Reselling Office 365 has become a study in declining margins and increasing workload. For MSPs, this often results in reselling Office 365 as a “favor” to clients. But margins aren’t the only issue:
- New paid Microsoft support requirements are increasing the costs and complexity of being a direct CSP.
- CSPs are required to provide support for, what is in all likelihood, the most complicated consumer-focused cloud offering on the market.
- Indirect CSPs must compete against direct CSPs who can offer discounts and still make money.
- CSPs bear all the receivables risk of collection.
- Office 365 client billing is often challenging and manual oversight or revision is not uncommon
And last, but certainly not least, Microsoft publishes their retail price and offers the product direct.
Stop Selling Office 365, Sell Office 365 “Platinum”
For all these negatives, selling 365 is still a winning proposition. Office 365 offers new revenue and project opportunities related to security, conferencing, training and device management to name just a few. But these revenue opportunities require more effort and new products. If you want to make money on just licenses, you need to stop selling Office 365.
Instead, sell “Office 365 Platinum”. “Platinum” is your own unique product that is a combination of Office 365, support, add-ons and pricing that creates a secure, productive, transformative and unique solution.
Sample Platinum Bundle
Using add-ons such as Azurative’s CloudRadial and Microsoft’s ATP, your Platinum pitch to clients becomes:
Office 365 Platinum
|Email, Calendar, Tasks|
|Microsoft Office Apps|
|PC, Mac, iOS, Android & Web Versions|
|U.S. Based Support|
|Phone & Conferencing Setup & Support1|
|Dedicated Account Manager|
|Full Service Administration|
|Advanced Email Threat Protection|
Cloud Applications Menu
Shared 365 Calendars
Knowledge Base & Training
Security Training Courses & Certifications
Consolidated Service Portal
1 Requires Microsoft Phone / Cloud PBX
More importantly for your firm, your revenue and profits (assuming 10% margins) change as follows:
Sample Platinum Pricing
Office 365 Platinum
|E5 + Phone|
Selling the Platinum version more than doubles your margins for basically the same effort. More importantly, it helps communicate that there is a better way to deploy Office 365 and your firm has that expertise.
Take Advantage of Other Benefits
A tool like CloudRadial not only boosts your bottom line and provides numerous benefits to clients, it also helps your firm create a scalable approach to account management through:
- Self-service sales
- Business-policy opportunities
- Improved QBRs
- Streamlined ticketing
- Better trained and self-reliant users
- Greater direct exposure to client end-users
Taking your knowledge of best industry solutions and packaging them into a single offering that your clients can easily understand is a great away to avoid the Office 365 margin death spiral. Your own Office 365 package helps you stand out among a very competitive landscape and in the process of defending your price, you’ll be educating your clients on the real choices they have with Office 365 deployment.