As one of the leading providers of business technology solutions, Microsoft have built a valuable ecosystem of partners to ensure their customers are well-supported.
It is undeniable that technology forms a significant – essential, in fact – part of modern business activity. There is no greater testament to this fact than the success of Microsoft, who have been at the forefront of business technology solutions development for nearly 50 years. These days, Microsoft has a massive and diverse array of solutions for businesses, but they rarely sell directly to businesses – so how does an organisation access such solutions? Through the Microsoft Solutions Partner Network. We discussed this with a London-based Solutions Partner, TechQuarters, that has worked with Microsoft for over a decade. So, let’s look at what a Microsoft Solutions Partner is, and why a business might want to work with one.
What is a Microsoft Solutions Partner?
For many years now, partners have been a central part of Microsoft’s business model. They are how most business customers access products, and whom they access support for those products from. A Microsoft partner is usually a managed service provider, or other type of B2B technology company that already provides services around support to other organisations – whether they be IT support, telephony, security, etc. The latest iteration of Microsoft’s partner program is the Microsoft Solutions Partner. To become a Microsoft Solutions Partner, a company needs to demonstrate a minimum set of standards in one of six different Solutions Partner Designations.
What are Solutions Partner Designations?
Solutions Partner Designations represent the key areas of the technology market that Microsoft’s various product families target. For example, TechQuarters is a Modern Workplace Solutions Partner, which means they are experts in the Microsoft Office 365 solutions. The different Solutions Partner Designations are as follows:
- Data & AI
- Digital & App Innovation
- Business Applications
- Modern Workplace
To be qualified on one of these six designations, a company needs to demonstrate three key standards: Skill, Performance, and Customer Success. For example, TechQuarters time providing IT support law firms rely on was also spent providing firms with Modern Workplace solutions, support, and consultation – which helped them represent all three of these standards.
Reasons to Work with a Microsoft Solutions Partner
As mentioned earlier, a Microsoft Solutions Partner is typically also B2B service provider that specialises in other services as well. Here are three key reasons why a business may wish to work with an MSP.
1. Best Value for Microsoft Solutions
Businesses nowadays rarely purchase Microsoft product licenses directly from Microsoft. Though it is still possible, it is the least cost-effective means of acquiring licenses. Microsoft have specifically made it cheaper for partners to sell licensing. Therefore, if you are a business that does not use any Microsoft business solutions, but are looking to adopt them, there is already one major reason to seek out a Microsoft Solutions Partner.
2. Leading Microsoft Expertise & Support
When a business uses a certain software or system, it is generally assumed that the vendor will be the best source of support and expertise relating to the product. However, the trouble is that many vendors simply don’t have the time or resources available to provide attentive support to each individual customer. This is yet another benefit of working with an official Microsoft Partner, as they are certified by Microsoft themselves as having the same level of expertise on products as them. Therefore, business can get expertise and support more directly.
3. Wrap-Around Services
Most Microsoft Solutions Partners don’t just sell Microsoft licensing and support, they also have their own wraparound services. For example, in addition to their Modern Workplace expertise, TechQuarters also provides IT support London firms backup & disaster recovery services, project consultancy, and many other services that businesses can draw value from in tandem with the Microsoft services they offer.