3 Surefire Steps to Success for Microsoft Advisors
If you’re reselling Office 365 through Microsoft’s Advisor program, you might want to read this. Microsoft has made some changes to the program that make it a lot tougher for Advisors like you to make a decent living.
Margins Fall to 3%
First off, Microsoft has drastically reduced the margins you can earn as a Partner of Record (POR). As of October 2015, commissions under the Advisor program were reduced from 23% to 15% in the first year and from 4% to 3% in the second year. If you signed most of your clients in your second year, you’re sure to notice a big drop in revenue.
Maybe it’s time to start shopping around for a better deal. There are many cloud providers out there that offer varying profit margins to resellers. And if you’re worried about transferring your Office 365 customers to another program, you can take advantage of a seamless transfer thanks to a new multi-channel feature. You don’t have to create a new tenant or a do a full data migration for each customer. The process is streamlined so the end user won’t even notice. And, best of all, there’s no downtime.
Wondering how to make the move? Here are three easy steps:
1. Transfer from Microsoft Advisor after Year 1.
If you’re still in the first year of Microsoft’s Advisor program for Office 365, you might want to stick it out until the year ends. Not because of the customer penalties involved, but because you want to take advantage of that 15% commission. Once you begin Year 2, the easiest and smartest thing to do is transfer your Office 365 POR customers to another cloud provider. For example, SherWeb will pay you 15% commission in the first year plus a recurring commission of 5% every month. And, best of all, they’ll match the prices your clients are currently paying for their annual plan for Office 365. It’s an easy sell to your customers. It gives them access to value-added services and monthly commitment terms for the same low price as the Microsoft yearly commitment.
2. Use your provider’s services to increase revenue.
At one point, you’ll run out of new customers and subscriptions and you’ll have to find a new way to boost your revenue. You don’t want to depend on the low ongoing percentage you’re getting from your provider. Here’s a suggestion: You can leverage the free support and migration services offered by providers such as SherWeb to attract more clients and position yourself as a full-service shop. Once you start providing these kinds of services, you can start moving away from the Advisor model and start billing your clients every month. It might mean less short-term income, but it’s definitely a smart move and will result in better profits in the long run. Another option is to start cross-selling your provider’s other services, such as online backup and compliance, or up-selling your clients more comprehensive plans for Office 365.
3. Brand your offering.
Once you’ve been away from the Microsoft Advisor program for a couple of years, it’s time to reconsider your future as a reseller. Have you thought about the advantages of becoming a white-label partner? You brand your offers for your clients, and you control the pricing and billing. At this point, your goal is to provide your own support services. However, you don’t have to build all the resources and investment from the ground up. In fact, it would be better to reuse someone else’s work to your advantage. We’re starting to see providers like SherWeb introducing white-label support services for their resellers’ end clients. There are also some very good platforms for white-label billing on the market. Make sure to analyze your costs and test various solutions before getting into that business. You should also realize that support standards might not reflect the business experience you want for your customers. No matter how you do it, branding your Office 365 services should be a mid- to long-term project to ensure your success in the cloud.
SherWeb has just launched a new offer for Microsoft Advisors that will pay you 12% more commission just for transferring your Office 365 seats to us. Find out more about this new program here.