A personal letter to all Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers
“Building business apps” was yesterday. “Selling business apps” is in trend. Here, my personal meaning about a transforming market and a chance for CSPs in the future.
To all Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers out there; many years ago, in a time where the current CSP status did not exist, you were able to earn good money from margins on Microsoft licenses. My current experience is that most of you are busy with positioning yourself in a fast-changing market and you must look for added value on Office 365. Something you can offer to your customers on top of the powerful O365 platform.
I’ve got an idea – building, maintaining and selling business apps / solutions / processes would be a major asset, cash cow, time saver and quality assurer. Business apps are where the money is, but they can remain “consulting-intensive”. It creates a new revenue stream for professional services companies like yours.
But “building business apps” was yesterday. “Selling business apps” is in trend. Most projects are for a single customer and are not reused, but skybow makes it scalable; a solution built once can be deployed, updated, and maintained automatically on multiple customer environments. Finally, you are able to easily sell added value on Office 365.
Microsoft is positioning the Office 365 ecosystem as the place for digital working. So, the right place for business apps. Everybody talks about “digital workplace”, no question about that. But the offerings for it are very different. Some vendors focus on “Intranet” and “Collaboration” and call it a digital workplace. Others have complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service, says the same, but no Applications-as-a-Service on it.
In my opinion a real “digital workplace” includes everything, especially the things users work with at the end; Business Applications. So many providers miss out on that chance. CSPs, this is your chance to offer your customers an extended portfolio with fully automated Business Apps.
Most of the future IT business will handled over marketplaces or at least automated. Or in other words many companies aspire to move from custom one-off projects to managed solutions, selling a single development effort over and over again, ideally internationally.
That requires a marketplace, and skybow offers pieces of it, having the infrastructure and technology to deploy, licensing, and automatically invoice business apps directly to customers’ Office 365 tenants (or SharePoint on-premises). skybow-authored solutions can also be deployed to public marketplaces.
CSPs, probably you have no resources who are able to develop a process for your customer. Maybe you have more consulting-oriented people. We solve that problem for you since skybow is a low-code platform. That means your technical consultant can customize or even build solutions by themselves. And you are not alone; low-code tools are in fashion, Gartner underlines this with their reports. The reason is simple because most organizations no longer want to spend the money or time needed for custom-coded solutions. Configuration, instead of coding, is seen as the path to productivity.
All what you read next to building business apps is exactly the USP of skybow and Solution Studio: Deploy, update, reuse, manage and sell solutions is a game changer, not only building the solutions. Unlike virtually all other people in the SharePoint ecosystem, skybow has low-code/no-code solution platform that isn’t missing key pieces.
philip, CEO and Co-founder at skybow