Working Together for Mutual Benefit

Azure presents tremendous opportunities for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to improve the customer experience, capitalize on growth, and surmount industry challenges. Unlocking this potential begins with a clear understanding of best practices – a subject addressed in Accelerate Your Growth in Azure, a June 2023 briefing from ITWC.

The leading question, according to briefing host, Jim Love, CIO and Chief Digital Officer of ITWC, is how can MSPs kickstart the journey in selling Azure. For answers, he turned to briefing guests, Adeeb Altaji, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Cloud at TD SYNNEX and Michael Thibodeau, Azure Segment Lead, SMB Microsoft.

“The best way is to just get started,” said Altaji. “It’s like writing an essay. The first paragraph is always the hardest, but once you engage a team – whether that’s through Microsoft or through TD SYNNEX – just ask the first question and the ball will get rolling.”

Something for Everyone

As for which sectors have the most to gain from Azure, Thibodeau maintained that any company of any size can leverage Azure to secure a front row seat to cloud innovation.

“It is a pretty wide spectrum, ranging from hobbyist developers and students all the way to large and fast-growing unicorns in the Canadian ecosystem,” he explained.

Altaji concurred that there is nothing specific about the type of industries that are able to leverage Azure, citing examples of a diversity of users, including educational institutions, governments, finance, retail, and manufacturing. “All of them will require azure in some way, shape, or form,” he said.

The Partner Principles

Commenting on the ambiguity around what makes a good partner relationship, Thibodeau posited that people enter partnerships with preconceived notions, and that by jumping to conclusions, partnerships get very tactical, very quickly. “Sometimes we lose the essence of why we are partnering and what we are trying to achieve,” he noted. “The best partners invest time and energy, which builds roadways and drives success.”

In addition to his advice on allowing partners the space and scope to provide more than technology, Thibodeau distilled the secrets to a profitable partnership into three key strategies:

  1. Rather than trying to work with the biggest possible customers, choose to work as well with small and medium sized organizations. Not only does this diversify risk, but it also provides a diverse understanding of the challenges faced by a breadth of organizations.
  2. Build an acquisition capability by working with a partner that can deliver leads and opportunities. The most successful partners are those that are investing in themselves and their own success.
  3. Invest deeply in connecting and look beyond routine expectations around pricing, quoting, and licensing. Consider additional value, such as advising or other forms of customer support.

Love and his guests concluded the briefing by acknowledging that the most valuable partnerships are those in which each of the partners benefits from the relationship. “Just know that our goals are always aligned in order to be able to assist and advise each other,” said Altaji. “It’s always in our best interest to have the best solutions ready to go and to understand what your business is capable of.”

Watch Accelerate Your Growth in Azure on demand.

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Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau is a communications specialist based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where working remotely continues to fuel her passion for new mobile technologies -- especially on snowy days.

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