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Tech Data expands Microsoft cloud efforts for resellers

Tech Data is ramping up its support for resellers in the Microsoft cloud space by expanding its Velocity accelerator programme, including wider technical training for Microsoft Azure and boosting reseller numbers. It has also launched a drive to encourage Microsoft partners to move customers from Open Licensing programmes to the Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) programme.

To date, 53 partners have enrolled on Velocity with 15 already advancing to Microsoft Silver Cloud Competency and two of the group going on to achieve Gold status. Training is the core element of the programme and Tech Data has so far delivered face-to-face courses to more than 250 partner delegates.

All Velocity Partners are fully-funded by Tech Data for the main technical course requirement and aligned to a named Microsoft Solutions Architect and Azure account manager. In addition, they have access to Marketing as a Service funds that can equate to up to £10,000 per partner, said the distributor.

John-James Uezzell (pictured), business development manager for Microsoft Azure at Tech Data, said: “We have a tried and tested formula for getting Microsoft resellers to the point where there are competent and confident in selling workloads for deployment on Azure and ramping up their consumption income.

“If they take full advantage of the training and mentoring available, they can move to Silver Competency quite smoothly and from there build on the platform of support we provide as part of Velocity.”

Tech Data is also providing more support for partners building their Azure-based business by providing easy access to Proof-of-Concept (PoC) funding on prospective deals that have an expected consumption value of over $30,000 a year.

The scheme effectively provides two months of funded consumption for qualifying prospects. A streamlined application process means it is possible to apply for and activate the PoC within three working days, said Tech Data.

On CSP, said Uezzell: “For Microsoft software licensing CSP is the future and it makes sense to move Open Licensing customers as soon as possible. With CSP, end-user customers have more scalable options and can increase user numbers at almost any time.

“There is no need to allow for what they might need in the next few months. That means partners can get closer to customers, secure their business and build up a flow of regular income.”

Tech Data is working with resellers to identify licenses that can be transitioned from Microsoft Open Licensing. It is also making enablement resources available and running a series of workshops to help resellers understand how to position and present cloud-based solutions and CSP with customers.

Last autumn, Tech Data started a drive to generate more reseller business for Microsoft cloud solutions in Central and Eastern Europe.