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Earning Microsoft's Attention Pays Off for Cloud Partner

For partners with few employees and limited sales, getting any attention from Microsoft to help with marketing or sales efforts seems impossible. In any forum that includes both Microsoft partners and Microsoft employees, the question of how smaller partners can get mindshare from Microsoft always comes up. One partner's success may provide an answer and some insight into the results engagement can bring.

On the Radar
With fewer than a dozen employees, Atlanta, Ga.-based RoseBud Technologies is definitely on the Microsoft radar -- and very intentionally so.

RoseBud was recently invited by Microsoft to Washington, D.C. to attend the SBA's National Small Business Week Conference, which recognizes outstanding small businesses from across the United States. The RoseBud team was able to connect with conference attendees in the Microsoft-sponsored lounge. "We got to meet the majority of the winners," said Greg Wartes, RoseBud Technologies' director of marketing. "Companies from a one-man shop to a 1,000-employee company who were coming to us to talk about the cloud. It was a very exciting conference."

Last week, Greg Treanor, vice president of RoseBud Technologies, was invited to share RoseBud's cloud experience with partners on Microsoft's Breadth Team East Region monthly call. This week, Treanor is headed to Redmond to tape a Microsoft Partner Network live feed session to talk about RoseBud's Intune practice success.

At every event and meeting, Treanor and Wartes meet more Microsoft employees who will think of them when they need an advocate...or have an opportunity. Treanor embraces and builds on the opportunities.

Reaching for the Cloud
Earlier this year, RoseBud achieved tier-three status in the Cloud Champions program. "In reaching that goal of tier-three, the Microsoft channel has increased their communication with us, funneling inbound calls and leads," Wartes said. "We are seeing great success with those leads, as well."

The new status is not the only reason that RoseBud has gained visibility. Treanor and Wartes have been committed for some time to keep an open line of communication with their regional business development manager and Microsoft Breadth Team, updating them with new wins. They actively look for opportunities to add value, suggesting programs or case studies.

"We make sure that we align ourselves with our Microsoft connections to help them be successful. We find out what areas they are being measured on and how we can help them achieve their numbers as well," Wartes said. "If they are successful, we will be successful, as well."

Filling the Pipeline, Consistently
As a small business, RoseBud has struggled with the same cyclical sales issues that most partners have. When business is slow, marketing gets turned up to build the pipeline. When those sales close, it gets so busy that all hands are needed on deck to deliver the services. Marketing stalls and when projects come to a close the pipeline is empty again.

The real benefit from the growing relationship with Microsoft has been the consistency in the pipeline. "We have more opportunities now than we have ever had," Treanor said. "Leads are coming into the pipeline because of our relationship with Microsoft. It's a much smoother ride.

"There's not a magic formula. Just like any long term relationship, you have to work on it. There were times when we were very frustrated, but we stuck with it," he continued. "It's paying dividends now and we feel very fortunate."

Talking to Treanor and Wartes, it is clear that they work to align their business model with Microsoft's strategic initiatives. They put effort into building long-term, personal relationships with Microsoft employees and they proactively communicate good news -- three good answers for the "How to get mindshare?" question.

How do you get Microsoft mindshare? Add a comment below or send me a note and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 15, 2012


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