In recent times the licensing provider landscape has changed and is almost completely unrecognisable from legacy models of the past.
The Software Licensing sphere has mostly morphed into Subscription-Based models and gone are the days of buying outright ownership classically known as the perpetual licensing model.
Subscription billing models are split into PAYG (Pay as you go), Consumption and Seat Based. The latter is available in various period terms up to 36 months. Essentially organisations no longer own their licensing, such as Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365, but rather own the right to utilise the subscription for a period, dictated by the terms and conditions of the provider.
Microsoft licensing has also evolved into the Subscription-Based model and demonstrates great value through continuous updates on features, functionality, and security.
However, most important is how well you know your Microsoft Partner. Who is providing you with guidance? Who are you trusting with your cost baseline?
Whilst procuring directly from Microsoft is an option, the reality is that Microsoft is a partner-led corporation. Only through certified and accredited partners, can you be provided with a sustainable and enduring relationship to meet your goals.
Key Considerations to Help You Select Your Microsoft Partner
1 – Is Your Microsoft Partner a Direct CSP (Cloud Service Provider)?
CSPs are partners that establish public clouds, manage private clouds, or offer on-demand cloud computing components like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Some of the benefits include (amongst others):
- Significant cost savings
- Flexible procurement options: 1 month, 12- or 36-month terms
- Microsoft Premier Support SLA
- Billing, report, analytics
If you answered yes to the above, that’s good news – however, CSP itself only takes care of the purchasing mechanism.
2 – Can Your Microsoft Partner Assess your Infrastructure?
Cloud assessments or environmental assessments are crucial in understanding your landscape and provide a unique departure point in the mutual cloud journey. Assessments vary in scale, duration, cost, and complexity. Partners utilise a cloud and maturity scale to benchmark your current environment, implement a suited assessment model and then proceed to determine how to best meet a customer’s business goals.
3 – Can Your Partner Design, Implement and Maintain solutions?
Industry experience is key, having folks that understand the technology subset, that can interpret where organisations are in their cloud journey is crucial. Concepts such as Design, Think, ProActive Implementation, and Modern MSP have become synonymous with leading Microsoft Partners.
4 – Has Your Partner Earned Relevant Technical Competence from Microsoft?
The Microsoft Gold Partner standard is gold no more – I am not for one second downplaying earning a Microsoft Gold Competency, it requires hard work and dedication by a large group of people in any partner organisation.
It is important to note that Microsoft is now providing partners with the ability to demonstrate their competence through the Advanced Specialization Programme, which is designed to measure technology competence to a granular level, to better serve customers. It’s not uncommon these days for partners to earn 14 or 15 Gold Competencies, however, Advanced Specializations are few and far apart and are now demonstrating the next level of competence.
5 – Is Your Partner Recognised as a Leader?
Selected partners that have demonstrated technical, operational, and business excellence are selected by Microsoft to serve on organisations such as the Inner Circle and the PAC (Partner Advisory Council).
This means that your partner showcases exceptional, innovative, and strategic work, in delivering significant and successful digital transformation for clients.
6 – Does Your Partner Advance Their Community?
Now more than ever before, partners have a crucial role to play in society, we are at the forefront of technology and are positioned to influence societal trajectory. Make sure your partner is at the edge and making a real impact on the world that surrounds them.
It’s important that you take the time to consider your Microsoft Partner. Look for a partner that can provide holistic guidance that encompasses your software investments, infrastructure requirements, industry, and technical competence. Look for a Partner that is considered the leader in the region and industry verticals.
Let’s create tomorrow, together!
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