Irrespective of the business size, owners are always on the lookout for straightforward ways to offer quality solutions to their customers.
The chances are that as a managed service provider (MSP), you are uniquely positioned to enable businesses to reach their goals, scale and manage their projects flawlessly. You can do this by deploying, building, and handling applications whenever they need, wherever they want, with Microsoft Azure.
Why should service providers sell Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a group of integrated cloud-based services that help IT professionals and developers create, use, and manage apps. It is an all-inclusive solution that allows you to build applications whenever, wherever. From computing to analytics, networking, storage or database, Azure has it all.
Simple, easy and convenient, Azure allows an organization to minimize friction between teams and streamline operations. You can use it in several different ways; it can help you develop advanced applications, gain valuable insights from data, implement identity and access management, build infrastructure, or execute any combination of these activities.
Knowing the breadth and depth of Azure capabilities is essential to your ability to persuade customers why it should be their cloud platform of choice. Regardless, it’s advisable to start by emphasizing a specific area. For instance, if you work with small- and mid-sized businesses, you could consider beginning with Azure Backup.
While Microsoft Azure is a robust solution, it’s also complex. Many seasoned IT professionals get overwhelmed by the sheer number of functions and features Azure offers. Because of its high degree of customization, the platform doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. However, this also presents an opportunity for MSPs to position themselves as their customers’ trusted advisor.
In comparison to other integrated cloud-based services, Azure offers you the following:
- Ability to safeguard your business with a dependable cloud in the sector
- Freedom to use your applications your way with open-source technologies and access to various tools
- Valuable insights for each stage of your development
- Integrated tools to expedite your app innovation
Thanks to consistent hybrid cloud, open-source technologies, a ready-to-use IoT hub and comprehensive business analytics solutions, Azure categorically stands out from other integrated cloud services in the market. Moreover, it’s a reliable tool that can solve your clients’ technical problems a lot more efficiently than the alternatives.
Your customers will see an immediate and significant improvement in routine tasks by quickly moving their apps from on-site servers to the cloud, or building new apps directly in the cloud at increased speeds. Microsoft Azure can also adapt to any infrastructure, so customers can leverage its power according to their unique needs. On top of that, customers only have to pay for what they deploy. There’s no upfront, risky infrastructure expense, making Azure an easy choice for budget-conscious clients to leverage and invest in.
Nevertheless, offering Microsoft Azure can be challenging if you don’t select the appropriate options from the get-go as a provider. Make sure you have a viable business plan and understand your growth capabilities before jumping in! Also check out our tips below for how to get started selling Microsoft Azure as quickly and easily as possible.
How to sell Microsoft Azure
Before adding Microsoft Azure to your MSP’s portfolio, we recommend following three crucial steps:
- Become a Microsoft partner
- Enroll in the CSP program
- Find an indirect CSP provider
Become a Microsoft partner
Joining the Microsoft Partner Network (or Microsoft Cloud Partner Program) is a must if you want to sell any Microsoft products as part of your managed services offering. It’s your gateway to all the resources, incentives and certifications Microsoft has to offer.
Becoming a Microsoft partner will entail enrolling to the Microsoft Partner Center and obtaining an MPN ID.
Enroll in the CSP program
Although it’s not the only way to sell Microsoft Azure, enrolling in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is arguably the fastest and easiest way to make it happen. Service providers get an opportunity to engage with their clients at a deeper level and make more profit from it.
You can join the CSP program in two ways: as a direct provider, or an indirect reseller. While the former option minimizes the distance between Microsoft and your clients, it can put a lot of pressure on your business infrastructure. For example, requirements for becoming a direct CSP partner include at least $300K USD in annual revenue, the purchase of a support plan from Microsoft as well as a platform to handle customer billing and provisioning. Oh, and you have to first join the CSP program as an indirect reseller for at least 12 months before you’re able to be considered as a direct provider in the first place.
Indirect resellers, on the other hand, offer Microsoft products through a third-party indirect provider. They get to leverage Microsoft cloud services in addition to value-added services supplied by the indirect provider, including backup, cloud security, and more, creating more opportunities to strengthen customer relationships. Additionally, Microsoft offers excellent competencies to substantiate resellers’ specific skills. With a dependable cloud distributor, you can accomplish relevant competencies more efficiently, which gives your business more visibility when marketing to prospective clients.
Find an indirect CSP provider
Next, in order to sell Microsoft Azure and other cloud solutions to customers without worrying about billing services and technical support, it’s a good idea to find and connect with an indirect CSP provider. Indirect providers can help resellers go to market more quickly in addition to offering resources such as training, expertise and strategic consulting.
Partnering with an indirect provider enables even small-scale businesses to profit from the growing cloud market with minimal investment and financial risk. Having an experienced and established partner in your corner during the reselling process allows you to build lasting connections with clients by taking complete control of their cloud solution journey.
Microsoft can connect indirect resellers to indirect providers, but Sherweb makes it easy for MSPs to get started in 10 minutes or less:
And that’s it! You’re MSP is on its way to offer Microsoft Azure for clients.
Work with a partner dedicated to your success
A Sherweb partnership can do more for your MSP beyond helping you sell Microsoft Azure. Our value-added services can help your business grow with the right productivity, infrastructure and cybersecurity solutions to enable digital transformation for clients. Contact us to start a conversation about how we can work together to achieve your goals, or explore our Partner Guide for more details about how Sherweb helps MSPs achieve results.