Marching Orders 2014: The Time for Cloud Is Now

As part of RCP's 2014 "Marching Orders" feature, we asked channel experts to share their insights on what partners can expect in the new year, and what they should do to get ready for 2014. Here are some tips for Microsoft partners from Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group.

Over the past two years, Microsoft partners have seen the cloud gain significant traction in terms of customer demand. The time is now for partners to join the thousands who have already built a cloud practice to start reaping the benefits.

With recently released data now quantifying profitability opportunities for partners in the cloud, there's no reason to wait. According to IDC, partners who generate more than 50 percent of their revenue from the cloud grow at double the rate, accrue new customers two times faster and generate double the revenue per employee compared to non-cloud-oriented partners.  More

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Four Pillars for Building a Company

This RCP Guest Blog was written by Peter Bauer, CEO and co-founder of Mimecast.

The characteristics of an effective leader have been covered extensively -- the bottom line usually being that the elements of leadership are notoriously difficult to define or measure.

However, many leaders often share a similar conviction that keeps each of them moving forward. Leadership with conviction empowers leaders to fully invest in an idea, convince others to follow them and entice others to want the product or service. More

Posted on August 06, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Focus on Business Consultations

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some insights from Tom Chew, national general manager of Slalom Consulting.

Slalom is embracing opportunities in the cloud to drive deeper engagements and long-lasting partnerships with our clients. We've seen great success by first seeking to understand a company's unique business needs, and then developing a tailored solution that delivers ongoing value after implementation.

That's important because the explosion in adoption of cloud technologies from Microsoft -- such as Windows Azure and Office 365 -- means partners have even more tools to create a strong breadth of offerings for their clients. Many of the Microsoft tools work with cloud solutions from companies such as Amazon.com Inc. as well, expanding the opportunities. But gaining long-term business value is often a real challenge. More

Posted on February 06, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Strike 'Cloud' from Your Vocabulary

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Howard M. Cohen, channel consultant and RCP columnist.

Integrator. That's what most of us have called ourselves for the last three decades. What do integrators do? They take hardware from various manufacturers and software from various publishers and combine them to create superior customer solutions. A proud heritage.

Over the past few years, some enterprising technologists realized they could create some of the services we used to install at customer sites and produce them more effectively in their own datacenter. Not only that, but by selling these services to a large number of customers they could achieve an economy of scale that would deliver better service at a lower price, and they would still make money doing so. More

Posted on February 06, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Be Ready for a Big Year

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Harry Brelsford, President, SMB Nation.

Who ordered this tepid recovery, anyway? Several years ago, when the economy was "resetting," I made forward-looking statements that the downturn was going to align closer to a normal recession, not the "Great Recession" others predicted. Bottom line is that they were closer to right than I was.

While the slowly improving economic data inspires optimism in me and others, a common current refrain is that we've never worked so hard for so little. True -- the past few years have made us all more focused and efficient. But you're not alone if you're getting tired of this recession too! More

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Market to SMBs

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Cindy Bates, U.S. Small and Medium Sized Businesses & Distribution, Microsoft.

The New Year brings a new era of opportunity for partners working with SMBs. New levels of innovation in the cloud, new form factors and ways of interfacing with PCs, and the accessibility of virtualization solutions are transforming the way SMBs run their businesses, let alone their IT infrastructures. Among the biggest areas of opportunity:

  • True momentum in cloud. Cloud remains chief among the opportunities for partners to transform their business for the future. According to IDC, 60 percent of SMBs say the cloud plays a critical role in giving them an advantage over competitors by providing access to enterprise-grade technology. SMBs demand flexibility, security and scalability, and the cloud is the affordable answer. By the end of this fiscal year, we project nearly 2 million seats of Office 365 will be sold in SMBs -- a true testament to the investment SMB partners are making in cloud. To build upon this success, we will continue to provide a variety of offerings to meet your business needs, and the needs of our mutual customers. More

    Posted on January 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Beware the Status Quo

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Tiffani Bova, Vice President, Gartner Research Inc.

Business partners of the future must continually reinvent their businesses. Otherwise, they'll find themselves left behind as the "supplier" of technology versus the trusted partner that guides clients to where they need to be. Helping businesses focus on growth and enabling new and different customer experiences is where businesses are spending their IT dollars.

This is being driven by what Gartner calls the "Nexus of Forces" (see gartner.com/webinars), the explosion in information, social, cloud and mobility, as well as the intersection of these rapidly evolving capabilities. These are disruptive technologies that fundamentally change business processes, business strategies and business models, and they're coming at us faster than ever. This is creating unprecedented uncertainty and opportunity for the IT channel as a whole. More

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Get Up to Speed

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Jenni Flinders, U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs, Microsoft.

In this new exciting era with the product launch wave -- the biggest in our company's history -- it's imperative that our partners educate themselves and their customers on the benefits of these product offerings.

I want our partners to be able to approach sales opportunities with a high degree of comfort, fluency and credibility to take full advantage of revenue potential. As such, Microsoft needs to provide its partners with a roadmap, allowing each of these organizations to forge ahead and blaze a trail of individualized success. More

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Manage a Year of Abundance

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Mike Harvath, CEO, Revenue Rocket Consulting Group & RCP columnist.

It looks like this could be a year of opportunity for Microsoft partners. What with a new, huge revision cycle that includes Windows 8, Office 2013, Exchange 2013, SharePoint 2013, the new Surface tablet and Lync, there's a lot to crow about.

I can't remember a year in which Microsoft has unleashed such a barrage of new and updated technologies. Some might argue that this onslaught is a wee bit too much to thrust upon the market all at once. Time will tell, but for the moment I think this spells opportunity -- as change often does in IT -- for those partners that have positioned themselves to take advantage of this bounty. More

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Make It Simple

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Keith Lubner, Managing Partner, Channel Consulting Corp.

In 2012, I saw too many solution providers trying to do too much, which led to stagnation and frustration, and often left them with the feeling that they were pushing a wet noodle uphill (it doesn't go far). Their businesses didn't move as quickly forward as did the frenetic pace of technology. In 2013, I'm afraid technology will keep moving quickly, but I recommend that solution providers slow down and simplify. This sounds contrarian, but hear me out, as this basic notion will actually allow you to leapfrog competition that might still be trying to push that wet noodle uphill.

Let's get simple with a simple story. Earlier last year, my son came up with a neat idea for collecting "unclaimed" golf clubs, cleaning them up and then donating them to organizations such as The First Tee. As soon as he came up with the idea, he immediately (as often kids and adults will do) started projecting all of the potential roadblocks, tasks and other items necessary to get the initiative off the ground. He then suffered "paralysis by analysis," and guess what happened? Nothing. Great idea, but nothing happened because he complicated the entire thing. More

Posted on January 08, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


Marching Orders 2013: Focus on Cloud and Devices

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here's what Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, had to offer RCP's readers.

As we head into 2013, I see two huge opportunities for partners in the Microsoft ecosystem. The first, of course, is the cloud.

Partners have heard me talk for the last two years about the cloud opportunity, but in the last year we have really seen the traction and scale take off. In 2013 we're going to start to see the trend of cloud leading on-premises. This will be the year that cloud run-rate of certain workloads will pass on-premises in key segments. Look for this leapfrog in e-mail in small to midsize business (SMB), CRM in midmarket, and others. The cloud momentum will undoubtedly accelerate as we release the next version of Windows Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Intune, and because Office 365 will have a truly symmetric server model. More

Posted on January 04, 2013 at 8:50 AM0 comments


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