Microsoft’s Advisor Program Is Dying–What VARs Can Do To Survive
In a blog post published late last year, SherWeb outlined Microsoft’s plans to reduce commissions under the Advisor program from 23% to 15% in the first year and from 4% to 3% in the second year. Microsoft’s latest announcement to end its Online Services Advisor (OSA) incentives is the final nail in the program’s coffin. As of Oct. 1, VARs could no longer earn commissions for provisioning Office 365 subscriptions as a Microsoft Partner of Record. As you’re probably aware, Microsoft has been slowly chipping away at its Advisor commissions for several months now.
While resellers have been invited to adopt the CSP program, created two years ago, many of you are still wondering which direction to take. This is a good time to act. Even if you can still sell new subscriptions through the OSA program, there’s no way you can make more money without these incentives.
Adopt the CSP Program
The CSP program allows you to earn more money by adding value-added services to your Office 365 offers. For example, if you transfer your Office 365 customers to a CSP partner like SherWeb, you’ll be able to control the entire customer lifecycle through direct billing, provisioning, management and support. You’ll be able to package offers any way you like and benefit from the expertise of your CSP partner.
Wondering where to start? Here are three great ways to maximize your profits with SherWeb.
1. Rely On Your Provider for Customer Support
Are you equipped to provide 24/7 technical support for Office 365? How about data migration and onboarding? Some providers, like SherWeb, offer free support and onboarding services to partners who sell under the CSP program. You can also get white-label premium support delivered directly to end clients as a paid service that includes access by phone, email and chat, and help by SherWeb’s experts. And you can put all this under your own label. Here’s what you gain:
- You can simplify your go-to market strategy and increase your short-term revenue by integrating this as a white-label service in your offer.
- You won’t have to worry about hiring, training or testing these services. You’ll have more time to focus on expanding your business and you can start earning money reselling these solutions from Day 1.
- As a SherWeb partner, you’ll have access to VIP support, which means your call will be placed higher in the queue and you’ll only deal with our most experienced technicians.
2. Improve Your Billing Process
One of the many advantages of the CSP program is that it simplifies customer invoicing. Instead of receiving two invoices–one from Microsoft and a second one from you–your clients will get a single bill that includes all the services you sell them, whether they’re provided by Microsoft or not. Managing your client accounts and cloud services is easier, too. SherWeb centralizes account management, allowing partners to provision services, view price lists and manage their accounts, all from one place.
3. Earn Higher Margins
SherWeb has an ongoing promotion to help VARs like you increase revenue under the CSP program. If you transfer all your POR Office 365 customers to SherWeb, you’ll get a 15% commission in the first year, followed by a recurring monthly commission of 5%. Your clients might not see the advantage in changing from a yearly price commitment with Microsoft to a monthly commitment, but SherWeb will match Microsoft’s prices and provide better technical support. It’s a good move.
Use Our Bulk Import Tool
It would be pretty tough to transfer your customers using your Microsoft Admin Portal. SherWeb has developed a new tool that will ease the pain. It’s called the Office 365 Client Import Tool, and it’s been designed to simplify the entire transfer process. At one time, resellers had to go through the laborious task of transferring profile information, services, plans and contract renewal dates manually for each client. If you have hundreds of clients and thousands of seats, that’s a lot of hours. Now the entire process is automatic. The Import Tool will also verify all your clients’ renewal dates and provision their new Office 365 subscriptions. And, guess what? It’s free under the CSP program.
One more thing. When it’s time to transfer your customers to the CSP program, you might want to coordinate it with each customer’s subscription renewal date. That way, you can spread out the transfers throughout the year instead of dealing with all your clients in one shot. It will make your life a lot easier.
Want to know more about SherWeb’s special promotion for Microsoft Advisors? Get started today!
Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy’s annual platinum sponsorship.