Three Australian Microsoft partners have teamed up to form an alliance to service customers across the entire Microsoft cloud technology stack as a single entity.
The Cloud Collective was formed by Skype for Business specialist Modality Systems, IT consultants Antares Solutions and managed services provider Quorum. It aims to address the gap in the mid-market as an end-to-end technology solutions provider.
The group said that although Microsoft partners had traditionally been hesitant about working with other partners, these relationships could be beneficial to customers in terms of costs and convenience.
Quorum managing director and Cloud Collective spokesperson Mark McLean said the group "provides the boutique experience the mid-market requires, but maintains the benefits of smaller vendors, such as specialisation, access to senior staff and zero bureaucracy.”
The group has already worked on projects with customers such as the MidCoast Council, UNSW Global, Accident and Health International (AHI) and Evolution Mining.
AHI chief operating officer said that working with the three companies so far has been a highly effective partnership.
“The Cloud Collective partners we use have been exceptional. The model means that we, as the customer, don’t have to worry about communication between different vendors," he said.
"They take collective ownership of the end-to-end project, not just an individual piece of the puzzle. We now don’t worry about one vendor ‘passing the buck’ on issues. At the same time, we still receive the high level of service and access to senior people that we require when we engage specialist partners."
Microsoft has been vocal about its desire for partners to work with other partners, using its Microsoft Australia Partner Conference last year to stress the benefits of forging relationships within the vendor's partner community. Microsoft also began offering incentives for partners to diversify from their usual business models, including marketing funds, training support and co-selling.
Cloud Collective has already recieved backing from Microsoft, with director of partner sales Claudia McIntosh saying: "The Cloud Collective is a great example of partners working together to better service our joint customers."