To take part in Cloud Accelerate, partners must have sold Microsoft Online Services to at least three customers with deployments of more than 150 seats, produced three positive customer references and commit to selling eight more during the next year.
Some of the benefits partners reap include sales lead generation and sharing opportunities. There are two elements to the program focusing on resellers and ISVs.
Paradyne principal consultant, Loryan Strant, said being part of the program would help build its brand recognition. Paradyne focuses on providing Microsoft BPOS tools.
“It differentiates us from the pack and for the customer, it means they're dealing with a specialist,” Strant said.
HubOne managing director, Nick Beaugeard, said taking part in the program meant it was being recognised for its cloud experience.
“Credibility is critical especially in a new market place,” Beaugeard said. “It really allows us to reach out to old and new customers and we're recognised as being a credible player in the market place.”
HubOne also plans to launch a new partner program, SP2, which will allow other partners to leverage their cloud experience. “With cloud we’ve got the ability to offer services to businesses of all sizes,” he said.
Microsoft partner director, George Stavrakakis, said Cloud Accelerate was part of the investments it was making in enabling cloud readiness for the channel. “They get access to a whole series of tools and resources, pre-sales and technical support,” Stavrakakis said. “It's all around getting them cloud enabled and building their training and readiness around that.”