Dan Truax General Manager, Partner Digital Experiences and Programs, One Commercial Partner

Mapping the partner journey to empower partners to achieve more

Woman working at desk

When it comes to partnering with Microsoft, the idiom, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” could not be more accurate. As demand for technologies and services that enable digital transformation continues to expand, we have an opportunity to work together to continue meeting the evolving needs of our customers. Our partnerships are central to our business and, as such, we have an enduring commitment to helping your organization successfully navigate these changes and thrive.

At the same time, many of our partners face unique challenges as a result of the current business landscape. Some are anxious to expedite bringing their innovative solutions to the market to meet the rapidly evolving needs of their customers, while others are pacing themselves as they prepare to navigate unfamiliar challenges. No matter where your organization currently lands on this spectrum, we are committed to providing resources and guidance to support you as you pursue the best course of action for you and your customers at this time.

For our partners to unlock sustainable growth and profitability, it’s vital to understand the progression they go through as part of the Microsoft Partner Network. This ecosystem empowers your organization to join forces with Microsoft’s technology, reputation, training, and global reach to:

  • Build innovative solutions on the Microsoft technology stack
  • Grow your business through our tools and training to hire, develop and retain talent
  • Effectively create and execute a customized Go-to-Market plan
  • Leverage our global brand, sales teams, demand generation capabilities and commercial marketplace to reach new customers worldwide through co-selling with other partners and with us
  • Form symbiotic relationships with other partners to gain valuable industry insights, create more robust customer experiences and larger sales opportunities
  • Differentiate your organization through competencies and advanced specializations

While a majority of our partners have engaged with one or more elements of this process, over time I’ve observed how critical it is for partners to have a holistic view of this journey and to understand how each piece factors into the mutual success of their organization and the network as a whole. In this post, I’ve provided a brief overview of these fundamental components of the partner journey to ensure you are aware of the resources – and associated benefits – available to you and your organization as part of the network.

Microsoft Partner Ecosystem Overview

Build with Microsoft

For any partner, the first step is to build a solution to take to the marketplace. We support your efforts by providing necessary resources, including access to Solution Workspace. No matter where you are in your relationship with Microsoft, we’re committed to your success – offering guidance and ongoing support throughout the full process as you innovate with our technology.

Go-to-Market with Microsoft

Once your solution is ready, it’s important to shift gears and plan for an effective launch into the marketplace. There are many unique variables associated with going to market that can make navigating this process tricky, but it’s critical to get it right – execution can determine the overall success or failure of a new offering.

Our partners should never feel alone during this process – we’re here to support you every step of the way. Microsoft provides exceptional marketing resources that enable you to accelerate time to market, generate more leads, and grow your cloud businesses. From the get-go, you’ll have access to the right sales and marketing assets and resources you need, including digital marketing materials, co-branded content, solution-specific sales collateral and a robust marketing toolkit; all designed to help increase your visibility with, and connection to, customers. These resources, offers, and programs support you with a consistent, integrated go-to-market plan. Leveraging this guidance can save your organization time and resources, while ensuring you’re approaching the right customers in the right way to be set up for success.

Co-sell with Microsoft

To further expose and grow the opportunity of the Microsoft ecosystem, we offer collaborative sales opportunities for partners, or what we call co-selling. This can help your organization to sell to a broader customer base and scale your business more rapidly. Partners can:

  • Leverage Microsoft and the broader ecosystem to reach new customers
  • Engage and co-sell with Microsoft sellers and other partners
  • Be discovered and transact in a world-class commerce platform or commercial marketplace

Co-selling can empower joint sales and revenue through seller-engaged and partner-driven selling with customers worldwide. Co-selling with partners yields larger sales opportunities than those without. And at every point of the process, our ecosystem and technology are there to meet partner needs.

Partner collaboration

One of the greatest benefits of belonging to the Microsoft Partner Network is the opportunity to join forces with other partners. Connect with other organizations within the network and form symbiotic partnerships to help you take advantage of new opportunities – work together across industries, solution areas and geographies to deliver customer success.

Differentiation

It is vital for partners to differentiate themselves with customers to stand out in the competitive marketplace, and this need informs the continual evolution of a number of Microsoft partner programs and services. Microsoft provides ongoing opportunities for partners to pursue silver, then gold competencies that certify a high degree of skill around a specific topic. Once an organization has attained a gold competency, they can then pursue related advanced specializations that will help your organization demonstrate deeper capabilities measured by stringent criteria relevant to specific customer needs. We are constantly working to refine and add new options to help your organization stand out, so be sure to check back regularly for updates. I recently published a blog post on this topic if you’re interested in learning more.

Everything that Microsoft does, we do with our partners and our shared customers in mind – partners are core to our business. No matter where your organization is currently along the partner journey, we’re committed to helping you succeed every step of the way. I’m confident that as we work together, we’ll achieve more for our individual organizations, our customers and the Microsoft Partner Network as a whole.