451 Research Case Study

Engaging Microsoft's Cloud & Hosting Partner Community



With 451 Research Advisory services, Microsoft was able to determine which hosting and cloud services represented the highest priority for end customers - enabling their channel partners to focus on the most important growth areas in their marketing strategies.

Services Used

Custom Study

Commissioned Research

Speaking Engagement

Hosted Webinar

The Challenge

Microsoft has numerous hosting and cloud products and services that customers purchase via a community of over 30,000 channel partners worldwide. The company wanted to ensure that these partners were armed with compelling insight and data to drive their business focus and marketing strategies. Microsoft needed to determine how they could engage & educate hosters and service providers to help them achieve success, thereby creating additional demand for Microsoft's products and services. Microsoft believed that a fact-based Market Research program would generate the type of thought leadership that would help their partner community better serve their customers. That's where the 451 Research Advisory team came in.

The Solution

Approximately what percentage of your Hosting & Cloud Services budget in 2015 is allocated to the following services? n=1600

Source: Microsoft Commissioned Study - Beyond Infrastructure: Cloud 2.0 Signifies New Opportunities for Cloud Service Providers

Focusing on cloud services, 451 Research conducted a global survey of over 2,000 IT decision makers with the goal of determining how they are currently using cloud and managed services today and how they plan to use cloud and managed services in the future. This project was completed rapidly (survey design, panel recruitment, eld deployment, and analysis) all over a four-month period. The eld work included both a detailed online survey to assess general trends and a number of in depth interviews to uncover the specific reasons driving those trends. All work was conducted by a combined team of 451 Research analysts and consultants.

The market research yielded a great deal of insight, with one point in particular: The Opportunity to Build on Top of Hosted Infrastructure is Massive.

Microsoft now had industry-sourced customer adoption data in hand, and was ready to create a thought leadership campaign to help their channel partner community drive their business strategies.

The Results

Armed with a 66-page research report detailing survey findings and accompanying industry insight, Microsoft worked with 451 Research to build a presentation titled "Beyond Infrastructure: Cloud 2.0 Signifies New Opportunities for Cloud Service Providers" for their annual Microsoft Cloud and Hosting Summit.

451 Research's SVP Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy traveled to Seattle, WA to deliver the presentation and met directly with a number of key channel partners.

Microsoft also distributed the report's key findings to their entire global partner community and hosted a webinar with our analysts to ensure that all could leverage the analysis in their strategic planning.

Is your organization facing a similar challenge? Let's talk.