Microsoft Services, once feared by the enterprise reseller community as being a direct sales threat, is now pushing upward of 65 per cent of its business through deals that involve its channel partners.
The software company claims that a new focus on working collaboratively with its partners in specific vertical markets is responsible for the 25 per cent increase in partner engagement. By partner engagement, the vendor means those deals whereby Microsoft Services either sub-contracts or is sub-contracted by a partner, as well as those deals where a customer contracts both the Services unit and a channel partner for the same project.
Director of Microsoft Services in Australia, Kevin Ackhurst, said this ratio of partner involvement is significantly higher than Microsoft’s efforts to involve the channel elsewhere in the world.
“On average, Microsoft Services on a worldwide basis was shooting for 40 per cent (partner engagement) last financial year but only achieved around 30 per cent,” he said. “Australia on the other hand, went from 40 per cent to 65 per cent and my new target is 75 per cent for this financial year.”
Ackhurst said the IT channel was beginning to view Microsoft Services very differently than in prior years.
“Prior to two years ago, we had customers asking us to take responsibility for delivering a project,” he said. “They were used to the IBM’s of this world, who had full-service offerings. We were confused as to what level we should involve our business partners.”
Today, Microsoft Services played a more strategic role with the customer, Ackhurst said, and advised the customer on such matters as what channel partners to choose to deliver a project.
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