Microsoft Azure within reach: Winning the SMB customer

What do SMB customers care about most when moving to the cloud? Costs. Plain and simple. In fact, the #1 motivator for cloud adoption is cost optimization.

When you show them the costs savings, you’ve won half the battle. This is where YOU, our Microsoft partner, come in. Sixty four percent of SMBs want to work with a strategic partner with technical guidance and 62% of SMBs expect Microsoft partners to assist with migration and upgrade.1

That sets you up nicely for helping SMBs move along in their cloud journey. This, coupled with the upcoming Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Windows Server End of Support (EOS), makes now an ideal time to build your strategy and run with it.

Are all SMBs aware that the end of SQL Server and Windows Server EOS support is practically upon us?

Fifty three percent of SMBs are aware and only 52% of those aware are concerned. In fact, fewer than 30% have no plan or have just started to plan! But that’s good news for you.

So, what can you do? This is an opportunity to gently inform SMB customers about EOS and reassure them they have many options, from upgrading to new versions to going to the cloud. Drive awareness and educate your customers on EOS and be sure to leverage the Windows Server and SQL Server End of Support campaign resources from Microsoft. Need additional training on EOS? Visit The Leading Edge and StepUp webinar landing pages to find just what you need for sales enablement and technical training.

Free migration assessment anyone?

One of the best ways to drive small businesses to use more cloud services is to offer a free migration assessment. Free migration assessment is the highest rated offer (most appealing and relevant) across org sizes.  Offering a free migration assessment enables SMBs to dip their toes into migration to the cloud before diving headfirst into a full Azure workload migration. Remember to use tools like Microsoft’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator to help your SMB customers estimate the cost savings of migrating workloads to Azure. You can follow the outline on the Azure Migration Center and then wrap your own services around the assessment to create a compelling offer that SMBs will want to participate in.

What’s next?

  • Educate SMBs about EOS—Launch a digital demand campaign to drive awareness for small organizations that are not currently aware. Reassure them they have many options, from upgrading to new versions to using cloud services.
  • Clarify Azure pricing—Help bridge the gap on Azure’s pricing by providing a cost estimate. Demonstrate how using cloud services can help SMBs optimize costs and ensure partners simplify cost estimates.
  • Start with simple workloads—In the next 12 months, focus on simple workloads as the entry point—such as supply chain/inventory apps, legal/compliance apps, marketing apps, business continuity, data recovery, and identity services— especially when helping medium and large clients ­to migrate.
  • Free migration assessment—Consider offering a free migration assessment to SMB customers to incentivize using cloud services or predictable packaged offerings.
  • Work with an Indirect Provider – Go to market faster and partner with an Indirect Provider

You know that small businesses need you to help them with this transition to the cloud. You’ve acquired the technical expertise to help them migrate to Azure. Build your strategy and boldly go to market, knowing that the time is now to help SMBs realize all the benefits of migrating, with you, a Microsoft partner, guiding them on this journey.

1 SMB Cloud Journey 2018

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