February 2, 2018

Firstline Worker opportunities for Office 365 Partners

By Michael Panciroli

If you haven’t yet considered how the new value we included in Microsoft Office 365 F1 for Firstline Workers could grow your practice, I encourage you to take a closer look. In this blog post I will recap that value, the opportunity for Office 365 partners, and provide some resources for you to develop an offering.

A survey by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services shows that 78% of business leaders say that connecting and empowering their Firstline Workers is critical but only a small number of organizations typically act on this. The same survey shows that increased efficiency is the top driver for business leaders wanting to digitally enable their Firstline Workforce. In other words, investing in their Firstline Workers can lead to improved business performance.

These statistics are compelling, but who are Firstline workers? Firstline Workers can be found in almost every industry, but more typical ones might be sales associates in retail, field technicians in manufacturing or hotel and restaurant workers in hospitality. They are often the primary interface of an organization—those who engage with customers, represent a company’s brand, and see products and services in action. As more companies invest in digital transformation, there’s a growing recognition of the importance of empowering Firstline Workers with modern productivity tools. Consider the new value we added in Office 365 F1. As you can see from the figure below, we included Microsoft OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Stream, Skype for Business (IM and presence), Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Flow, and Microsoft StaffHub.

These new features have been tailored to the specific needs of Firstline Workers and are designed to enable and empower a high performing workforce. StaffHub starts with Schedule and Task Management, which makes it easy to create, publish and access schedules on-the-go, and stay informed when changes are made. You can quickly assign tasks at any time to identify and address customer and business needs at real-time. Workers can share and access notes, best practices and announcements to keep the team focused and up to date. These technologies are built around the central concept of productivity that strengthens communication, community, and culture across the workforce and organization. This in turn makes it easy to connect with one person, a small group, the team or the entire company. Finally, we address the persistent need to onboard, train, and retrain the Firstline Workforce to keep them current and doing the best work possible.


Partner Opportunity

Extend your services

What is unique about this opportunity? Perhaps, except for StaffHub, the underlying technical capabilities required to deliver an Office 365 F1 solution for Firstline Workers are the ones that you already use to deliver solutions for knowledge workers. To capitalize on this offering, the easiest thing to do may be to extend your existing collaboration, security and compliance practices to target Firstline Workers in your existing customer base, thereby increasing your deal size. In my experience as a technical seller, your larger customers will be the ones most likely to invest in empowering and transforming their Firstline Workforce at scale. The size of the Firstline Worker employee base is significantly greater than the corresponding number of knowledge workers within these organizations. Of course, Firstline Workers certainly represent an opportunity in smaller customers also.

Help your customers

Many customers will need partners to assist them with migrating, managing, and supporting these users. Minimizing security risks and the cost of addressing security breaches related to the Firstline Workforce, who often have access to sensitive customer information, is a top priority. Consider packaging the specific services and solutions they will use to address a typical requirement for workers in the frontline into a Firstline Worker offering that will help customers understand the value of empowering their Firstline Workforce. Differentiate your offering by customizing your solutions —extend the services and leverage the Graph API.

For specific suggestions on the types of solutions and services you can deliver, have a look at the partner decks below. What you’ll find is that the Firstline Worker scenarios are rich with possibilities to provide unique partner value and create additional revenue streams.

Partner Resources

To learn more, visit the Firstline Worker website for partners, where we have an extensive set of resources to help you build your skillset, view demos, and read partner success stories. Check out the resources in the “Launch your offer” section for guidelines and suggestions on the types of services and solutions you can provide. We also guide you through the process of creating a Firstline Worker offering.

Please join us for our February Modern Workplace Productivity Partner Community call – Firstline Workers: An opportunity to grow your business on February 9 at 10 am PT to learn more about the growth opportunities for your existing practice, and how you can help customers understand the untapped potential of their Firstline Workforce.

Modern Workplace Technical Community

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