgrade cycles, and a lower cost of sales overall. Partners are also achieving dramatically higher growth as a result of penetrating new (often breadth) customer segments and reaching customers in geographic areas they had not served before due to sales and service travel requirements. Recommendations The five best practices outlined in this paper are common among the successful partners we interviewed. But different tactics are more appropriate for some kinds of partners than others. As you embark on expanding your sales of Office 365 and associated cloud offerings, consider these step-by-step recommendations based on the success of other partners in these categories, and adjust your tactics as needed to suit your situation. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 11
  12. 12. Local broad line reseller (VAR) If your practice consists mostly of reselling products to local customers, partner research suggests these steps to expand into Office 365 and cloud offerings successfully.  Engage in light digital marketing to generate demand for your offerings.  Try telesales and remote support for smaller customers to increase your profitability.  Offer support package bundles of Office 365 Midsized Business plus support services.  Target business owners as your point of sales contact.  Implement enterprise capabilities for small and medium-size customers, enabling new functionality for those businesses. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 12
  13. 13. Large service-oriented solution provider (Large VAR, SI, or ISV) If you are already offering significant support services to larger organizations, these tactics can help you expand your role as a trusted partner with existing customers, while finding profitable new ones.  Develop a separate cloud group with specialized sales, consulting, and support skills.  Conduct national marketing with digital marketing and webcasts focusing on your industry specialties, solutions, or unique capabilities.  Create one or more software add-ons or Office templates for the cloud, which you can also sell beyond your current customer base in the Microsoft Office Marketplace.  Engage BDMs in business architecture/consulting to deepen customer relationships and uncover business needs.  Architect solutions to meet discovered needs in areas of collaboration, business intelligence, workflows, storage, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Project, and/or Azure. Large licensing-oriented reseller (LAR) For LARs with a licensing business model, consider these options as you transition to cloud offerings.  Develop cloud sales specialists within your organization with a distinct compensation model, either as a separate team or embedded in your existing team.  Leverage digital marketing to increase your reach and breadth, driving demand.  Capture Partner of Record fees by offering deployment, libraries/templates, support offerings, and other value-adds.  Work with local partners for depth implementation and support.  Engage with BDMs to map hybrid cloud requirements, maximize value, and uncover opportunities.  Extend the cloud model using Office 365 as the gateway to other online offerings that accelerate business value (Exchange, Lync, SharePoint, Azure, business intelligence, etc.) Next Steps Adapting to your business These best practices are a summary of common success tactics found among partners of many types worldwide. Every partner is unique, so this is not a prescription, but a guide. Some practices may work better for you than others, and some may require some modification to meet your circumstances. All have succeeded for others though, and are excellent starting places to grow your Office 365 sales and cloud success. For additional information Here are some additional resources you may find helpful as you explore how best to succeed with Office 365.  Microsoft Office 365 for Business  Microsoft Office solutions MPN Website © 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This document is provided "as-is." Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. You bear the risk of using it. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product. You may copy and use this document for your internal, reference purposes. Microsoft, Office, Windows Intune, Windows Azure, SharePoint, Lync, Outlook, and Microsoft Dynamics are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other marks are the property of their respective companies. Microsoft Office 365 Partner Best Practices 13