I had the pleasure to be in Vienna last week for a small but focused hosting event of our largest service providers.   We dedicated an interactive workshop on go to market (GTM) learning’s from companies with Hosted OCS in market.  STAR, Outsourcery, T-Systems and InTechnology shared the most.  The themes I kept hearing were:

 

·         Hosted OCS has a shorter sales cycle than they expected.  Key reasons: it can be an add-on and not a replacement to customer existing communications.  Turn-up can be fast (24 hours with one provider), so you can trial it and get buy in quickly.

·         When leading with Hosted OCS you pull through the other Microsoft products: Exchange, SharePoint, and Dynamics CRM.  Partners thought they would lead with Exchange and up-sell, but it’s the other way around.  By demoing OCS within Outlook, SharePoint Sites and Dynamics CRM, the customer sees the value of OCS, and you potentially sell the full portfolio.

·         ARPU for the full Network and voice bundles can be $100/User/Month When OCS pulls in SharePoint, CRM, and Network services, the revenue adds up.

·         The key is to demo the product and discuss the benefits from the specific customer’s perspective.

·         Surprisingly, they are seeing strong larger customer interest with >500 users.  Originally thought interest would be lower due to do it yourself (DIY) of larger companies.

·         Trials need to have a clear duration and objective.  “Try taking away a company’s OCS once they have used it for 30 days – you may have a riot”.

·         Make sure your ROI discussions include all the Soft Benefits: time saved, and reduction in time to “whatever”.  Have the customer help quantify or validate these.

 

Thanks to all the partners that shared their experiences, and your awesome success with Hosted OCS.

 

Alex Danyluk, industry marketing director, Microsoft Communications Sector