Microsoft WPC 2015: PlumChoice Sees Prime Opportunity in CSP Program
If the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is a vein of gold, think of PlumChoice as the pickaxe to help channel partners strike a vein.
The technical services provider provides sales and solutions support to channel partners, helping them expand their services to their customers. The company has seen a decent amount of success with some larger names including communications services providers, and now it’s looking to help channel partners qualify for the CSP program.
“We are a services-as-a-service provider,” said David Hauser, director of Channels at PlumChoice. “In the Microsoft space, that means we can help partners offer that tier 1 and tier 2 support required to be in the Cloud Solution Provider program.”
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Microsoft announced an expansion of its Cloud Solution Provider program, which gives CSP partners the ability to offer the entire portfolio of Microsoft solutions and services, and create custom offerings for their end user customers. To be a part of the program, partners must be able to provide tier 1 and tier 2 support.
PlumChoice, which was founded in 2001, has more than 700 technicians and 200 salespeople on staff to assist in everything from help desk issues to licensing renewals. In the cloud space, the company strives to provide “concierge services” and specializes in the “long-tail” IT support—those complex, heterogeneous support requests that often are the most frustrating for customers, Hauser said.
PlumChoice is gaining some attention in the cloud space. It just announced an agreement to provide cloud application services for cloud commerce provider AppDirect, under which PlumChoice will provider pre-sales guidance, onboarding and activation on behalf of AppDirect, as well as 24/7 tier 1 and tier 2 support.
Although the company currently works with larger partners, it is looking to push downstream to target smaller VARs and solution providers soon.
“It’s a different model and it’s not something we have now,” Hauser said, adding the company can’t ignore the size of the opportunity with regional VARs—who would seem to be most in need of PlumChoice’s services.
Hauser, who joined the company earlier this year after running channels at Carbonite, is tasked with expanding the company’s visibility to the channel, including distributors. He’s at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference to gain mind share and learn more about how the company can best help partners.
“Our goal is to meet the right folks at Microsoft,” he said. “As they put together the CSP program we need to be able to understand that—understand the ecosystem better, their strategies, etc. What does the value chain look like and how do we play into that?”
As CSP continues to evolve, no doubt will PlumChoice’s role. And if a good part of that role is helping smaller solution provider run with the Big Boys, the company could see much success.