Deborah Sweeney, business development manager – Azure at Tech Data, says that while taking the first step might be the hardest part of becoming a managed and cloud services provider, it’s important that resellers make a start
Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part of achieving any goal. This is true of just about anything in life, such as learning a new language, or mastering the art of crocheting. And it is certainly true - ask any reseller - of driving a new business activity or building a viable business in complex area of emerging technology, such as the cloud.
Part of the problem is that we don't want to spend a lot of time, effort, resource, and money on something that is not going to give us a positive result quickly. Another is that we don't think we have the time to attain the skills we'd need to achieve the required level of competency.
Then of course, there is the big problem of not knowing how to go about attaining these new skills. Or even get started. If you want to learn Italian, you can enrol at an adult learning centre, or buy a self-teaching audio course. If crochet is your passion, maybe you would need to find a local group of like-minded enthusiasts.
But while you can afford to put off personal pursuits for an indeterminate time, in business there are some things you can't delay. Becoming competent, capable, and certified to talk about, deliver, and manage cloud solutions is something resellers need do as soon as possible.
One clear direction
We all know that the cloud is where most applications and services are headed. The events of the last few months have accelerated that trend. Customers of all sizes and in every industry are speeding up their migration plans.
While plenty of resellers have already embarked upon or even completed their transition to becoming a managed and cloud services provider, many are yet to take the first real step. OK, you may have provided Office 365 to a few customers, but what about delivering a comprehensive back-up and recovery service on Azure? Or moving a customer to Microsoft 365, with all its inherent security features? Or setting up a customer with Dynamics 365? Or migrating them onto Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), where we have seen phenomenal growth over the last few months.
These are all solutions for which there is strong and accelerating demand - but none of them can be deployed without some degree of knowledge and competency. Resellers need to learn how to assess needs, migrate customers, and provision and manage deployments. That means building up a specific set of capabilities.
Whether it is Italian, crochet, or the cloud, when you are trying to develop a new skill or ability, what you often need at the start is someone to give you some encouragement and guidance. Then, once you have mastered the fundamentals, someone who has a little more insight and experience to give you some in-depth tuition, so that you can really start to develop your ability, grow in confidence, and move towards the attainment of your goals.
Get started and keep moving
That's exactly the approach that we have taken with our Velocity programme. We realised some time ago that a lot of resellers did not know where to get started and how to attain the skills they would need to deliver Microsoft cloud solutions.
Our response was to create Velocity - a complete, end-to-end enablement programme designed to provide resellers with the requisite technical and sales training, pre-sales business development support, access to experts in key technologies, and essential tools and resources, that will enable them to become capable and competent Microsoft CSP partners.
The idea of Velocity is not only to give resellers an easy way to take that vital first step, but also to keep on advancing and developing their skills to the point where they can really get their Microsoft cloud business moving.
Tech Data has already taken scores of partners from a standing start through to regularly transacting business in Microsoft cloud solutions and growing their consumption revenue, and we are now ready to take the next group of resellers on that transformational journey.
The second wave of the programme starts in January and we fully expect that, within three months, partners that engage with us will be fully up and running as accomplished providers of cloud solutions and services, which is where, we believe, they need to be.
If you are interested in learning more about Microsoft CSP with Tech Data, please click here.
This article has been published in partnership with Tech Data