Neil Lomax, SoftwareONE’s President of North America and EVP WW Sales Strategy, had the pleasure of co-hosting a panel discussion at Microsoft Inspire 2018 with Devesh Satyavolu, Director, Revenue and Growth WW OCP at Microsoft on “How to Grow Your Business through the Cloud Solution Provider Program.”
Lomax shared SoftwareONE’s best practices as a global CSP partner due to our experience and background over the last several years in the program. He highlighted three distinct areas and one desirable value add that all organizations should think about when it comes to working with the CSP program:
1. Be sure to create a clear business plan. This is obviously a broad topic but at its essence it’s ensuring you have enough working capital to be able to handle the large scale growth that can occur with CSP. For example your monthly subscribers may run from 1,000 in one month to 10,000 the next and if those partners have varied payment schedules you need to have enough liquidity to cover the bills with Microsoft.
2. ISVs must ensure they are listed in One Commercial Partner catalog for long-term success and visibility.
3. Digital transformation – CSP as a stand-alone is fine, but it’s even better if you can couple it with a value add that your customers can’t do without.
So what’s a typical value add then?
“Most customers aren’t greenfield Microsoft customers. They likely already have some assets, contracts and commitments with Microsoft such as an enterprise agreement, an Azure SCE contract, MPSA, SPLA, Open or Select plus contract(s). So it’s important to understand what they already have before you present your solution. This will likely also help speed up the sales cycle,” said Lomax.
“SoftwareONE is in a unique position to help those in the CSP program as we have an in depth understanding of those customers that fall under CSP, EA, MPSA and SPLA – we’ve been there and done that. CSP augments what our customers have now but it doesn’t replace their existing agreements and having this knowledge allows SoftwareONE to help our customers save time, money and not succumb to compliance risks,” he added.