Early in his career, Sam used his background in engineering and architecture to develop and deliver the first in-market Microsoft Cloud OS Network platform in Australia. Today, Sam uses 12 years of experience with cloud and managed services technology to help partners in APAC drive business growth through Azure.
Read the interview below to learn how Sam helps partners become Modern MSPs with profitable managed services for Azure.
[MF:] Building a cloud business is a significant transition for partners and Microsoft offers many resources to help. Are there any you specifically recommend to the partners you work with?
[SR:] A very valuable resource found in the Microsoft Partner Network is the Managed Services Guide. This is a great starting point for partners looking to develop a managed services practice and ties back the four pillars of the modern partner.
These resources are powerful because 60% of MSP growth comes from their existing customer base. Partners tend to focus on looking for net new business opportunities, when – in reality – new revenue streams are right under their nose. Partners are missing upsell/cross-sell and renewal opportunities. Understanding their customer and their business is key in strengthening their relationships and accessing recurring revenue.
[MF:] How can partners use the four pillars of the modern partner to grow their existing business?
[SR:] As partners start to embrace & understand the modern partner research, they will find that the key objective to discover within their organization is what enables them to differentiate in a market which is saturated with competitive offers. The research then uncovers the transformation that partner businesses need to undertake in maintaining relevance in their markets. This starts from modernizing their Sales & Marketing.
A great way to protect margins and stand out from the competition is to identify and establish yourself within two to three verticals or industries, whilst ensuring that your strategy involves thought leadership marketing that is landed through your website, SEO, and digital marketing so that you can establish yourself as a leader and attract customers to your site. Lastly, partners can then utilize tools, optimize and automate their operations, and streamline processes and people. By focusing on their expertise, partners become a trusted advisor and can drive customer lifetime value.
[MF:] Partners searching for ways to grow around managed services hear a lot about the cloud adoption trend. How can they quickly and effectively take advantage of opportunities in Azure?
[SR:] Partners can start by looking at how they package their offerings to end customers by looking at their overall business plan and roadmap of services. These partners who are coming from a traditional SI or MSP background align Azure or hyperscale cloud offerings to their current traditional offerings which trap them into analyzing partner-profitability inaccurately. This is where I step in and help partners develop and think about how whilst this may work in your current model, we may need to re-evaluate how other parts of the business can fit in your overall plan and roadmap.