Inspire 2022 Signals More Change Ahead for MSPs – 3 Things You Can Do Now to Stay Profitable

Well over halfway into 2022 and Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down. Gaining momentum after the NCE changes in March, at Microsoft’s Inspire event in late July last month, they announced several more changes to Microsoft Cloud– Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and GitHub– that significantly impact MSPs. Catch any one of the recaps from RCP, CRN, TechTarget, or watch the recording.

Just the headlines MSPs should know

  • MPN will update to MCPP this October. The new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program debuts in October, which will consolidate 36 Gold and Silver partner competencies into six solutions areas that MSPs can requalify for. See details.
  • Microsoft Teams and Viva expand capabilities to map to hybrid work scenarios. Teams is up to 270M+ monthly active users and these new improvements could further help MSPs continue to drive adoption of digital collaboration. Today, MSPs that focus on Teams can easily draw over a third of overall M365 revenue per user from Teams. See how to deploy and manage Teams for more customers in less time.
  • Microsoft considerably expands focus on the Security market. This includes both significant expansion of offerings in their security stack as well as expectations from the channel to get behind the Microsoft security offerings push.
  • Microsoft hyper-focuses on industry, announcing 6 industry-specific cloud offerings. Learn more 
  • Project Orland introduces AI to identify M365 expansion revenue opportunities across customers
At his Microsoft Inspire keynote, Satya Nadella urged partners to go beyond “talking about digital transformation to delivering on the digital imperative for every organization… It’s what will make the difference between organizations that thrive and those that get left behind.” 

Read between the lines – stay profitable amidst Microsoft’s FY23 priorities

Microsoft clearly defined their FY23 partner priority to “do more with less” and “deliver on the digital imperative for customers.” But what’s really going on here?

Microsoft is restructuring the partner program to specifically drive higher adoption of its apps across customers to aggressively win cloud market share. They want partners to specialize by industry and sell their entire Cloud stack before adding other tools. It’s an aggressive approach that has tightened M365 margins and then opened new incentives that encourage (or force) partners to drive adoption of new and unused M365 apps this fall to make it profitable. This also requires more time solely allocated on one software brand. Luckily Microsoft isn’t backing off innovation; the products are booming with new, collaborative technology and security that customers want and, in some cases need.

Yet, to win in this environment, MSPs need to be mean and lean, operating efficiently with advanced cloud software automation to deploy and manage the sheer number of Microsoft Cloud apps– and other cloud apps too. Without automation, the time to manage these eats into the margins with too many support hours. See tips below on what you can be doing right now.

3 Things you can do now to stay profitable with Microsoft changes

Ensure that current customers are optimized around a base cloud MSP services bundle 
  • Are all your customers standardized on an MSP cloud services bundle built around M365 and an optimized set of value-add managed services? Using a template will minimize your time to sell, manage, and invoice so you can scale more services.
  • Migrate any customers not on M365 yet if needed. You can do this for free using SkyKick.1
  • Safeguard their productivity with and optimize MRR & Margins with a data protection solution like Cloud Backup. Choose a solution that provides comprehensive coverage M365, including Teams – and one that checks all the right boxes like HIPPA, GDPR, and ISO27001. This is one of the easiest ways to demonstrate you’re correctly oriented to the new MCPP Security solution area coming this October.
Automate M365 Support to reduce cost and improve customer experience
  • Claiming the incentives for adding more M365 apps per customer will be time consuming for MSP sales, support, and engineering teams. Freeing up valuable time on the engineering and support desk on core M365 cloud support will be vital to make this a reality.  Leverage a cloud support automation platform like Cloud Manager to keep costs down and services manageable with existing staff.
  • See how you can use ready-made PowerShell automation to create a persistent connection to customer clouds and hybrid environments to deploy and manage apps and heighten security.
    • Streamline Cloud Administration
    • Accelerate Microsoft Teams Adoption
    • Deliver Cyber Security

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Get your business ready for the shift to MCPP
  • Update your pitch deck to align to the new MCPP model and showcase your competencies. You want to be ready to retain and win customers AND earn the new MCPP Incentives.
  • Speak to the changes Microsoft has made and how passing through those changes can heighten your customers’ remote collaboration, productivity, and security.
  • Questions about updating your M365 services and how to engage customers? Call or email SkyKick – our Account Management team is ready to share best practices, and in some cases, have come from MSPs themselves.