Microsoft’s (News - Alert) recently unveiled cloud deployment program is touted as assisting channel partners building their portfolios around Office 365 and other applications. Qualified individuals will gain access to training, support, and marketing benefits for their businesses, according to the company.
“We have heard from partners that what you need from Microsoft is more support on deployment. We agree.” Josh Waldo, senior director, New Markets and Emerging Channels at Microsoft, said in a recent blog post. “Support is consistently a top pain point when we hear from partners.”
“The Cloud Deployment Program (is) designed for partners who want to take advantage of the growing demand for Microsoft Cloud Services by building a capable cloud deployment practice enabled through training, support, and marketing benefits to onboard enterprise customers to Office 365,” he added.
“Partners who join the program … will have access to technology consultants to help develop cloud deployment plans and access to a dedicated team of technical support engineers 24/7 to resolve technical problems during a cloud software deployment project,” CRN reported.
Also, partners will continue to have access to offerings from Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate, such as free Office 365, Windows Intune and CRM Online licenses. However, partners must have a minimum of Cloud Accelerate to join the program in addition to being required to have Microsoft's Messaging Gold or Silver Competency status.
Even Cloud Accelerate Partner status is highly desirable, given that it is held by less than one percent of Microsoft partners around the world, TMCnet reported.
With the cloud deployment designation, partners get access to marketing benefits including promotion on external Microsoft sites. While nearly 5,500 partners sell Microsoft's cloud services, as many as 100,000 channel partners will be part of Cloud Essentials by the middle of 2013.
The decision to transition to the cloud is often not an all or nothing approach. In the case of its larger business customers, many leverage Office 365 with a hybrid system that allows products to be a mixture of in the cloud and remaining on-premises, according to RCP Mag.com.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.
Edited by Jamie Epstein