Selling Office 365
Working for an IT consulting firm who specializes in the Microsoft space, we tend to sell many of the MSFT apps and technologies….primarily in the SMB market. Smaller firms don’t have an advanced IT dept. and as such look for Cloud apps to minimize the capital investment typically required for on prem solutions.
Office 365 is where those MSFT apps meet the ‘cloud’. Sounds like a good idea…..even great one for many Microsoft shops. One of the reasons is that the technology behind Office 365, namely Exchange 2010 and SharePoint 2010, were designed to run in the cloud. And we, as an IT Consulting firm are starting to see the demand pick up…The past 3-4 engagements I’ve been involved in, 365 has come up in all of them. And now that the product is actually on the market, we expect many more organizations to take a look at it seriously.
This will allow our customers to move beyond hosted e-mail and focus more on the value of the entire suite, including Office Pro Plus. Office Pro Plus will give them a lot of momentum due to customers looking to update their current Office suite — we’ll be able to leverage that in larger collaboration conversations.
What we’re seeing as a MSFT Partner is that there’s an increased interest in the full suite. Certainly e-mail continues to be a strong driver, but people are really interested in the capabilities of SharePoint, people are really interested in the capabilities of Lync, and we sell a ton of it. And we’re seeing people looking to deploy the full suite.
As such, we’re changing our sales approach a bit to this around the full value proposition of the Office 365suite. You get the ‘better together’ message; three products with presence that links them all together, the coordination that brings them all together. I think Office 365 really opens that door to that ‘better together’ message. So we’re changing the way we sell it, we’re changing the way that we represent it, and the way we position it with our customers to make sure people understand the true value of the platform, not just a single product in the platform.
Matt Teahan, PEI
In other words, Office 365 is a hosted suite of productivity-boosting email and collaboration tools that you license for a fixed monthly cost. This means you’ll always have the latest versions of software while completely bypassing the costly software upgrades.