Prior to coming to Microsoft just over a year ago, I spent more than 20 years in the industry, focusing on enabling partner success. I considered Microsoft to be the gold standard for partnering, knowing that as a company, Microsoft has always been partner led.
Over the past year, I’ve gotten to see that partner focus firsthand – partners are part of every Microsoft team’s plans. Partnering is considered essential to our business. We would not be the company we are today without this robust and ever-evolving partner ecosystem. When Microsoft established itself as a cloud company, partners also made that commitment, and today, we have more than 64,000 Microsoft cloud partners.
What we’ve heard from you is that you are excited about our technology, you are excited about our direction, and you consider us to be your business partner in driving customers’ businesses forward through digital transformation. You’ve also told us that you’d like us to do more to help you capitalize on that digital transformation opportunity – to help you build a profitable business, to help you recognize and respond to new opportunities, and to help you identify and connect with new customers to sell your solutions.
We agree – we can do more together.
Introducing One Commercial Partner
We’re bringing together partner-focused teams from across the company into one organization. One Commercial Partner harnesses our partner expertise and knowledge – technical, marketing, business development, and programs. It brings together the things that work so that every partner can benefit, regardless of size, business model, or geography.
This organization is not just partner led, it’s partner first, and it was designed to put our focus on your success and growth. All of our partner-facing roles will have the responsibility to work with you in one of these three primary functions:
- Build-with – Whether you need to build a practice, build IP, or build your capabilities, our team of partner development professionals are there to support you. They have business model expertise and are supported by technical and specialist resources. Their mission is to get the right resource to you at the right time to support your success and growth.
- Go-To-Market – Our team of partner marketing experts will help you bring your solutions to market through offers. They will orchestrate with the teams that build with you on the market opportunity and the teams that sell with you on customer needs.
- Sell-with – We are adding a new role to our partner business. Channel Managers have responsibility for connecting the right partner solutions to the right customer at the right time. Armed with best practices, marketplaces, and solution maps, they will work hand in hand with Microsoft sales teams and customers of all sizes and across industries.
Selling your solutions together
Our focus on selling with partners is something I’m particularly passionate about. Many of you have told us that bringing your solutions to market and connecting with customers is an area where you’d like better engagement and support from us.
As part of our commitment, we are investing additional resources into two key programs. The first, Azure co-sell, provides comprehensive sales and marketing support for partners building solutions with Azure. Azure is the only public cloud providing partners with this incredible benefit through which Microsoft sales reps are paid up to 10 percent of the partner’s annual contract value when they co-sell qualified Azure-based partner solutions. The second is our new Channel Managers. This globally distributed force will be 100% dedicated to you and help you sell solutions built with Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office, and Dynamics 365. Together these programs represent a quarter of a billion dollar investment to materially increase our partner-dedicated personnel and add to our new Azure co-sell incentives.
This new, simplified approach to partnering comes at a time when connecting you to the right resources is more important than ever. To fuel even more opportunity in the coming year, today, we announced Microsoft 365, a new set of offerings that include Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility + Security. These offerings are designed to empower all companies and all workers, promote creativity and teamwork, and help safeguard customer and company data.
Microsoft 365 presents these business opportunities to partners:
- Grow by offering managed services that help customers modernize their environments, leading with security. We have seen partners gain up to 50 percent uplift in revenue over 3 years by taking this approach.
- Differentiate your offering by using advanced enterprise services.
- Increase deal size when you elevate the customer conversation by leveraging the broad value of Microsoft 365.
Our ISV partners have taken advantage of our Azure IaaS and PaaS offerings for some time, and have been asking us to make our higher-level cloud services available as embeddable building blocks. We made Microsoft Power BI available this way last year, and now, we will provide Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI to you in this way as well. Learn more about these embeddable building blocks.
Seizing digital transformation opportunities together
Throughout this week at Microsoft Inspire, our annual partner conference, we’ll be talking more about how the new One Commercial Partner organization will simplify and optimize how we engage with you, drive increased collaboration, and foster a culture of work that puts our partners first. Tune in tomorrow as partners and customers join Judson Althoff on stage to share their real-world stories of digital transformation.