In this interview, Chris Pyle and I sat down for a discussion on partner profitability and relevance during the transformation. Chris is the CEO of Champion Solutions, a premier Microsoft partner based in Boca Raton, Florida who has made the transformation and now shares his advice to help other partners benefit as they migrate to cloud service providers.
Champion started as a IBM hardware reseller and transformed to a premier cloud solution partner of Microsoft. Chris discusses how he addressed the challenge of transformation in positioning his new identity with his traditional customer and bringing his sales organization along. In order to make the transformation, Champion started an entirely new company and brand Message Ops to focus on this new and emerging market.
Chris takes our listeners through his 3-Step approach applying digital marketing to build a new business, brand and market. His 3 steps - Acquire, Engage and Monetize.
- Acquire - created value for potential clients through providing support - he initially grew a follower base of 5,000 members.
- Engage - built free tools, products and utilities growing to 90,000 members
- Monetize - began engaging with customers helping with migrations and supporting customers in their transformation.
This "3 - step" approach ultimately led to being partner of record for over 3.2 Million Seats of Office 365.
By building this new business Chris finally got Champion to break out of its old mold - think Entrepreneur's Dilemma - and transform while the traditional business continued to perform.
Chris recently commissioned a study, "The True Price of Office 365" to inform his community on the true cost of running Office 365 and how he could add value to customers. This study helped him develop a statement of work and better profitability in supporting clients.
Speaking at industry events, Chris cautions partners to stay relevant as clients migrate more and more workloads to the cloud. Chris has also launched a platform to help clients best utilize their investments in O365 - Office365adoption.com.
I asked what makes a great partner and for him it's all about Speed, Innovation and Execution. In today's environment it's fail fast - ready, fire, adjust!
Toward the end of our interview we also discuss career journey, personal pursuits, advice he'd give his younger self, books he values and thoughts to live life.
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