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Although we are closer now to the end of January than the start the predictions and advice about where resellers can make money and focus this year continue to be shared.
Microsoft resellers can be grateful that the vendor has pooled its best brains and pulled together a hit list of advice for partners, which it has shared in a blog post.
The seven point list is meant to give a perspective on "the greatest opportunities" that are around for partners this year.
The first comes from Chris Weber, corporate vp at Microsoft, who tapped into the digital transformation trend and advised partners to focus on that area
"Partners have an opportunity in 2017 to capitalize on this by bringing value-added services. Beyond helping customers, partners can transform their own businesses, shifting traditional business models from reselling or system integration to becoming more managed service providers or ISVs," he wrote in the collective blog post.
Ron Huddleston, corporate vp at Microsoft, recommended that partners specialise to help themselves keep up with changes at customers and to give themselves a chance to stand out from the crowd.
The third tip was for the channel to mix competition with cooperation and enter into ecosystems that would give them a chance to create complementary relationships, according to corporate vp Gavriella Schuster.
Getting ready for the app explosion was something that Mitra Azizirad, corporate vp at the vendor, highlighted because it underpinned most enterprise mobile strategies.
"Today’s enterprises are in the ‘experience’ business now and must find ways to deliver high-quality mobile experiences to their users at scale. Everyone wants immersive and personal experiences that react in real time, are intelligent and brilliantly predictive. How you help your customers meet the new user expectation for these rich application experiences is critical. To do this, enterprises need to leverage data and cloud in new ways. Taking their entire business ‘mobile’ often means building hundreds of apps," she wrote.
Managed services also got a mention with Aziz Benmalek, vice president of Microsoft, reminding those partners that have not yet embraced the business model to do so this year.
"One of the biggest opportunities for partners in 2017 will be to deliver managed services that maximize their customers cloud experience," he added "From consulting to migrations, to operations management, managed services provides you with an opportunity to add a new, higher margin business line that can provide a more stable, steady stream of recurring revenue."
The penultimate suggestion came from CTO Eduardo Kassner who called for a greater and deeper investment from partners around technical skills.
"Our research has shown that top performing cloud partners are leveraging the expertise of their technical staff to differentiate their business from the competition," he stated.
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The full seven
Help customers embrace the new digital economy
Take a fresh look at your business and specialise
Mix competition with cooperation
Prepare for the app explosion
Deliver customer lifetime value through managed services
Establish credibility and differentiate via expertise
Make impact that matters with the cloud
He said that as well as getting staff into a strong position with technical skills successful partners were also getting involved with blogging to share their expertise and other social media platforms.
The final point made in the Microsoft blog post came from Toni Townes-Whitley, corporate vp, who called for partners to make sure they were fully versed in cloud technology.
"One of the greatest opportunities for partners in 2017 will be to promote positive change by ensuring that the benefits of cloud computing are broadly shared," she wrote.
Microsoft is taking to the airwaves to share even more tips and advice with partners and is kicking off a podcast series. The vendor's MPN Thought Leader Podcast series, features bestselling author & marketing guru David Meerman Scott, who spoke at WPC last year, and shares tips on the best ways to reach and gain new customers. New episodes will be posted every Monday on the Microsoft Partner Network Blog and listeners can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.