By Bob Titsch
Microsoft has signed on to sponsor the Cloud Migration Lab at Channel Partners Las Vegas on March 16-18. I’m truly excited about this because Microsoft is the Michael Bay of the channel right now — the company is blowing things up (in a good way), according to the cloud providers and channel partners I’ve been working with to develop presentations, demos and use cases for the Lab.
Our first-ever Cloud Migration Lab is a dedicated space on the exhibit floor with a center stage and seating area for presentations, and several kiosks sponsored by leading cloud providers. Its purpose is to help attendees learn how to migrate data and applications from on-premises systems to the cloud so they can better serve customers that are increasingly moving in this direction. The Lab will run for two days. On Wednesday, March 16, stage presentations will focus on end-user application migration involving email, office productivity applications and data. On Thursday, March 17, the emphasis will be on business application migration for purposes of disaster recovery.
If you aren’t familiar with Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) and Digital Partner of Record (DPOR) programs that are designed to help channel partners build a lucrative practice around office productivity solutions, you can learn all about them in the Lab. Microsoft personnel and partners will be on hand to share their experiences and insights on leveraging an email migration into an Office 365 rollout, collaboration (SharePoint), real-time communications (Lync) and enterprise social (Yammer) solutions that reduce end-user operating costs, increase productivity, improve employee satisfaction — and ultimately generate more revenue and commissions.
“Convergence between telecom and software is here and now, giving channel partners a special land-grab opportunity,” says Sherman Crancer, senior business channel development manager Western U.S., Microsoft. “Understanding how to sell, adopt and migrate Microsoft cloud solutions is essential to staying relevant in this changing marketplace, and it’s not difficult. By sponsoring the Cloud Migration Lab, we hope to help our friends in the channel understand how easy it is to add Microsoft solutions to their current base of customers.”
Crancer adds that Office 365 has a 14 percent adoption rate across the U.S. and is positioned for double-digit growth year-over-year. “By adopting Microsoft cloud solutions, agents not only have a fresh way to engage new and current clients, but they can increase residuals significantly,” he says.
Richard Rios, cloud product lead architect for BCM One, thinks there is at least a billion dollars of Microsoft business not yet installed in the U.S. and insists that grabbing a piece of it is much simpler than most channel partners assume.
Rios likens the Microsoft platform to a modern-day fighter jet for technology channel partners. “The aircraft is a cloud-enabled infrastructure environment that can withstand pretty much anything thrown at it,” he says. “But its true power is the thrust created by leveraging two distinct but complementary Microsoft DPOR and CSP programs with their incentives, reporting and predictive capabilities to drive further adoption that can be iterated over and over again with other customers.”
Evolve IP, Rackspace, SunGard, Navisite and 2600hz are sponsoring kiosks in the Lab to showcase their cloud migration products as well as, importantly, business use cases in verticals including healthcare, financial services, transportation, legal and entertainment, among others. The Lab is all about education. For example, sponsor representatives plan to team with channel partners to demo migrations involving the Microsoft suite, email, cloud backup and storage, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), desktop as a service (DaaS) and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).
Partners can stop by anytime during show floor hours; look for additional sponsorship and Day 1 and Day 2 presentation announcements as the Expo approaches. For providers, kiosk spots are nearly sold out. If you want in, drop me a line.
Bob Titsch is the Cloud Migration Program Manager for the Channel Partners Conference and Expo. He can be reached at email@example.com.