Companies of all sizes are moving to transform themselves via the cloud, and Microsoft Azure and Office 365 have opened the door to new opportunities for solution providers, Matt Morris (pictured), partner technology strategist for Microsoft, told an audience of Tech Data partners at the recent Tech Data TechSelect conference.
Indeed, Morris said, response from the field already shows the impact of Microsoft's cloud business on the channel. For every $1 in non-cloud Microsoft revenue a partner brings in, there is an average attach of $3.57 in other products and services. However, he said, for every $1 in cloud-based Microsoft revenue the average partner brings in, there is an average of $5.87 in attached product and services revenue.
Among those best able to take advantage of the new opportunities are Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers, Morris said, who can bundle technology and services into a single offering. Those services can be Microsoft’s or the partner’s own services, he said.
Tech Data at the conference put those opportunities into high gear with several new incentives aimed at helping Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers reap the benefits of Microsoft Azure as well as Office 365. Steve Groth, senior manager for Tech Data's cloud solutions, was on hand to drive home that message of growth and outline the new offerings.
The Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor's new incentives include Tech Data margin on Microsoft Azure services that’s about 15 percent below MSRP, a Cloud Solution Provider rebate of 8 percent as long as the partner meets required competencies, and an Azure accelerator back-end rebate of 10 percent as long as the partner meets required competencies, he said. This is on top of the margins partners get for end-user services, Groth added.
For Cloud Solution Providers working with Office 365, partners will see margins of 6 percent to 20 percent, along with a rebate of 8 percent and an Office 365 accelerator back-end rebate of 5 percent to 20 percent, Groth said.
Doug Westervelt, owner of Portland Internetworks, a Portland, Ore.-based Cloud Solution Provider and Tech Data partner, said the company does a lot of work with Office 365, but Azure has not yet become a priority.
"But as I look at the additional margins, I see new incentives to evangelize Azure and make it part of a bigger opportunity for us," he said.
Sean Powers, director of sales at RTM, a Bedford, N.H.-based MSP that works with Microsoft and Tech Data, told CRN that the distributor has a history of following through on its commitments to partners, and the new incentives are an example of that commitment.
The new incentives will help RTM in its push to move all its customers to the Azure cloud, Powers said.
"We're bringing all our customers to the Azure table," he said. "A lot of them are already doing Office 365. I expect that in the not-too-distant future, all of them will have workloads on Azure."