Provoke rides the cloud into new markets

Provoke rides the cloud into new markets

Increasing adoption of online services has allowed Microsoft services partner Provoke to capture new markets and revenue sources, along with a widening of its portfolio of technology offerings.

CEO Mason Pratt says the company has traditionally had a somewhat limited reach in the market.

“Constrained by customer size and technology offering, our historic market has been limited to bespoke application and SharePoint development in the 500 to 5000 seat space. Online services has since opened up a new channel of small to medium sized customers [with 25 to 50 seats] that Provoke has previously not been able service effectively.”

As well, Provoke has added subscription-based cloud offerings that Pratt says do not cannibalise current revenue streams, such as Hosted Microsoft Exchange server.

“These offerings have created annuity and support-based revenue streams that didn’t exist prior to this. All new opportunities we embark on are now qualified at the outset, as to whether the resulting solution can be delivered, in some way, via the cloud.”

Core technologies offered by Provoke now include Microsoft’s Office Communications Server and Live Meeting, and Pratt says its clients can benefit from more unified collaboration tools as a result. The company has also gained competitive advantage through these technologies, he says.

Provoke is also in partner discussions with a value added distributor. Pratt can’t name the company yet as the deal has not been signed.

The company’s cloud push kicked off a year ago, when it was one of the first local Microsoft partners to fully adopt online services.

“As with the release of any emerging technology, early adoption from a partner perspective helps to drive traction. In the past 12 months Provoke has worked closely with Microsoft New Zealand to launch the ‘In the Cloud’ campaign website, run a number of educational seminars to potential customers and prepare and execute joint sales plans,” Pratt says.

The company has also launched a micro-site hosted on Azure, appointed an online services business development manager, along with an upskilling of its sales teams.

Provoke has developed online services for companies such as the New Zealand Rugby Union.

“We currently have 33 active online service leads,” he says.

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