Wanted to post this blog note, I'll be leading a session this afternoon (Tuesday, July 13th) titled "Successfully selling the Microsoft Datacenter", session SI04 from 3:30pm-4:30pm.
The premise of the session is to sell the Core IO stack like HyperV, System Center, Windows Server as a platform, but leveraging best practices at how to expand beyond just a single datacenter engagement and get more strategic opportunities within key accounts.
As I put in the abstract, I'll be 'opening the kimono' on our sales and business development strategy on how we are able to achieve a greater than 80% close rate from first meeting to billable engagement with new accounts.
Spread the word on this WPC session to those you think might be interested, at a minimum, swing by and say "Hi!", my whopping 12 hours in Washington today as I was in Poland up until this past Saturday leading the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition in Warsaw identifying the best of the best IT Pro college students from around the world, then Kauai on Sunday to go to my Aunt's 90th birthday celebration, to WPC today, then on to Tokyo tonight...
Looking forward to a busy day here at WPC, hope you all are having a great conference!
President, Convergent Computing
Had a great session at WPC leading this Datacenter discussion (thank you to those of you who joined me this afternoon!). Interestingly, while my session was about the Datacenter and mostly the traditional on-premise Windows, Hyper-V, System Center stuff, 100% of the questions in the Q&A section revolved around "the cloud".
And no doubt, with all the buzz at WPC this week about the cloud, I think Microsoft partners are very concerned about how the cloud will impact their business. One of the questions that a partner asked me was "when you added cloud to your business, what happened to your profit margins", which the question clearly had this partner wondering about losing business by rolling customers into the cloud.
My response was "...cloud has actually helped our business generate higher profitability from our customer engagements. While we were initially concerned that if we migrated our customers out of the datacenter and into the cloud, that we might lose that customer... However after 2+ years of selling Microsoft BPOS / cloud offerings, we've found that our profitability on those engagements has actually gone up.
The reason is that in this day and age, customers aren't paying us to migrate them from say Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010, they've already developed the expertise to migrate themselves from E2000>E2003, or E2003>E2007, so they're doing a lot of these types of upgrades themselves. Of if anything, they may have us do the initial migration to on-premise E2010 migration, but they're doing 80% of the work to save themselves money, so our migration business has already been impacted by the "simplicity" and the overall economics of paying for migration work.
However, for the cloud, this is all new and customers are paying us to help them do 100% of the migraiton, from prototype testing processes, pilots, and full blown migrations. Additionally, after the customer has been migrated (and paid us for the consulting services to do the migration work), we get a check in the mail every month for these customers based on our being the partner of record for the customer (free money!). And on top of all this, we still help the customer with all other other IT services like migrations to Windows 7, System Center deployments, Line of Business rollouts, etc.
And we actually find we are getting higher profit margins on these line of business engagements because they are more strategic than doing a basic Windows or Exchange migration. So in the end, we're actually doing more for these customers moving their business to the cloud than we did traditionally in the past.
Not sure if my response about our experience is the same as any of the experience of others on this blog. Anyone have a difference experience??? Rand