Microsoft partners which derive most of their revenue from cloud can earn almost fifty per cent more in add-on services than those whose sales come mainly from traditional kit, the vendor said today as it reiterated its cloud commitment at its global partner event.
Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) kicked off today in Toronto, attracting thousands of global partner delegates. During the main keynote, its CEO Satya Nadella talked up the importance of emerging technology areas such as cognitive speech and mixed reality gear such as Hololens. In previous WPC keynotes, cloud services such as Office 365 and Azure have hogged the limelight, but the widely popular services took something of a back seat this year.
But speaking to CRN after the keynote, Microsoft's director of product management for Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Niamh Coleman reiterated the importance of cloud services to partners as they transform their businesses.
"For partners up to 50 per cent in the cloud, they're getting $1 for what they sell, but $4 of extra add-on services. For partners who are doing more than 50 per cent of their business in the cloud - they've got more leverage and experience - they're getting $5.87 in add-in services [per $1 sold]."
She said that partners are enjoying success in cloud when they specialise in a certain niche, rather than trying to do it all in the cloud.
"If you go too broad, there are certain partners who are having success in that regard, but those who find their niche are the ones that are realising huge success," she said. "For partners up to 50 per cent in the cloud, they're getting $1 for what they sell, but $4 of extra add-on services. For partners who are doing more than 50 per cent of their business in the cloud - they've got more leverage and experience - they're getting $5.87 in add-in services [per $1 sold]. So the upside is huge. But it doesn't have to be because you've built out 10 different practices."
Coleman added that 80 per cent of Microsoft customers are using cloud in some way, which she said demonstrates the opportunity for partners.
However, not all businesses counted in that figure will necessarily be using only cloud services, and it means a fifth of partners are not using cloud at all.
Coleman said there is still an opportunity for traditional resellers who have yet to move to the cloud, provided it is what the customer wants.
"There's work for [traditional partners] to do," she said. "If 80 per cent of customers [deploy cloud in some way], there are others who have on-premise technologies. There's also the possibility for partners to partner with other partners. Even if they're not going to do the cloud component, they can do the on-premise component and work with IP providers, for example, or MSPs, to deliver on that promise for customers.
"We are seeing that happen in a very organic way. We're very focused to make sure we are forging those connections. We all care about our customers and we are here for our mutual customers. We meet our customers where they are and there's certainly on-premise business and hybrid business [to be had]. It depends on where the customer is. But interest wise, every time we go out and survey them, they are more and more in the cloud."
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