Getting started with the Microsoft commercial marketplace
The Microsoft commercial marketplace is designed to help you, our partners, grow your business by connecting your solutions with our shared customers through the same channels and in-product experiences that we use for Microsoft products. Our combined success is dependent on delivering transformational results for our customers. We’re committed to helping you take advantage of the full power of the Microsoft partner ecosystem to build and grow your business, and to develop and go-to-market with innovative solutions so customers can quickly and easily find, try and buy the right software and services to address their needs.
So, what is Microsoft’s commercial marketplace and why can’t you find a store with this name?
Our commercial marketplace provides opportunities to connect with millions of customers and partners around the world. It encompasses the publishing experience where offer information is ingested into the product catalog, Azure Marketplace, Microsoft AppSource, in-product purchase experiences, Cloud Solution Provider experiences for reselling, and Microsoft’s sales team tooling. Publishing into our commercial marketplace is also how partners provide the assets and information they need to co-sell with Microsoft or other partners. As a Microsoft partner, your products will be side-by-side with Microsoft’s first-party offerings in our product catalog.
Co-selling through the Microsoft commercial marketplace provides you with:
- Visibility to millions of Microsoft customers seeking solutions like yours
- Powerful commerce capabilities that you don’t need to build or buy
- Access to Microsoft’s existing procurement relationships (MCA or EA)
- Availability in up to 141 geographies with taxes managed on behalf of partners in many countries
- A robust network of resellers around the world
- Go-to-Market services and Marketplace Rewards
Partner Center is the primary destination for you to manage your relationship with Microsoft, where you can create and manage commercial marketplace offers, view customer engagement and sales reporting, submit support requests, and find revenue collections and payout information. Once you’ve enrolled in the commercial marketplace program within Partner Center and accepted the publisher agreement, you’ll have access to the commercial marketplace tab (Microsoft 365 solutions also require the Office Store program).
Creating offers for Microsoft’s commercial marketplace requires technical and commercial inputs and marketing, and we encourage you to prepare your branding, messaging, sales and go-to-market strategy prior to entering information to simplify the process once you’re in Partner Center. The offer will include a product name and description, videos and/or images and links to learn more or request support. You will define categories and industries for which your solution is relevant and include usage rights and privacy policies. According to your monetization strategy, you’ll create plans, set pricing and define the billing attributes. The technical assets depend on the offer type and will vary from a basic URL to integration with APIs.
To guide Microsoft partners through building out these important pieces of their offer in a streamlined fashion, Microsoft has created Solution Workspace. Solution Workspace guides you as you take solutions from idea to market. It simplifies and personalizes the process of building, going-to-market and selling a solution, directing partners through all that the Microsoft Partner Network program has to offer. Along the journey you’ll find resources to help bring your idea to life, pursue partner-tested marketing and employ customized selling tactics.
- Software-as-a-Service: web app implemented within your infrastructure
- Virtual Machine: image deployed directly into the customer’s Azure tenant
- Azure Application: auto-deployment of multiple resources into the customer’s Azure tenant
- Managed Application: same as Azure App but managed, updated, and supported by you
- Container: image deployed directly into the customer’s Azure tenant
- IoT Edge Module: smallest computation unit managed by IoT Edge
- Managed Service: permissions in the customer’s Azure tenant using Azure Lighthouse
- Consulting Service: professional service to enable customer success with Microsoft products
- Teams App: productivity solution integrated into Microsoft Teams
- Office Add-in: productivity solution integrated into Office applications
- SharePoint Solution: productivity solution built using the SharePoint Framework
- PowerBI Visual: data visualization designs integrated into Power BI
- Dynamics 365 for Operations: resource planning solution integrated into Dynamics 365
- Dynamics 365 Business Central Add-in: resource planning solution integrated into Dynamics 365
- Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement: CRM solution integrated into Dynamics 365
- Power Apps: low code apps built on top of the Power App platform
- Power BI App: content type that combines related dashboards and reports
Leads generated by your offers in the marketplaces are routed to the system of your preference, and customers can buy directly through Microsoft by entering credit card information or adding the software to their Azure bill. Solutions are seamlessly deployed into their tenant or provisioned into yours, and Azure Active Directory single sign-on provides a pleasant authentication experience for their end users.
Every partner offer in our commercial marketplace unlocks sales, marketing and technical benefits via Marketplace Rewards to help grow demand for your solution. Once an offer goes live in the commercial marketplace, our team connects with you to work on your eligible benefits. Marketplace Rewards benefits accrue based on commercial marketplace engagement and sales. The more you engage, the more you get back. The program is designed to support partner offers at the specific stage of growth, starting with awareness activities to help drive the first customers. As an offer grows through the commercial marketplace, it unlocks new benefits designed to help convert more customers and close deals.
Microsoft’s commercial marketplace is a powerful resource that can help your organization connect with new and existing customers in a meaningful way. Regardless of whether it’s your first time listing a solution or you’re a seasoned pro, we’re here to support you with the right resources and guidance throughout the entire experience. I’m confident that as we work together, we’ll be able to better serve our clients and unlock greater scale for our respective organizations, as well as the partner network as a whole.