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Being great with Microsoft

15 Mar 2016 by Dan Langille

“For the cloud, we are all in.  Literally, I will tell you we are betting our company on it.”

  • Steve Ballmer, March 4 2010

Being great with Microsoft comes down to one thing:  Bet your business where Microsoft is betting its business.  I and my esteemed colleague Nick Dishman recently co-hosted a Microsoft webinar on this very topic.  The central theme was “Easy?  No.  Simple?  Yes.”  Yes, the work is hard; but a process exists, and if you commit to it – attain competencies, bring all hands on deck, focus on what Microsoft cares about most, get noticed, and seize the support – then success is within your grasp.

For us here at Quadrotech, ‘being great’ means driving cloud consumption.  It occurred to us in the early days of Office 365 and Azure that our role in helping Microsoft win its bet on cloud was not in transacting licenses but in driving active usage of those licenses.  And in the spirit of ‘get noticed,’ I am proud to cite our numbers to everyone I speak with at Microsoft:

  • FY15: We drove active usage for 875,000 users and brought home a vast amount of data.  If we plug in the E3 license cost of $20, that represents an annualized contract value of $210 million in influenced revenue.
  • FY16 (actual and projected):  We are on pace to bring home 10.05 PBs of data for 3.7 million end users, which represents $888 million in influenced revenue.

That is spectacular growth by anyone’s standards.  How did we do it?  Simple:

  • We attained additional competencies (most recently Gold Datacenter, just last week) to validate our commitment to, and expertise in, the Microsoft technologies on which our offerings are built and delivered.
  • We collaborated company-wide on our Microsoft Success Plan, and every single one of us committed to it with fanatical intensity.
  • We doubled down on our focus on driving cloud consumption by wrapping our own Managed Migration Services offering around our IP.  This key strategic decision enabled us to become the equivalent of a FastTrack Center for archive and PST migrations.  It was traumatically disruptive to the old paradigm of high-cost, labor-intensive consulting engagements – a good thing, in our view – and it empowered EVERY Microsoft partner (not just a handful of specialists) to offer these services to their clients at a known outcome for a fixed price – a GREAT thing, in anyone’s view…except maybe those handful of high-cost specialists.
  • We became much more vocal about our successes – publicly to the market, inside Microsoft, and to the analyst community.  And by ‘successes’ I refer not only to happy client stories but also to the innovation breakthroughs that extend our products’ already significant lead in features, performance, and ease of use.
  • We began to take full advantage of the wealth of resources Microsoft offers to support our success:
    • We had large presences at WPC and Ignite, and we’ll have even larger presences this year…not least because WPC delivers year-round value and our investment in Ignite resulted in us closing the largest PST migration project in our history.
    • We overhauled and updated our Pinpoint presence, which resulted in a dramatic increase in leads – including one for a 35,000-seat migration.
    • We seized each and every relevant sales, marketing, and technical training opportunity.
    • We adhered to the MPN mantra of “Specialize.  Focus on what you do best, and partner for the rest.” – a mindset that enabled us to build powerful P2P alliances with the top Office 365 partners around the world.
    • We co-sold (and continue to co-sell) with Microsoft in every one of our opportunities.

As you can see, helping Microsoft to win the bet on cloud Mr Ballmer made in 2010 is a vital part of our core strategy.