It was a privilege to be on main stage today at the Worldwide Partner Conference speaking to so many of our partners about the exciting changes we’re making to MPN. I believe Microsoft is at a critical juncture in our transformation when our partner ecosystem is more important than ever, and I am humbled and honored to be in a position to rally Microsoft’s resources, programs and tools to support you to grow your business, as we continue to grow ours. Together we’ll capture and leverage the enormous opportunities of the cloud.   

In my 18 years with the company, this is the most exciting time I have ever experienced at Microsoft. The opportunity is staggering, and the pace of change and innovation is faster than it has ever been. Over one billion people on the planet use Office, and one in four enterprise customers have already adopted Office 365. We have over eight million registered Yammer users, over 250 million people have a OneDrive account and 57% of Fortune 500 firms already use Windows Azure, growing over one thousand new subscriptions every day. There has never been a more exciting time to partner with Microsoft to grow your business, grow your profitability and lead the way into these new markets.
However, we understand that those first steps toward building your cloud and hybrid practices can be the most challenging, requiring you to make new investments and shift your business model. As announced in today’s Vision keynote, we are changing the way we integrate cloud into our competencies to make this easier for you, and to help free you up to invest more in your business. We plan to do this in four ways.
First, we are waiving your first year entry into the silver cloud competencies to help free up some resources. In addition to this, we are changing the primary eligibility requirement to be based on your ability to drive active usage on Office 365 and Microsoft Azure consumption. This means that we will still provide you with exams and assessments to enable you to skill up, but the primary measure of your eligibility will be your success with your customers.
For those of you who have already taken that first step and made that investment, you’ll be granted the new cloud performance competencies if you already meet the performance eligibility targets.
Second, we want to enable you to use the cloud services and increase your personal credibility through your own experiences, so we are enhancing the internal use rights for Office 365 and Azure.
Third, we are providing you with unlimited cloud support through our new Signature Cloud Support offering to help you take your first steps fully supported by us. In the months ahead, we will extend our new performance path to the cloud to CRM Online, giving you the ability to build Office 365, Azure and CRM Online cloud and hybrid practices.
And the value is not just for cloud competency partners. The entry fee for all on-premises competencies will be cut by up to 10%. This is just a first step – we intend to continue looking for ways to lower the cost of doing business with us for EVERY partner.
I am excited to have the opportunity to meet with many of you this week at WPC to discuss these changes in even more detail during my breakout session MD352 – Microsoft Partner Network: Enabling Partners to Win With Devices, Services and Applications, and please stop by the MPN Booth in the Commons to learn more about what these updates mean for your business.
These are exciting changes, all of which align to what will be my core priorities in my new role in the Worldwide Partner Group. These priorities are:
  1. Enable partners to capture the customer opportunity, be profitable and build businesses in the markets we create.
  2. Make our partnership more valuable; make it easier and simpler for you to do business with Microsoft.
  3. Strengthen the Social, Digital experiences, partner to partner connection and community engagement for our partners.
Overall, my focus will be to simplify your engagement with us and to deliver a unified point of view to make it easier for you to integrate Microsoft into your own brand, technology and storytelling framework.
In my time at Microsoft I have had the benefit of working across a variety of product groups, running the business from several different points of view. This has given me a unique perspective, helping me see that we often speak to you, our partners, from silos. Too often providing you with singular points of view, and asking you to integrate our approach, our story and our technologies as you bring them to our mutual customers.
I understand that this carries a big burden and overhead to your organization. Our new CEO, Satya Nadella, is driving a business transformation focused on delivering unified, end-to-end experiences to our customers, and I hope to couple that with my breadth of experience across our business to provide you with a more holistic experience of Microsoft.
I look forward to working with all of you to make these priorities a reality, and I hope you take this next step with me and take the time to learn more about our new cloud performance paths. This is our first step to deliver a more simplified and consistent experience for you to partner with Microsoft. Our goal with the four investments we announced today is to help you take your first steps in building out your cloud and hybrid practices to unlock that Year 2 recurring revenue stream.
I encourage you to visit this page on the portal to learn more about the changes and attend my breakout session for a more in-depth conversation about the changes.