Microsoft partners have been handed a new pitch to take to business decision makers, following the unveiling of Microsoft 365.
Released as a single offering combining Windows 10, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security capabilities, the package represents a shift in how Redmond goes to market with its commercial offerings.
Unveiled during the opening day of Microsoft Inspire in Washington D.C., the channel can capitalise through two packages, Microsoft 365 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 Business.
Specifically, Microsoft 365 Enterprise targets large organisations, encompassing Office 365 Enterprise, Windows 10 Enterprise, Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Offered in two plans - Microsoft 365 E3 and Microsoft 365 E5 - both are available for purchase on 1 August, 2017.
Meanwhile, Microsoft 365 Business is designed for small-to-medium businesses with up to 300 users, integrating Office 365 Business Premium with tailored security and management features from Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security.
Available in public preview on 2 August, 2017, Microsoft 365 Business will become generally available on a worldwide basis towards the end of the year, priced at US$20 per user, per month.
“Microsoft 365 is a fundamental departure in how think about product creation,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “It is the coming together of the best of Office 365, Windows 10, enterprise mobility and security.
From a channel perspective, Microsoft 365 is designed to increase deal size for partners, while differentiating offerings and growing managed services revenue.
According to Forrester Research, Microsoft 365 Enterprise increases the partner revenue opportunity by more than 50 per cent versus selling and deploying Office 365 alone.
“This services as a very large opportunity for partners of all types and sizes to engage with existing and new customers to increase revenues and create a multi-yer recurring revenue business / delivering model,” Forrester Research project director Jonathan Lipsitz said.
For Lipsitz, the breadth of the Microsoft 365 technical solutions and the bundle in which they’re delivered means that the total market potential is growing in two ways for the channel.
“Firstly, partners can expand their relationship with existing customers in several ways,” he explained.
“Microsoft 365 touches many business initiatives versus traditional IT ones, which opens access to line of business (LOB) technology spend in addition to that which the CIO’s office holds.”
In addition, Lipsitz said Microsoft 365 also creates channel opportunities for many different types of revenue streams and multi-year customer journeys.
“Secondly, the combined Microsoft 365 solution, with simplified pricing, marketing and deployment means that more companies are willing to embark on this journey and sooner,” Lipsitz added. “That should significantly increase the total addressable market (TAM).”
Lipsitz said value can be found through software and device provisioning, strategy and roadmap consulting, alongside migration and configuration advisory work.
In addition to managed services and training offers, further consultancy opportunities can be leveraged through providing expertise around business process redesign, as well as organisational and change management.
James Henderson attended Microsoft Inspire as a guest of Microsoft.
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