The May 30th Telarus Tuesday call brought Navisite director of partner program, Lanny Gray to talk about why you must add Managed Office 365 to your portfolio. The entire recording can be found here.
Why You Should Offer Office 365
If you aren’t already talking your customers about Office 365, you need to start doing so today. Most of your customers have either already moved to Office 365 or are considering the move. Microsoft says 125 million people will adopt Office 365 over the next three to five years. As of today only 40 million of those people have already moved, which means there are over 85 million people waiting to buy Office 365 from someone. The reality is that if they don’t buy it from you they will be buying it from one of your competitors. Some of you may not be comfortable talking about Office 365 to your customers because it can be very complex, you might not even know what questions to ask to start the conversation. The good news is that Navisite is here to help you understand and sell managed Office 365, as well as all the other cloud services they offer.
It’s important to understand that a workforce that can work from anywhere on any device is much happier and far more productive. Microsoft sees this and recognizes that the cloud is changing everything, it is now all about mobility and they know Office 365 is without a doubt the single biggest tool that will drive that paradigm shift. Office 365 can offer the following:
- SaaS Applications
- Mobility and Remote Accessibility
- Data Sharing and Security
- Communication and Collaboration
- Endpoint Devices and Control Policies
Office 365 allows users to access it via the web, and pay for it on a monthly subscription instead of upfront. Users can also access it remotely on all their devices whether it’s a PC or Mac, on any device including desktop, laptop, tablet or with their smartphone. The best part of offering Office 365 to your customers is that because it’s billed as a monthly charge you can now get paid an ongoing residual for selling it.
You can install Office 365 on up to five devices, each license enables five user devices and allows your customers to use them online or offline. It includes the latest version of all the office applications you’re familiar with like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and more. But what good does that do you if you can’t get to your documents? With Office 365 your documents are all saved to the cloud by default so they are automatically backed up, meaning you now have a drive in the cloud called OneDrive for Business. This is where all the documents you are managing and working on reside, you can also share those documents with others. When your documents are saved to the cloud you can also sync these files to your laptop or mobile devices, that way you can still access and work on them when you’re offline. These documents will automatically re-sync back to the cloud when you get your connection back. you’ll always have the latest version of your documents available to you. All the files that you store in OneDrive for Business are private and only those who you decide to give permission to can access them.
Office 365 also enables communication. You can meet with your colleagues or customers whenever and wherever because Skype for business is an integrated part of Office 365. Now you can see your people’s presence, which means you can right-click on their names to start an instant messaging session, and from that instant messaging session with a single click you can start a voice or HD video call, and you can also turn it into a conference call. All of this can be done without you ever having to leave that instant message window.
So why is Microsoft pushing everyone to Office 365? Because it is about mobility, collaboration, communication, and most importantly about staying connected.
Q: When you combine Office 365 with the support that Navisite provides as well as the email security that Navisite offers, plus all of the subsidiary products and services, you really have a powerful combination that isn’t available anywhere else. Talk for just a second about why doing this through Navisite is so important.
A: Office 365 is the tool that is going to lead everybody into the new connected world. The tricky part is that it’s not a plug-and-play scenario, you really need to either have an IT staff that is really good about managing Office 365 or you have to have partner who specializes in managing it. You’ll hear Telarus talk a lot about specialists, having teammates and about building a team of specialists that can help you differentiate yourselves from everybody else in the marketplace. We are that specialist on your team from an Office 365 perspective. Most Office 365 implementations fail when partners try to install it on their own. Navisite offers a real-time proactive monitoring platform, this means that if anything happens to the network we will see it and fix it before the customer even knows there is a problem. We also offer a business continuity package that comes along with it, so if for some reason it does go down and we can’t fix it immediately we can restore all of your customers email in a matter of seconds, this helps prevent the loss of productivity while we try to figure out how to get your email back. We are also the only ones who have a very powerful SLA for support.
Q: How many seats have to be sold? In other words if a partner brings an opportunity can they bring you a single user or is there a minimum number of users that are required? How do partners bring in new customers as well as existing Office 365 users to navigate hosted management of that service?
A: There is a 15 user minimum that we require, most of the very low SMB opportunities aren’t ones that will fit in our world. If you have a customer that has a license they bought directly from Microsoft we can certainly managed it for them, but we will not take over that license. We will charge them a management fee, once their current term expires for their license with Microsoft they can then move that to us, we’ll then take a license and place the management on top of it, after that we will lower the cost of the management. The licenses are essentially the same cost, you can buy them from Microsoft themselves unmanaged, our management fee is about a dollar and a half above that, so they are going to pay a dollar and a half more per license to have our management sit on top of the Microsoft product. If they want to keep their own licenses and have us just manage their licenses it’s about four dollars or so per seat. When they bring their license over to us we’ll lower that four dollars a seat to our normal dollar and a half. All of that is eligible for commission.
Q: Can you talk just a little bit more about what Navisite offers those users who come on board?
A: The management package for Office 365 includes provisioning the email, 24/7 support, business continuity, and real-time proactive health monitoring in hybrid connectivity. Office 365 is our Trojan horse, it is what gets us in the door. It is not high margin for us and we don’t make a lot of money on Office 365 but it does get us in and establishes us and you as the cloud expert for your customer. Once we’ve proven ourselves and built some trust, we can start talking to them about their cloud strategy in general.
Q: Are there any customers that would be considered protected accounts that might not be eligible to come over to Office 365 through Navisite?
A: Yes, for example accounts that are already Navisite accounts are not eligible. You will usually sell Office 365 to those who have between fifty and a thousand users. Anything below fifty doesn’t need a management package as robust as what we offer, and anybody above a thousand users generally has their own IT staff that is sophisticated enough to manage Office 365, plus they’re also getting volume pricing from Microsoft. The good news is that majority of the companies fit into the fifty to one thousand users category, which means you can bring them over to Navisite.
Q: Where can we find out more?
A: There is a lot of information available at Navisite.com/services, they can look up the Office 365 and managed hosting for it on there. Navisite will also be exhibiting and presenting at the Telarus Partner Summit so partners can certainly meet and talk with us there. Remember, you can also contact your Telarus Support team for more contact information.