Celebrating Black futures this Juneteenth

Black businesswoman using cell phone on sofa in office

Today’s blog is from guest contributor Sherlaender “Lani” Phillips, VP of GPUS Channel Sales and Executive Sponsor of the Black Partner Growth Initiative.

Juneteenth (Freedom Day) has been celebrated in the United States for more than 150 years. Juneteenth’s history is rooted in Texas where the last slaves were informed of their freedom on June 19, 1865 — more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021, although the day has long been a day of celebration for Black communities across the nation.

In the same spirit as Juneteenth, the freedom to build, dream, and grow sits at the heart of the Black Partner Growth Initiative. We seek to facilitate this through dedicated support, partnership and enablement of our aligned community, the Black Channel Alliance, and the enactment of special programs that elevate our partner’s success path. The Black Partner Growth Initiative helps further enable partner success by providing critical connection points and resources that promote opportunity.

A community empowered to do more

We’re thrilled to see partners building on the energy and momentum of past years to accomplish so much in FY22.

Over 300 partners invested in their executive sales and cloud business development by registering for the 8-week Partner Learning workshop series. Throughout the year, partners had the opportunity to engage with the worldwide Partner Development Manager (PDM) to learn how to increase business growth and scale. In addition, partners within the initiative also participated in special BPGI programs, which led to revenue increases and new customer attainment; demonstrating the influence mutual investment can have on a partner’s business which will ultimately impact our customers.

This community of partners are also rallying behind one another on a mission to cultivate generational wealth. AppMeetup, led by Danny Brown and Jenny Brown, worked to become a Microsoft supplier and currently devotes expertise to further enabling more than 50 partners through the BPGI Accelerator program. We’ve also seen the tremendous impact from our partner-led community, the Black Channel Partner Alliance, who have collectively enabled 20 Managed Service Providers (MSP) through their flagship Accelerator program.

Partners who are building the future of tech today

Looking forward, we continue to celebrate and uplift the bright future of our Black partners. Partners like Dexter Hardy of Ntegral, a change management firm, who reimagined his business during the onset of the pandemic and went on to showcase a breathtaking 600% growth over the last two years. Catalyzed through funding made available through the Microsoft Partner Capital Fund, Ntegral has accelerated the release of key functionalities and offerings for the organization.

Then there is Tiffanie Stanard of Stimulus, a SaaS platform that allows organizations to make better purchasing decisions. Stanard has engaged deeply with the Black Partner Growth Initiative and recently received capital loan funding which enabled her to hire five more employees as her company seeks to expand their client-base. Stimulus is focused on leveraging their technology to help improve generational wealth building opportunities for the community by restructuring the flow of capital in the Black community. Stimulus is providing companies with the data and analytics they need to make better (diverse, equitable, and inclusionary) procurement and sourcing decisions that they may otherwise miss, particularly among black and brown founders.

Last but not least, we want to recognize partners like Kenya Jones and Kevin Jones of Jones Software corporation, who have invested their time and talent to make catalyzing connections within the BPGI Accelerator program that have helped push their business forward. Complemented by their dedication to the community, their Velocity Learning System is poised to expand virtual and hybrid learning experiences for teachers and students.

We are so proud of the accomplishments these and so many other partners have pursued over the past months and years. We embrace this celebratory time and look forward to building and dreaming even more with this incredible community of partners.

Celebrate the community and the power of partnership. Join the Black Partner Growth Initiative and the Black Channel Partner Alliance as we look ahead to the future of Black tech and commemorate Juneteenth on June 17, 2022.

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