Microsoft gets tick for partner Cloud transitions

CNI and Downs commend vendor’s transformation workshops

Downs MicroSystems and Corporate Network Integration (CNI) are giving Microsoft’s business model transformation workshop a big tick, stating the program has enabled a guided and resourceful transition to Cloud enablement.

The one-day workshop, which Microsoft has been executing for a year, is designed for partners to think about their entire business rather than just sales and technical training, according to Australia partner director, Toby Bowers.

“It ranges from sales and marketing strategy, to the way partner engage with customers, and all the way through operations and how to compensate sales people, or how partners should think about annuity-based business models,” he said.

It is targeted towards the senior people within partner organisations, and involves $4000 to $5000 worth of consultative workshopping.

Downs and CNI said it was useful as it triggered changes within business processes, both internally and in terms of solutions sets, and set them in the right direction.

Both partners have completed the workshop, and have had a Cloud play for several years.

“It’s good to be able to sit into a dedicated workshop for one day,” CNI director, Toby Alcock, said. “It had a lot of useful information, asked a lot of probing questions, and helped cement the direction in which we are going and why.”

For Downs, the workshop ensured it was on the right track by offering tangible metrics to reaffirm direction, according to managing director, Trevor Henderson.

“To be honest, some of the things were new to us – we hadn’t figured it out ourselves,” he said. “We saw what was best practice from a Microsoft perspective of how to actually build a Cloud business.”

In addition, Henderson said it allowed Downs to understand the economics of the profitability of being in the Cloud space which then evolved it from a traditional infrastructure reseller.

While it was mostly positive, Henderson criticised the length of the workshop, stating there was too much compressed into one day, and that a slight extension would be ideal.

Alcock disagrees. He said that for CNI, the workshop was there to give the company information which it could then translate internally. In addition, Alcock believes that less mature partners would be overwhelmed and unable to keep up with a multi-day Cloud workshop.

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Tags: system integrator (SI), reseller, vendor, Downs MicroSystems, workshop, value-added reseller (VAR), channel, program, partner, Corporate Network Integration (CNI), Cloud, Microsoft
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