Connecting you to customers is the most important thing we can do to drive your profitability.
While we are always working to improve how we engage with you in the more traditional ways you might think of MPN like licensing, technical and sales training, support and product usage, this last year we’ve been doubling down in our efforts to make it easier for you and customers to find and attract each other.
Whether it’s the way you manage your relationship with your customers, how you market your business to them, or how you find them, we are committed to investing in resources and programs that will help. And it’s working. Over 300,000 potential customers access our referral engines every month, with 1 in 10 contacting a Microsoft partner for more information to purchase.
As our industry continues to rapidly evolve and change, helping our partners make these connections is the single most valuable thing the Microsoft Partner Network can do to help you drive profitability.
We just completed the MPN portal migration and so I thought it would be a good time to share with you some of the ways we have been investing to help drive these relationships.
Creating consistent connections
These days, ongoing relationships are the best path to sustaining your business long-term, so building and maintaining those relationships with customers is paramount. Here’s how we’re helping you become and stay connected:
Helping your customers find you
Defining and differentiating your services in a crowded marketplace is vital. To help you develop a strong go-to-market strategy, we are investing in branding, digital marketing assessment and training tools through Smart Partner Marketing. We’re also gathering best practices from your successful peers though ModernBiz to help you market your offerings to your customers through modern marketing techniques.
A simplified customer message from us
To give you the best support possible, at those touchpoints where we interact with customers, we’re simplifying our own messaging to help amplify your reach and your position as trusted advisors. We want to build up our partners’ brand to help our customers make the best possible decisions for their businesses through the social and digital networks they use today.
One way we’re doing this is through our Modern Biz campaigns, which provide you with ready-to-use assets that align to your customers’ business needs. We’ve recently updated the way you navigate Modern Biz campaigns so you can find the assets you’re looking for in minutes vs. hours, helping you go to market more quickly.
A refined referral process
We are also unifying and refining our referral process to connect partners to customers through programs like FastTrack Quickleads, Customer to Partner Connector, and the Pinpoint profile syndication engine to help amplify your reach in the market.
Easier cloud management
To continue building relationships with the customers you have, you need to be able to manage and control customer accounts. To help you accomplish this, we’re investing to make it easier and more profitable for you to conduct licensing, billing, support, etc., through the Cloud Solution Provider program (CSP). You are the ultimate resource for your customers, and we want to help you meet their needs.
Customer information is critical in helping you satisfy customer needs, so we’re continuing to focus on improving dashboards that give you insight into your customers’ usage and consumption of cloud solutions. The ability to track your customers and identify opportunities to engage and provide help can really strengthen your position as trusted advisor.
Offering customers more, together
With such a complex and rapidly changing technology marketplace, customers want the competitive edge technology solutions can give them. In such a climate, it makes sense for partners to invest in partner-to-partner engagement to extend offerings and enable customers to do even more, and we’re here to help you do that.
Supporting new IP development
New IP providers are entering the market and seeking ways to export their solutions to customers outside their countries. As an established technology provider, you are well-positioned to be their route to market. Use Microsoft’s CSP licensing to connect with other partners, bring new solutions to the market, and advance customers’ adoption of cloud services.
Connecting complementary partners
In today’s market, you have the opportunity to select the vertical, industry, and customer that you want to target. Connect with MPN partners to create first- and third-party integrated solutions that you can deliver to those customers. Find your complementary partners on Pinpoint or connect in person at the Worldwide Partner Conference.
Faster, easier talent acquisition
As I wrote recently, the technology industry is experiencing a shortfall of qualified professionals. One way to fill that gap is by leveraging our partnership with Dynasource to help you find the talent you need. We want you to connect and work together to deliver the most comprehensive solutions possible for our mutual customers; Dynasource is one way we’re helping make that happen.
Less admin, more action
One way to show our commitment to your success is to get out of your way! To that end, we are investing in streamlining your administration with Microsoft. We’re unifying the programs and assets we provide to you so you can maximize your time thinking about your customer and routes to market for your message.
Some of the places where you’ll see this streamlined experience include the ISV and Application Builder Center we launched earlier this year which brings together the most valuable ISV resources in one experience. We also introduced a new Smart Partner Marketing Center experience, including a version for ISVs, that makes it easier than ever to determine your level of maturity in modern marketing, and learn how to take your digital marketing to the next level. You can also find ready-to-use assets in our redesigned Modern Biz experience which guides you quickly to the best content to address your customers’ business needs.
We are also continuing to improve your portal experience through things like improved search. It may seem like a small thing, but we understand the power in things working the way you expect them to. We’ve teamed up with the folks on the Bing team to leverage the power of our search engine in your portal experience so you can spend less time searching through all of the resources available to you and get to exactly what you need.
Technology is surging ahead, and customers’ use of technology is changing just as rapidly—their focus has moved from simply finding IT solutions to solving real business challenges. This shift is allowing partners to deliver more unique and tailored solutions than ever before, and we are committed to helping you fully embrace the opportunity.