We launched subscriptions to partners over 8 years ago as a key area within our Microsoft partner strategy to help ensure our partners had a great place to land as they worked to develop, expand or drive a Microsoft practice pre-competency.  Microsoft Action Pack Subscription (MAPS) Partners are critical to the success of the Microsoft Partner Network and our worldwide partner ecosystem moving forward.  Partners leveraging our subscriptions range in size, workload focus and capacity, as well as customer base served (from Enterprise through Small Business).  It is crucial that we continue to focus our attention and devotion to these partners and this space within our ecosystem as it enables us the critical reach and share we need in both Enterprise and SMB – today we are over 170,000 subscribers strong worldwide!

The subscription space is unique in the sense that no partner is the same and each serves a different purpose and audience, all with a passion around delivering great Microsoft solutions to our customers. This area represents a partner base that none of our core commercial competitors like Oracle, IBM or VMware have duplicated.  Our subscribers are a core piece of the network effect we aspire to continue to foster in our partner ecosystem – a healthy range of partners across the world who serve our customers and focus their business around Microsoft technology, magnifying the partner-to-partner and partner-to-customer options against the broad range of horizontal and vertical scenarios.  As our company made big bets in the cloud, we launched an additional offering – Cloud Essentials – to further this vision of development, connection and retention of a broad base of partners to help extend our great cloud offerings as a clear option for our massive customer base.
Despite this investment, we frequently get requests from partners asking how to maximize their subscriptions beyond taking advantage of the internal use rights.  In response, just like the competency space, we work to provide benefits to you via subscriptions across your lifecycle of needs – how to plan your business with Microsoft, how to get your sales and technical people up to speed and qualified to sell and deliver well, how to tap into Microsoft co-marketing assets and sales tools, as well as how Microsoft will support your business.  To that effect, we have created ‘The MAPS Virtual Guide’ which will allow you to learn everything you need to know about two of our key subscriptions - MAPS Solution Provider and MAPS Development and Design - to help answer these questions and foster better connections with you.  The guide includes the basics of the subscriptions, product overviews, customer reviews, and an overview of all the benefits available.  In addition to incorporating information regarding Cloud Essentials, we will also make this a working guide where we can post best practices, and other helpful information.   Check out the guide here…. 
You can also expand your business capabilities by selling and supporting our cloud solutions.  Enroll in Microsoft Cloud Essentials to gain access to the necessary tools and resources (internal use rights, technical support and marketing benefits) to help you build a viable cloud practice.
Two quick highlights:
  1. For our MAPS Development and Design partners, we encourage you to use your 10 Partner Advisory Hours! This exclusive benefit is a great way to help you either with pre-sales competitive positioning or in a general sales situation where you need technical sales support from Microsoft or in a post-sale situation where you would like our best practice view on architecture, configuration or design of a specific solution based on the depth and breadth of experiences of our seasoned technical engineers. Partners who have leveraged these hours have seen increased deal sizes and velocity (as well as greater competitive win rates) on the sales side and higher quality deployments.  Don’t let this great benefit go to waste!

  3. Systems Center 2012 Standard Edition is now available for all MAPS partners!  This product offering is an industry leading way to optimize and manage customer infrastructure in a robust, secure manner.   If you are a current subscriber, we encourage you to download the product now, and learn how it can both help your organization internally as well as how you serve your customers in this critical area moving ahead.


As always, we would love to hear from you if there are additional benefits or changes to MPN we should be factoring in moving ahead so please comment here or send me a mail at julib@microsoft.com anytime.
Thanks for your partnership!
​​Julie ​