Google and Microsoft partners differ in some ways and are alike in others. A new survey finds Microsoft closing the gap on Google’s early lead in the channel.
Google Apps resellers reported that 50% of their 2014 revenues came from the sale of recurring cloud services and 13% from non-cloud services. Microsoft channel partners received 39% of 2014 revenues from recurring cloud services and 25% from non-cloud services.
A full 90% of Microsoft partners report that they expect recurring cloud revenues to be higher than in 2014, compared with 73% of Google Apps channel partners.
Deployment is reported as the most profitable, followed by business process consulting. Channel partners said custom deployments were the least profitable.
Google Apps partners typically work with fewer than five vendors. Microsoft partners typically work with six to 10 vendors.
Almost two-thirds of survey respondents (63%) said they offer multiple vendors’ solutions in any given product category. In the Microsoft channel, 77% of respondents said they offer multiple vendors’ solutions in each category while 54% of Google’s channel partners do likewise.
Demand for bundled cloud services might not be as widespread as some within the channel might speculate. Only 16% of respondents are always asked for bundles, with 19% of Microsoft partners reporting that customers always ask for bundles.
The top reasons for dropping a vendor are that the solution failed to deliver (54%) and the vendor failed to deliver on promises (51%). That the vendor altered profit margins came in third, at 41%.
Solution providers identified security, collaboration, CRM, and sales and marketing automation as top areas of additional investment.