It was exciting for SkyKick to see one of its great partners, OnPar Technologies, win Microsoft’s 2017 US SMB East Region Partner of the Year at this year’s Inspire. OnPar Technologies, founded in 2007, is a cloud first, full service Microsoft partner who is dedicated to delivering transformative technology solutions that help businesses prosper in the digital age. We sat down with Donna Hall, the Director of Business Development at OnPar Technologies, to create a webinar focused on learning how they’ve streamlined their business both internally and to customers to achieve such success.
After winning multiple industry awards and rapidly becoming an industry leader over the last 10 years, they have defined the 5 most essential elements to running a successful Cloud solutions company.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel.
- Create a unique offering around O365.
- Invest in processes and procedures for day-to-day operations.
- Invest in applications that can automate many of the back-office functions.
- Participate in industry pilot programs for technologies relevant to your offerings.
1) Don’t reinvent the wheel. After a quick review of industry sites, partners will notice that they have bundle packages with a variety of services all baked in. The reality is that partners can’t just survive on Office 365 csp licensure alone. "You must build out your brand and bundle other offerings like SkyKick’s cloud management solutions to create value and a deliver a high level of service", says Donna. Work with partner focused technology partners, Leverage Microsoft solutions and deliver their solution as your own.
2) Create a unique offering around Office 365, SkyKick, and other vendors. Offer a basic bundle that sells more than just the product. Partners know every company is Unique. Some need certain pieces of office 365 and others don’t. Donna says, That "OnPar Technologies does have offerings that wrap around licensing, but it depends on what licensing the customer is doing. The biggest piece of that is having a business conversation with them about what they are currently doing for phone systems, hosting webinars, what office version are they on and how they really want to use the applications. When we do that, we can come back to them with a turnkey price that says here is what we can do for you, here is your licensing costs and here’s the implementation fees. With those lic fees we are bundling skykick backup and then we explain why they need to use these solutions".
3) Invest in processes and procedures for day-to-day operations. This is difficult but necessary. Partners Should build process for their company. Starting from prospect, implementation through to support. This creates a simple standardized easy to follow process for all customers. It’s a necessary evil to do this. Partners should have a process imbedded in their organization from the time a prospect arrives to the time the deal is closed. Donna says, "These processes should carry forward all the way through to implementation and support. It’s going to make your life so much easier because you can rinse and repeat. A lot of people can’t believe that we are able to do 4 to 5 migrations in a week, and we don’t work nights and weekends".
4) Invest in applications that can automate back-office functions. SkyKick’s cloud backup is an excellent example. OnPar Technologies commonly used applications include Cloud Console. Cloud Console integrates with the tenants, it knows what licensing the client is using on a monthly basis. OnPar Technologies also uses Connect Wise, Labtech, Bright Gauge, and SkyKick. "If there is an application out there that will help us, we will look at it and probably buy it. Using Cloudwise and integrating cloud console with that is how we do our billing function", says Donna.
5) Participate in industry pilot programs for technologies relevant to your offerings. Gain a competitive edge with visibility on new product pipelines. When OnPar Technologies sat down and thought about what gave them a competitive edge a lot of times they were in pilot programs with their partners. "Microsoft did a docu-sign program and we were in the pilot program. It is a time investment, but the other side of that is your ahead of the industry and can see where the curve is going before other partners. Don’t turn down a pilot program from your partners without really sticking your toe in and getting it wet first, you could end up with a competitive edge by being an early adopter".
On Par Technologies Microsoft Partner of the Year 5 core secrets to success