Perhaps US$320,000, to be exact?  You may be if you’re not taking full advantage of the benefits afforded to your organization through your Microsoft Partner Network membership. 

 
As we all work together to close Microsoft’s first quarter—and for many of your organizations a successful Q2 or Q3—we hunt for every dollar, euro and yuan we can find.  Money is on the mind of every seller this week.  Yet, there are many organizations not taking full advantage of the benefits and assets of MPN membership.  Your investment in MPN conveys a wealth of resources to your organization:
  • Internal use licenses across the breadth of Microsoft’s core offerings, including Office 365
  • Technical support incidents, which provide access to technical teams who can assist with customer deployment, bug fixes, and installation support
  • A library of marketing and demand generation assets
  • Sales, pre-sales and technical training and certifications to skill your team for this year’s wave of new product releases.
It is an inventory so vast we needed to call upon our friends at IDC to do the math for us to quantify the value.  If you are curious about how the $320k breaks down, and the value your peers and competitors have derived, you can review the details in Karl Noakes’ recent blog.
 
Of course the decision to leave these benefits unused, to walk away from money, is not a conscious decision for most partners. Most business owners are too busy attending to the challenges of day-to-day business, that allocating time to investigate the ways to maximize ROI from software partners is one of the many destitute tasks, left with the best of intentions. I rather think it is akin to another malady of modern living: the languishing gym membership we carry about in our wallets. Upon enrollment it was our solemn intent to not only achieve our fitness goals, but also ensure that we utilize our investment to its fullest, availing ourselves of the full services membership affords. Unfortunately, for most of us mortals this dream is unrealized, save for the annual four-week pilgrimage we all make in January, frenetically fueled by  fresh resolutions of improved fitness—body, mind, and wallet.  
 
Often the factor that improves gym membership utilization are the hard numbers—the mysterious extra kilos,  the cholesterol count, or the waistline measurements that betray our working assumption that the snugness of one’s pants is owing to a tragic miscarriage of duty on the part of one’s dry cleaner. And it is with a similar eye toward numbers that we hope to increase your utilization, satisfaction, and return on your MPN membership. 
 
The Worldwide Partner Group recently launched a Partner Benefits Statement on the Microsoft Partner Network partner portal.  Available to all managed or tele-managed partners, with a silver or gold competency, it provides a current statement of a partner’s available benefits and respective consumption. This statement, found on the landing page upon login to your MPN account, is currently presented in a downloadable PDF format and will soon be presented as dynamic content within your main landing page, so that you may take immediate action to explore unused benefits. It provides a view of your organization’s current usage of technical support incidents, internal use license deployments, current training and certifications by product or solution, marketing materials utilization, and even data on current performance within select eligible incentive programs. The corporate team is working to expand availability of the benefit statement to all gold and silver competency partners later this year, and is developing a membership statement to serve our subscription membership partners early next fiscal year.
 
So take a moment (perhaps after a renewed visit to the gym) to log on and review your assets and current utilization and explore ways you can accrue additional value from your investment in Microsoft.    We’ve also provided this information to your most valuable of assets, your Microsoft Account Manager. Integrate benefits utilization into your business review with your Account Manager and together build a plan to realize every dollar, euro or yuan of benefit available to your business.  You may also contact your Regional Service Center and the staff can assist with inquiries on MPN benefits.  Finally, if you’d like to speak at greater length on the MPN benefits and how to make the most of your membership (MPN, gym, or otherwise), I would love to have a conversation! Get in touch with me at cgoles@microsoft.com or @carolinegoles
 
Thank you for your partnership and take good care.
 
Caroline Goles
Partner Zealot​