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OpenText: ‘We Want To Help You Plan Out Your Transition To Microsoft’s New Commerce’

C.J. Fairfield

‘With New Commerce Experience, we’ve been helping our partners not just navigate some of the murky waters of that but actually come out better than they were before. Microsoft is just our entry. It’s what we start talking to partners about. We’re here to help you grow your business,’ OpenText’s Justin Gilbert tells an audience at XChange 2022.

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OpenText is the longest-running partner in Microsoft’s 365 program, according to OpenText leaders, and they want to help partners with the mammoth vendor’s latest New Commerce Experience (NCE) that have many solution providers concerned.

Microsoft’s NCE raises prices for popular packages including Microsoft 365.

“We want to see if we can find you money within the Microsoft ecosystem,” said Justin Gilbert, senior director of MSP channel development at Ontario, Canada-based software company OpenText. “We want to see if we can help you guys claw back rebates and help you plan out your transition into New Commerce. It is the biggest, most fundamental change to hit the Microsoft ecosystem since they launched in 2011.”

Gilbert and Jody Guffrey, vice president of channel sales at OpenText, spoke at CRN parent The Channel Company’s XChange 2022 event, and told MSPs how OpenText can help them with NCE concerns as well as grow their business.

“With [NCE] we’ve been helping our partners not just navigate some of the murky waters of that but actually come out better than they were before,” Gilbert said. “Microsoft is just our entry. It’s what we start talking to partners about. We’re here to help you grow your business.”

[Related: Sherweb Aims To Help Partners Scale, Tackle Cloud Challenges]

OpenText has 23,000 MSP partners and 19 million endpoints protected, he said.

“With all of our brands merging and marrying underneath one company, what we’re able to provide partners is really an SMB powerhouse,” Gilbert said.

Guffrey said he’s excited to sell Microsoft and talk about NCE to all of its Webroot and Carbonite partners­—two companies that OpenText acquired.

“With Webroot and Carbonite we provide cyber resilience for security data protection, from protecting the endpoint all the way to recovery,” Guffrey said. “Ransomware is out there; you have attacks left and right. What we’re trying to do is build this out into one console, one cloud, one portal that you can access for all of your security needs.”

Gilbert told potential partners that if they’re working with 20 different vendors, that greatly complicates their environments.

OpenText can help with some of those complexities, including improving margins.

Greg Bonner, IT manager for The Advisors Companies, a West Palm Beach, Fla.-based solution provider, said OpenText’s latest acquisitions were interesting “because it would definitely simplify some of our vendors. OpenText would be a one-stop shop for our security stack.”

“When we talk about improving your margins, for us that relates to Microsoft 365,” Gilbert said. “As a vendor, we’ve been helping our community around Microsoft 365 in lots of different ways. We’re more than just a licensing provider; we’re a business partner. As a business partner, you guys need us to grow your business. You need things like training and enablement. You need technology put in place to be able to help you.”

He said Microsoft’s NCE “can be scary” because there are subscription term changes, new trial periods and month-to-month price increases, all of which impact MSPs.

What OpenText is doing is helping those partners not only navigate through NCE but increase their margins.

“While it can seem scary, part of that is from rebates,” Gilbert said. “The rebate program that we have helps our partners. If we can help you guys navigate the changes with NCE, then we want to talk about being a partner. But we want to let you guys grow your business with us first.”

CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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