Case study: How one business tripled its cloud revenue

03 Apr 2019

As a Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP), Arrow is passionate about enabling partners to build profitable cloud businesses.

The following case study demonstrates how Arrow’s cloud team helped enable CNS to triple its cloud revenue in just 12 months.

For details on how you can join Arrow’s Microsoft CSP Program, click here.

The client

CNS provides cloud-focused technology solutions that enable companies to accelerate business growth. CNS provides a range of technology services across Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe, covering a range of technical and advisory support as well as leading solutions for networking, cloud, security and business connectivity.

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The challenge

CNS had been running its own private cloud underpinned by VMWare, Brocade, IBM and EMC. However, CNS found this environment was causing unwanted expenses and inefficiencies. CNS’ Principle Consultant Alex Huntington needed a solution that would reduce overheads and provide a foundation to digitally transform CNS’ cloud services in order to gain a competitive edge in what is an increasingly complex and digital world. Moving to the public cloud was the obvious choice; not only would a public cloud solution be more cost effective than an entire tech refresh, it would provide a future-proof platform for enabling further innovation.

The solution

In April 2018, Alex and his team began discussions with their vendors and distributors, including Arrow, about becoming a Microsoft CSP. In establishing their preferred partner, they required four things: access to the technology, particularly Microsoft solutions; a shared vision to grow within the Microsoft cloud space; a simple and consolidated solution for billing and managing their cloud customers; and personalised support to provide enablement from a sales and technical capacity.

“We chose Arrow as our preferred Microsoft CSP distributor because we shared the same goals and strategy of leveraging Microsoft cloud solutions to guide success. We wanted to move all our customers from our private cloud and decided Microsoft Azure was the best option. Not only did Arrow have the technology, but they had the global connections and enablement support to help us thrive and build our profile as a trusted cloud solutions provider,” Alex said.

“Another key reason we chose Arrow was to have access to their cloud marketplace, ArrowSphere, which provides an all-in-one solution for cloud billing. This was a huge advantage for us because it meant we didn’t have to spend any money or time building our own platform from scratch.”

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Following the decision to partner with Arrow for Microsoft, Arrow’s Cloud Business Manager Denham Williams met with Alex to onboard CNS as a cloud partner via ArrowSphere.

As part of the onboarding process, Denham provided support by ensuring all of CNS’ customers were set up correctly and that the dashboard analytics were configured to provide complete visibility for customer usage, predictive metrics and solution optimisation. Arrow also provided support for CNS’ internal sales team with a complementary demonstration on how to use the end-user cloud portal within ArrowSphere.

“The onboarding process took about half an hour. It was very straightforward and professional,” Alex said.

CNS now use ArrowSphere to quote, procure, provision and bill their cloud services to their customers.

“ArrowSphere provides a seamless solution for the provision of open Azure instances, which gives us the added ability to access licensing from third parties or directly through Microsoft. This enables automation of deployments in a dev-ops fashion, which saves time and money for CNS and our customers,” Alex said.

“The simplicity of ArrowSphere also means non-technical resources can access and use the platform to provide BAU run-rate pricing for Azure and Office 365 solutions for customers, allowing us to get the most from our existing resources without having to invest in extra head count.”

The results

By partnering with Arrow for Microsoft, CNS were able to overcome their challenges by moving all cloud quotes from the account managers to inside sales, saving valuable time and expenses. But the biggest impact has been the financial rewards.

By leveraging Arrow’s enablement support for Microsoft Azure, CNS tripled its cloud revenue in 12 months.

“By joining Arrow’s Microsoft CSP program, we’ve achieved significant revenue growth in the Azure space. By leveraging ArrowSphere, we’ve dramatically reduced our TCO to sell Microsoft because we don’t have to incur the cost of billing and integration. This has saved us thousands of dollars in developing our own billing system,” Alex said.

“Arrow was also able to connect us with experts in additional verticals, such as IoT, allowing us to adopt additional revenue streams quickly.”

By partnering with Arrow for Microsoft, CNS has also provided a wealth of benefits for their customers.

“Thanks to ArrowSphere, our customers now have a more stable product that offers better performance and a more cost-effective hosting solution,” Alex said.

Arrow has since provided CNS with ongoing post-sales support, including technical support for ArrowSphere, complementary solutions for cloud security, guidance to the right education and training resources, and networking opportunities with key people at Microsoft. CNS is now engaging Arrow for marketing support for the Microsoft Sure Step Program to further advance their success in the cloud.

Joining the Microsoft CSP program has solidified our relationship with Arrow to the point that they are now our single point of contact across the solutions that are critical to our business – Alex Huntington, CNS Principle Consultant.

“The biggest benefit has been the relationships we have forged within Arrow. Everyone is really easy to deal with. Whenever we have a problem, we pick up the phone and we get the response we need to move forward.”

“The people are consistently helpful and proactive at ensuring we are successful in the Azure space. They’ve been as excited as we are to be developing and pushing solutions in the cloud, and that’s where the strategic alliance comes into play. It’s great to work with a distributor that’s on the same page and that genuinely cares,” he said.

Joining Arrow’s Microsoft CSP Program is easy and the benefits are vast.

Talk to us today about a true cloud partnership.