More than 15,000 people—including members of the AppDirect team—were in Orlando last month for Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). A major theme at this year’s event was “new innovations and partner opportunities,” which put Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, and its larger channel strategy for the cloud, front and center.
In fact, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Office, John Case, devoted much of his Vision Keynote to the CSP program, announcing its expansion to 131 markets as well as the addition of Azure and CRM Online services to its lineup of partner-ready solutions. He also highlighted AppDirect as a critical partner to help accelerate the Microsoft channel’s transition to the cloud. It was exciting to be showcased in such a prominent way, and it validated all of the hard work that has gone into the AppDirect Express Program for Microsoft CSPs.
During the event, we had the opportunity to demonstrate AppDirect’s technology in the Office 365 Pavilion and a number of Microsoft sessions. These demos sparked great conversations about how to drive cloud profitability, automate business processes, and quickly create compelling customer offers. From talking with partners, it’s clear that Office 365 is a great anchor service, but providers are thinking about bundling their own managed services and additional SaaS products to improve margins and customer retention.
WPC also served as an ideal backdrop for announcing a number of new AppDirect partnerships, all of which give the channel more tools and services for success. These included BitTitan and SkyKick to deliver integrated mail migration tools; Mural and PlumChoice to provide customer on-boarding, activation, and support; and TrendMicro and DocuSign for security and transaction management integrated directly with Office 365.
It’s clear to see that cloud service delivery offers channel partners of all sizes a huge opportunity, and that Microsoft’s cloud services in particular are generating at lot of excitement. To take full advantage, channel partners need to move forward with their eyes open and be prepared to think about their business very differently.
If we missed you in Orlando, please drop us a line. We’d love to connect and see how we can help you bring Microsoft products to market faster and more easily than ever before. Next year at WPC 2016 in Toronto, we look forward to showcasing more success stories of companies just like yours.
Elliot Curtis leads the Business Development & Alliances team at AppDirect.