I want to introduce you to the people who develop Microsoft partner training. Thank you to all of them for their diligence in helping you, our partners, keep your skills fresh and be up to meet customer challenges. And thank you to you, our partners, for doing all that you do test.
 
Hao Tang
 
Describe your job: I focus on making sure our partners have a clear understanding of the opportunities and readiness around Windows, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), and Devices and Deployment in their businesses, and also that our OEM partners have training resources available to help them succeed.
 
What is the best thing about your job? My job enlarges my world. The worldwide coverage truly gives me the opportunity to have a holistic view of Microsoft’s business at a global level, engage with coworkers and partners from different countries and cultures, have a deep understanding of their business dynamics and needs, and provide service to them accordingly.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? I have an “on/off” button to be a social person. Unless necessary, I don’t turn it on.
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? They build the success of Microsoft. Partners are the biggest representatives of Microsoft in every single country, every different industry, and every diversified business model.
 
 
Denis Foucher
 
Describe your job: I orchestrate the all-up partner enablement strategy around Microsoft Azure, across small and medium business (SMB) and enterprise; and, I lead the development of a cloud sales enablement framework for our licensing solution partner community.
 
What is the best thing about your job? People, people, people: the professionals we help by developing their skills, the partner individuals who provide us the feedback we need to do a better job day after day, the Microsoft colleagues I work with every day to deliver the best training possible to our partners worldwide.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? In my spare time, I teach French Wine 101 classes at my wife’s cooking school in Seattle.
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? Partners have always been at the core of Microsoft’s business. As such they are part of our DNA. Without them, Microsoft could not scale, and most importantly our customers’ needs could not be satisfied.
 
 
Robin McQuiston
 
Describe your job: I manage the all-up partner enablement strategy around Microsoft Office 365, across SMB as well as enterprise. I make sure our partners get training and tools to cover the newest in Office products.
 
What is the best thing about your job? Working with the leading-edge partners who are leading the move to the cloud, and great people in the worldwide partner group organization here at Microsoft.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? I love to research genealogy. I also enjoyed completing the Susan G. Komen three-day walk for the cure (about 25 miles) a few years ago, and had a ton of fun doing it (and sore feet!).
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? I feel like our partners are leading the way for continuous IT change in the world, and it’s great to watch evolution in process.
 
 
Mary Sutton
 
Describe your job: I manage the learning path tool on MPN and the application platform competencies (Application Lifecycle Management, Application Integration, and Application Development). I run “Learning Plan” and “MPN association” trainings in the spirit of enabling training access for partners who are getting stuck in the complexities of Microsoft’s system (and I invite any of you to send me email if you need help/training in this arena). I’m also helping to get a transformational process underway that will modernize our training approach and platform.
 
What is the best thing about your job? Two things: 1) each week partners open my eyes to something new about our tools/systems/interdependencies… and 2) I work with fantastic teammates who make me laugh each day.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? I was born in Zambia, Africa, before the country gained independence from Britain. Bonus points to anyone who knows what the country’s name was before independence!
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? Our partners are the first wave of evangelists, bringing Microsoft products and solutions to customers around the world. They validate what Microsoft designs and produces through their efforts to sell it, implement it, and explain it. They often understand Microsoft technologies better than anyone else. Partners have strong opinions about what Microsoft should be doing with its partner training efforts, and they will have more opportunities in near future to make their voices heard than before. They will see our team making a concerted effort this year to obtain their feedback on the training we create for them and the new directions we are considering for training.
 
 
Neeti Gupta
 
How long have you been at Microsoft? Almost 10 years. When I was hired I had told myself I was going to work at Microsoft only for a year, but I guess time flies when you are having fun.
 
Describe your job? I lead the marketing of the Microsoft Partner Network training benefit to our 430,000 partners. My current role also includes business enablement for partners transforming their business from on-premises to cloud (check out my Cloud Profitability Wednesday series), partner readiness for Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Digital Advertising (Bing), and Internet of Things (IoT). I see myself as an enabler, leader, and influencer in this important business transformation process.
 
What is the best thing about your job? I get to talk to Microsoft partners and industry thought leaders on a daily basis. I get to learn about our business blockers, how business decisions get made, and what kind of talent cloud business leaders need to grow their business. These insights help me shape our strategy and influence our programs.
What is a fun fact about yourself? Many partners have asked me if I have been to Bill Gates’ house. And the answer is yes, I have been to Bill Gates’ 66,000-square-foot house in 2004.
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? Our partners have built their businesses on Microsoft technology. We win if our partners win. We scale if our partners scale. And we have a joint mission to provide the best possible solutions/service for our customers.
 
 
Jeannine Woodyear
 
Describe your job: I am a global readiness and community evangelist to a diverse and vibrant community of Microsoft Partner Learning and Development Managers. I also manage the all up readiness and enablement strategy for the Microsoft cloud/hybrid cloud offerings (Hosting, Datacenter, Data Platform, SQL) across SMB and enterprise. In doing so, I strive to ensure that our Microsoft partners and our field skills and enablement leads have the latest and most relevant readiness training guidance, assets, and tools to succeed.
 
What is the best thing about your job? I get to imagine ‘what if’ and have the freedom and empowerment to activate a vision that strives to make a difference in the performance and enablement of our partners, as well as Microsoft personnel in the field.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? I’m mom to a wonderful toddler boy and two fur-kids. When I’m not activating on how to make partners successful, I can be found sailing through the waterways of the Puget Sound and playing match-maker to homeless miniature pinchers.
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? I sit in the middle of a storm of this transformation to the cloud, and Microsoft partners are the key lever to this change. The challenges are never-ending and the sands are continuously shifting, yet the rewards of every win, every partner success, energize me.
 
 
Burke Fewel
 
Describe your job: I manage a team that builds or sources training content for the Microsoft Partner Network ecosystem. Training and skills validation is one of the biggest untapped benefits of being an MPN partner.
 
What is the best thing about your job? I enjoy working with really smart people, and interacting with partners.
 
What is a fun fact about yourself? I grew up near the Microsoft campus and used to ride my bike around in the woods there.
 
Why are Microsoft partners so important? I truly enjoy enabling other companies to be successful. It makes me feel very proud when we hear stories of partners using our content and programs to enable their own company. Our partners are a huge force multiplier in the market!