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How to Become a World-Class MSP in 3 Steps


There are many benefits to successfully achieving top-level status as a world-class Managed Services Provider (MSP), including heightened exposure and visibility among your target market, enhanced credibility and a deep sense of trust with prospective and existing customers, and increased brand recognition and preference among your customers. When it comes to Microsoft, the one recognition that has become the accepted standard to identify the top echelon of MSPs is the Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider certification.

Therefore, one way to cement your status as one of Microsoft’s best MSPs is to pursue and earn the Microsoft Azure Expert MSP certification. It’s a simple formula, but a challenging task to accomplish. Truly, only the best MSPs selling Microsoft Azure will earn this premier distinction. Microsoft has placed stringent requirements on attaining expert status and plans to grant this prestigious designation to only a limited number of companies worldwide.

However, the rewards of certification far outweigh any obstacles you may encounter. Along with the benefits already noted, Microsoft awards Azure Expert MSPs with exclusive incentives and perks. If you have aspirations for your company to become certified for the first time, or to get re-certified, we’re here to help. Our CloudBlue solution fulfills the technology component for this prestigious designation right out of the box. But first, let’s step back for a moment and take a big picture view of how your company can achieve this premier recognition. Here are the three major steps:

Step 1: Demonstrate Industry-Leading Expertise

Becoming a world-class MSP starts with the team of people you have in place. You need a group of experts to guide customers through their transition from on-premise technology to the cloud, including system architects, cloud analysts, database engineers and Azure certified professionals. It’s essential that a number of team members—at least 15 people—hold certifications in Microsoft Azure and other various cloud technologies. These individuals will help customers assess their current environments, rearchitect their systems and provide other types of assistance to help them move to the cloud as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, as well as support them once they are there.

As a top-tier MSP, you’ll have outstanding leaders guiding your company that have the understanding that there’s more to the cloud than just moving there. Your company has to have the ability to lead the entire process from on-premise to the cloud from the beginning to the end, with the ability to assess customer readiness and needs. You’ll need to look for right sizing and cost optimization—spending the least amount possible on maintenance while ensuring security. If not all of this talent is in place at the outset, looking to a cloud partner to supplement your expertise is a smart move to fill any gaps.

Step 2: Develop World-Class Processes

To be among the best and brightest MSPs, as you help your customers move to the cloud, you need to create and follow well-defined, step-by-step processes. As a top MSP, you’ll have created extensive documentation that defines your processes in detail and allows anyone to come into their roles in the company and perform at the highest levels.

Along with this, your corporate structure and operations must be solid, earning you a reputation as a stalwart in the industry. And, you’ll be able to prove your company’s strength by sharing company financials—a requirement of certification.

In addition, your company’s operational excellence should result in a wide variety of customer successes in a variety of different areas, including design, migration, consulting, customer satisfaction, security and support. As a top-tier MSP, you will have an easy time demonstrating a number of customer wins.

In addition to processes, it’s also important to have the right tools in place, including those that give you insights into Azure accounts, landscapes and architecture and those that assist in assessment, migration and support.

Step 3: Build or adopt a powerful cloud management platform

Along with developing industry-leading expertise and implementing well-defined processes, it’s essential to bring on a cloud management platform—a required element of the Azure Expert MSP program. Your company may choose to create one on your own or adopt an existing platform from a partner. Developing a cutting-edge yet home-grown cloud management platform will require extensive staff time, in-depth knowledge and skills, and significant investment.

However, there’s a better option. According to a recent Forrester research study, using the CloudBlue platform greatly reduces resource and operational costs, providing multi-million-dollar savings in go-to-market expenses over three years. The platform meets the technology requirements for the Azure Expert MSP certification out of the box. Using CloudBlue, Ingram Micro Cloud became the first distributor in the world—again, the first—to earn the Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Services Provider certification, thanks to the power of the platform.

We’re proud to share this premier certification with other leading companies, including Accenture, Tata Data Systems and HP. And, we’re here to help you do the same. For more information and to get started, contact us at together@cloudblue.com.

Mike Jennett, Director of CloudBlue Platform Strategy, is an accomplished business and technology executive. With a deep focus on product development and go-to-market strategy, he plays a pivotal role driving strategic growth and market expansion. Mike’s career is characterized by his adeptness in driving technological advancements and his commitment to leading digital transformations with experience including IDC where he was VP of the Mobility and Digital Transformation IEP practices, and HP where he held numerous leadership roles. Mike’s expertise is also reflected in his published works and contributions to multiple tech publications. Mike holds a B.A. from California Polytechnic University.
Having previously to strategic product management, agile transformations, and user experience in CloudBlue, Taylor Giddens heads the Services & Solutions team where he ensures smooth delivery, operations and solution growth for our partners and customers.

The team includes technical account management, managed services, support, custom solution development, and customer enablement.

Prior to CloudBlue, his resume boasts leadership of some of the world’s largest companies during their digital transformations and marketplace launches. Taylor is a practitioner of servitude leadership when it comes to enabling his team to drive positive outcomes on the road to operational excellence.
Laurens van Alphen, a visionary entrepreneur with over 29 years of internet technology expertise, serves as Director of Technical Managed Services at CloudBlue, responsible for Operations and Delivery of CloudBlue SaaS.

As a Dutch racing champion and car enthusiast, he brings the same drive to the tech realm, steering Keenondots from a managed hosting firm to a global cloud enablement leader. Laurens is celebrated for his outcome-driven leadership, deep industry insight, and passion for balancing business innovation with client engagement.
Lincoln Lincoln is CloudBlue’s Head of Global Sales; having been with the company since November 2017. Leading CloudBlue’s global go-to-market organization, he’s responsible for driving accelerated and sustained mutual growth with CloudBlue’s customers and partners, as well as forming new customer partnerships across the Vendor and Provider ecosystem. As part of CloudBlue’s leadership team he is responsible the organisation’s revenue and continued market leadership by delivering and supporting products, services and solutions to organizations in established and new markets around the world.

Before joining CloudBlue, Lincoln was AppDirect’s Regional Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, responsible for forming, building and leading AppDirect’s business and operations across the APJ geography. He built and led AppDirect’s fastest growing and highest performing region globally within 3yrs.

Before joining AppDirect, Lincoln was EMC’s Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, APJ, working with the leading Service Providers to maximise their Cloud Business presence & market success. Lincoln joined EMC in 2007, and has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, having been based out of Singapore, Australia and the UK. Prior to EMC, he was in range of sales and channel positions at Symantec and VERITAS.

Lincoln has an Honours degree in Business Administration from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.
Brent Clooney is the Executive Director and Associate General Counsel for Ingram Micro Inc., and lead counsel for CloudBlue.

Brent is a Canadian based corporate lawyer with more than 20 years of experience as a strategic legal advisor both in private practice and as in-house counsel to large multi-national companies. Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2008, he worked at a well-respected corporate law firm in Toronto, Canada and later served as general counsel for Toshiba Canada. During his 15-year tenure at Ingram Micro, he has held positions of increasing complexity and responsibility, and since being promoted to his current role in 2022, Brent is the legal lead for both Ingram Micro’s Canadian and global cloud businesses, as well as CloudBlue.

Brent holds a law degree (LL.B.) from Queen’s University, a Psychology degree (B.A. Honours) from Lakehead University, and has been admitted to the bar in Ontario, Canada since 2002.
Anurag serves as the Head of Product Management for CloudBlue and is responsible for product direction and driving innovation. His leadership has been marked by a keen focus on customer needs, growing the ISV ecosystem, and ensuring the continual evolution of CloudBlue’s product portfolio.

Anurag joined Ingram Micro in 2017 and has been instrumental in, positioning CloudBlue as an industry leading monetization platform for MSP’s, Telco’s and Distributors. Previously Anurag worked at Oracle and Microsoft where he managed many technology projects and programs.
As VP of Engineering of CloudBlue, Rony oversees the development and engineering efforts of the company. He is a recognized leader with more than 25 years of experience in Technology and Product.

Prior to joining CloudBlue Rony lead the R&D efforts at Tripwire acquired by Thoma Bravo, and Cedexis acquired by Citrix. Rony is a leader with extensive experience in transforming both complex technology problems into products that customers love and disjointed organizations into agile high performing teams.
Coen is a distinguished leader and entrepreneur in the realm of cloud technology. Currently serving as CEO of Keenondots and the Global Director of CloudBlue SaaS. He is passionate about driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and leading high-performing teams to achieve transformative results.

With a background as Managing Director of INTO Cloud and a pivotal role as Director of Products of KPN, he brings a wealth of experience in steering organizations through the complexities of the digital landscape.

Beyond the boardroom, Coen is a marathon enthusiast, demonstrating endurance and discipline in pursuit of both professional and personal goals.
Alyson has over twenty years of experience in demand generation, marketing automation and data management. She is responsible for leading the strategy and direction of the company’s brand, performance, and digital marketing.

Prior to CloudBlue, Alyson served as Ingram Micro’s Director of Global Business Intelligence Marketing Automation driving channel partner campaigns. Her tenure in marketing leadership at prestigious companies such as Western Digital, Ocean Institute celebrates redefining marketing campaigns and building top performing teams based on trust, experimentation, and results.

Alyson resides with her husband and three children in Orange County and is an active volunteer and donor within her children’s sports and education programs.

Darek Tasak is leading Customer Success & Value Creation for CloudBlue. In his role, he looks after CloudBlue customers globally during the entire lifecycle of our relationship: from the initial on-boarding, through in-life account management, always ensuring they build successful businesses leveraging our technology. Additionally, he is also in charge of Partnership & Alliances, as well as Pricing Management for everything we commercialize.

Before CloudBlue, Darek managed Ingram Micro’s Services division for hi-tech customers in Europe & APAC. His prior experiences include also launching and leading pan-European services business for TDSynnex, as well as strategy consulting with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

As President of CloudBlue, Uddhav is a distinguished leader and visionary with nearly two decades of platform-building experience. He is an industry leader in digital commerce, the subscription economy, and monetization platforms.

Notably, at SAP, he spearheaded the transformation of their platform business into a multi-cloud platform-as-a-service, offering enterprise and developer-friendly subscription models. At Pure Storage, he championed the efforts to successfully disrupt the storage industry by creating revolutionary Storage-as-a-service, AIOps-as-a-service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-service offerings with cutting-edge features and establishing a sophisticated subscription commerce infrastructure that is channel-friendly.

At CloudBlue, Uddhav guides and empowers businesses to rethink their monetization strategies by unlocking the power of digital ecosystems and marketplaces. CloudBlue provides enterprises with a mature multi-tier, multi-channel marketplace and monetization platform that enables usage-based subscription models and global delivery of Anything-as-a-Service solutions. Uddhav has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the subscription economy through his innovative thinking and impactful contributions.

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