A Go-To-Market expert has issued four tips on how to win big with Microsoft Copilot, as he branded it “the biggest opportunity for MSPs to differentiate since public cloud”..
But the opportunity will go begging if MSPs don’t position themselves correctly for mass adoption, xpandly CEO Jay Janes has cautioned.
Here he runs IT Channel Oxygen through the four ways MSPs can ensure they are leading the pack.
1. Seeing is believing
How MSPs visualise Copilot will be “very important from a marketing perspective”, Janes counselled.
“You actually need to record it in action for it to have a meaningful impact,” he explained.
“Saying ‘you can put in a prompt and it will write an Excel formula for you’ is fine, but actually visualising that through short-form video is more impactful for an end user.”
“Especially from an end user research perspective. Search is moving more and more to platforms like YouTube and TikTok, so a video marketing strategy around Copilot is going to be critical.”
2. Champion ‘super users’
Upon its general release last month, Bytes CEO Neil Murphy branded Copilot for 365 a “significant tailwind for the entire channel”.
But due to the $30 per user, per month price tag, very few SMBs will move to roll out Copilot across all users initially, Janes warned.
MSPs should instead look to identify “super users” within their customers, he advised.
“Copilot was a very big launch in the channel. There’s a lot of buzz about it. But the reality is that the end customers of MSPs probably have no idea what it is,” Janes said.
“You might get one or two users at forward-thinking SMBs testing it, and really that’s what MSPs should be aiming for initially.
“They should be championing a super user within an organisation who will act as an internal case study on Copilot. They should be handholding this person. Sponsor their licenses, and have regular check-ins to create a dataset to prove best-use cases.”
3. Get your story points straight
MSPs should also focus on building key Copilot story points, Janes advised, noting that it is acutely “not an AI story”.
“It’s a productivity story; it’s a tooling innovation story; and it’s a story about what tools they have to make employees’ better at their jobs,” he explained.
MSPs should single out a Copilot champion within their own organisation who can properly articulate its benefits to customers, Janes added.
“All of those story points really need to repeated throughout the channel. It’s not just the responsibility of the MSPs – distributors should be helping the MSPs because they’re the ones with the resources,” he said.
4. Be prepared
With Copilot mass adoption a year or two off, preparedness is “more important than haste”, Janes said.
“By preparedness, I mean having a long-term strategy in terms of marketing and having an onboarding and training plan,” he explained.
“AI is not going away, so there’s no immediate hurry.
“SMBs will only start to adopt Copilot at scale over the next 12, 24, 36 months. It’s the MSPs who position themselves as experts now that will eventually win all of those SMB customers, in exactly the same way it happened with public cloud and Microsoft Azure.”
Microsoft Copilot will be one of the topics discussed during an ‘MSP Masterclass’ xpandly is holding on 28 March.
Copilot is “probably the biggest opportunity for managed service providers and distributors to differentiate since the public cloud”, Janes said.
“But it’s the MSPs who really dedicate resources to having a go-to-market plan who will win over the next two to five years,” he concluded.
This article was produced in association with xpandly and is classified as partner content. What is partner content? See more here.