Cloud Champions II – Grow your profitability & increase valuation of your business – view on demand and access resources

In today’s Cloud Champions II webinar we heard from Brent Combest how to grow profitability in a cloud-first, mobile first era and how to think about the valuation of your business. If you missed the webinar or want to review the content you can access it on demand.


Thriving in the cloud-first, mobile-first era requires us to collectively adapt our approach to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving market. Customer desires have changed and with that, so have the keys to maximizing profitability. This is top of mind for many of the partners I connect with and question that’s often asked is; how do I craft my strategy to not only capitalize on this opportunity, but do so in way that increases my bottom line and sets me up well for a cash event should I decide to sell or retire.

To address these questions, we engaged a venture capitalist firm who specializes in SaaS as well as a number of thought leaders and partners who today, are already pushing the envelope in these areas.

Through the recent increase in M&A activity in this space, the perspective on what buying entities are looking for and how companies are valued is becoming clearer. There are a set of increase levers, or those things that will help you drive up your valuation, and a set of discount factors that can drag that back down. By understanding each of these and constructing your strategy in way that addresses them, you can not only improve your bottom line, but also establish yourself as a leader among the many partners who today are actively selling in the cloud.

We see partners already developing creative approaches to executing this. These can be summarized into four key areas that include, Creating Scale (the land grab), Developing focus (separation from the herd), Increasing Value (maximizing wallet share), and Creating Stickiness (making customers never want to leave). I want to challenge each of you to think about how your three to five year plan can incorporate these and begin to execute against them in the near term. Our Cloud SureStep MPN destination is where you’ll find many of the resources you’re looking for to help you along the way. You can visit the site by going to http://aka-ms/cloud-surestep.

Lastly, a common theme I see whenever I meet with the very best partners around the world is the concept of being disruptive. Each of them has done something innovative that goes against the status quo. Whether it’s staffing their sales team with very young individuals, driving a relentless approach toward digital marketing, or building vertical expertise in order to own a sub-segment of the market, they all have challenged traditional thinking, recognized that the cloud changes many things, and have not been bashful about being creative.

I look forward to hearing your stories of success and as always, we’re looking for more partners to highlight in our various mediums and events such as WPC. If you have something you’d like to see us share, please drop us a line. I can be found at or @BrentCombest on Twitter.

Happy Selling,

Brent Combest

Director, Partner Profitability & Compete

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group