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Partners Get Inside Track with Deployment Planning Services: Part 2

What better way to build a relationship with a customer than to help them plan how to best use software -- at no cost to them? That's exactly what Microsoft's Software Assurance Planning Services program is designed to do.  

As we covered last week in Part 1, Deployment Planning Services (DPS) engagements are conducted by certified partners who analyze the customer's organizational environment and create comprehensive deployment and implementation plans. Partners are compensated by Microsoft to conduct seven types of technology planning engagements ranging from one to 15 days.

Collaboration with a LAR
LARs clearly have an inside track on finding customers that own the volume license agreements that could earn them deployment service vouchers. Adrian duCille, director of business development at Boston-based Greystone Solutions, partners with SoftwareOne to identify customers that own solutions that may not have been deployed.

"We meet with SoftwareOne regularly to understand who the Enterprise Agreement clients are that could use help in getting the maximum value from the solutions that they already own," duCille said.

duCille, who spent years working for LARs before moving to the services side of the business, advises DPS delivery partners to find the right LAR to work with. "A LAR who is doing a good job for their clients isn't just selling them licensing," duCille noted. "They are connecting them with partners who can implement the licensing that they buy."

Through their established relationship, SoftwareOne reps regularly engage Greystone to help their clients deploy solutions, often through the opportunity to use the DPS Software Assurance benefits. duCille either accompanies SoftwareOne sales reps on client visits or is introduced through e-mail to the client.

Better Results from Combined Effort
In addition to working with a LAR, Greystone collaborates with a training partner, CompuWorks. "We want to bring a total solution to the client," duCille said. "Our shared clients get far more business value when they deploy with effective training."

The partner relationship between SoftwareOne, Greystone and CompuWorks goes beyond individual account management to a combined marketing effort. Recently, the group sponsored a SharePoint- and Office-focused in-person event in Boston. Each partner marketed the event to their own customer/prospect lists and each partner presented a session during the event.

With 84 registrants and over 50 attendees, the event started conversations that will be continued through follow-ups by each of the partners. Both registration questions and evaluation forms were used to collect information about deployment status for the attending companies. Coordination of their post-event activities make sure that each attendee gets the most appropriate follow-up based on their responses and interactions at the event.  

Next week, we'll find out how one partner uses DPS to help customers move to the cloud.

How are you using DPS to build your business? Add a comment below or e-mail me and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on December 13, 2012