Is Your MSP Business Aligned with Your Biggest Partner?

By Stuart_R_Crawford
In MSP Coaching
July 15, 2013

Stuart R. Crawford / Stuart Crawford

Recently, there’s been many rumors regarding how Microsoft is expected to Microsoft is expected to reorganize as it heads into its fiscal year 2014, which makes a lot of businesses more certain about the company’s top business priorities for the coming year.

During the annual worldwide partner conference in Houston, Microsoft showed its reseller partners, who are the bulk of Redmond’s sales force; the areas on which they should focus on for Fiscal 2014.

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If your MSP business is currently partnered with Microsoft, it’s highly recommended that your company aligns with their top eight business priorities for fiscal 2014:

The final version of Microsoft’s priority list will be the topic of the July 10th keynote at the partner conference, during Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner’s piece of the morning keynote.

However, there’s a slide that was showed during a July 9th session for Microsoft’s large account resellers (LARS), who are now LSPs (Licensing Solution Partners). The slide lists their top sales priorities as following:

  • Take the lead with Windows 8 tablets and apps
  • Win against Google with Office 365 (Turner personally committed to this during last year’s partner show)
  • Eliminate Windows XP and replace it with newer Windows/Office versions
  • SharePoint, Drive Yammer, CRM (and voice with Skype/Lync)
  • Win against VMware and AWS with Hyper-V, System Center and Azure
  • Sell the benefits of management, security, productivity, and app development in IT scenarios
  • Lead with CRM and Dynamics AX
  • Push SQL Service with BI/big-data, OLTP, and data warehousing

None of these priorities seem to be surprising, but some of the statistics used by Microsoft management to provoke its partners to sell in the coming year are worth remembering. According to Corporate Accounts and Partner Sales Vice President Geoff Nyheim, more than 10 million PCs will be affected by the pending end-of-life data for Windows XP, scheduled for April 8th 2014.

In addition, over 40,000 of Microsoft’s new customers are spending less than $25,000 with the company, said Nyheim; and 89% of Microsoft’s existing business customers aren’t using any products in the Microsoft cloud, such as Office 365, Windows Intune, Windows Azure, and Windows CRM.

Approximately 30,000 of Microsoft’s “managed”/largest customers across the world are currently annuity/subscription clients, and the remaining 40,000 customers have no annuity relationship with Microsoft, explained Microsoft officials.

Microsoft stressed that this doesn’t mean LSPs and other partners are slacking. During the LAR keynotes at the partner show, Microsoft officials said that last year, LSP revenues grew in the double digits! These partners helped to sell 11,000 new Enterprise Agreement volume-license deals, as well as 8,400 volume renewals last year.

Ulistic maintains its position on Microsoft.  In order to succeed and meet the needs of your clients, your MSP business must be aligned with Microsoft’s priorities.  Your customers will always take the path of least resistance, even if that means eliminating you as their MSP partner.

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