Episode 13: Anatomy of an award-winning “born in the cloud” channel partner. An interview with 10th Magnitude’s Jason Rook

A “Born in the Cloud Partner” is loosely defined as “a partner whose business model focuses on the cloud-based delivery of computing resources and software rather than legacy on-premises hardware and licensed software”. 

This week’s episode of Ultimate Guide to Partnering features an early “Born in the Cloud Partner”- 10th Magnitude and my guest for the interview Jason Rook offers the unique perspective of both a former Microsoft employee and now an award-winning partner.

Jason is a former Microsoft channel director who was tasked with recruiting partners to Microsoft Azure in it’s infancy. The relationship that developed with a new partner, 10th Magnitude and it’s founder Alex Brown ultimately led to Rook joining the organization as they demonstrated early commitment, expertise and success.

Jason currently serves as VP of Market Development and is responsible for developing and executing strategic relationships that deliver business-transforming solutions to 10th Magnitude customers and partners. He also leads the marketing function and is responsible for all Alliances and key industry relationships. Rook also serves on The Channel Company XChange Advisory board and is a regular speaker and contributor on the topic and trends in the Cloud and the Microsoft channel ecosystem.

In this interview we discuss 10th Magnitude’s journey, key relationships and how they go to market with customers. “The goal is to help customers take advantage of all the benefits of the cloud to reduce costs, get features to their customers quicker and transform – we are a transformation company”, stated Rook.

We discuss attributes that make 10th Magnitude successful to its customers and have led to a staggering 80+% annual growth. We also explore customer types and the extensive work they do with ISV’s looking to move to the cloud and compete in the SAAS – Software as a Service realm.

Over the course of the conversation we distill attributes that made 10th Magnitude an award-winning Microsoft partner and the 2017 Hybrid Cloud and Infrastructure Partner of the Year. These are great tips for any successful partnerships, as distilled here:

  1. Willingness to adopt and get behind what Microsoft was doing.
  2. Align the business to Microsoft’s priorities
  3. Defined their niche as an “Azure – only” shop demonstrating focused that customers liked.
  4. Transparency – candid conversations with Microsoft about what you can do and cannot do.
  5. Integrity – speaking the same way to the customer without the partner present,
  6. Having each other’s best interests at heart – bending at times to get the deal done.
  7. Partners need to understand the complex of the Redmond giant and get their mind’s around what they “can change” vs. “what cannot change”.

As with each interview, I focus some of my questions on Jason’s professional journey including:

  • Favorite Quote – “Don’t get excited” – there are only so many hours in a day, be calm and don’t get excited by change
  • Favorite book – Seven Principles of Professional Services – by Shane Anastasi.
  • If you had a billboard what it depict – “it would highlight our culture with a series of pictures depicting why 10th Magnitude is an attractive place to work”.

If you have not listened to the podcast, now is your chance by going to iTunes and subscribing or going to the website “Ultimate Guide to Partnering“.  Please review this podcast by going to iTunes and searching “Ultimate Guide to Partnering” and clicking on the album art and hitting the ratings tab. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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Vince Menzione

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