The enablement advantage: introducing a new series
This blog is the first in a new series, “The enablement advantage.” In this series, Kymber Lowe will share her insights as the senior director, Global Partner Enablement and discuss the advantage that enablement resources offer partners and their customers. Parts two, three, four, and five of the series are available on the Microsoft Partner Blog.
At Microsoft, my team’s primary goal is building end-to-end capability among our partners. By offering full-service enablement opportunities, we are striving to equip them with the skills and knowledge required to remain competitive, successful, and innovative. Encompassing technical skill-building, sales support, and much more, we design all our offerings to create and drive market advantage.
Each enablement option has specific benefits for you as a partner, as well as for your customers. By building a deeper understanding of Microsoft technology—along with acquiring new accreditations and certifications—you will be able to develop and deliver more powerful solutions with superior results. A core-element of our enablement programs is training that allows you to not only strengthen your offering, but also learn how to better communicate why your Microsoft-based solutions are the right fit for your customers. The strength of our partnership depends on us making sure we’re providing you with the tools and resources you need to build your business and deliver success for customers. And, as Rodney Clark outlined at Microsoft Inspire, we’re committed to deepening your technical capability by investing in and accelerating technical skills across the partner ecosystem.
I am truly looking forward to sharing advantages at each phase of the partner journey, along with practice-specific sales plays, while also exploring enablement opportunities for key solution areas. My session from Microsoft Inspire “enabling partner growth through skilling” is also available on-demand as a supplemental resource to this series.
Exploring solution areas
Solution areas are aligned to customer needs and are the way that Microsoft goes to market through specific sales plays. They are:
- Business Applications
- Modern Work
- Digital & App Innovation
- Data & AI
Microsoft provides products and services tailored to each solution area and works with and through partners to finetune and customize within these channels. This structure keeps us nimble, allowing us to react quickly to specific customer needs. It also helps you communicate the advantages of Microsoft technology and solutions to your customers – demonstrating how your specialized solution is the best answer to their needs.
Enablement opportunities are mapped to specific sales plays within each solution area, across every stage of the partner journey. Throughout this blog series, I will elaborate on how enablement plays out within each specific solution area. I’ll also focus on our top-priority sales plays, which are where Microsoft is investing the most in our go-to-market strategy. They also have the potential to provide the biggest opportunities for you, as you’re building your practice, going to market, and reaching customers. Using these resources to grow your capability from within will provide opportunities for your staff to enhance and advance their careers and will drive success.
Investing in technical training
A foundational element of our enablement focus is technical training to ensure partners have the skills to stay current with evolving technology. I recently wrote about Microsoft certifications that demonstrate mastery of specific technical skills, and we are continuing to encourage certification through on-demand trainings, certification events, and renewal opportunities.
As I mentioned in my Microsoft Inspire session, we are increasing investment in partner skilling by more than 250% over the next year. We know that many technology professionals are anticipating the emergence of new skill gaps in the coming years, and we are working to mitigate that by putting the most current information and training within your reach. And again, I’ll discuss technical training opportunities in greater depth throughout this series.
Aligning enablement with sales
It’s critical that we align enablement across skilling and sales. Throughout Microsoft, our teams generate customer demand via our sales plays, and we depend on our partner-network to scale and meet customer needs. Our sales-focused resources also include the Microsoft Partner Sales Acceleration Program, which offers business-focused training based on specific sales plays and high priority use case scenarios for:
- Azure Apps and Infrastructure
- Azure Data and AI
- Business Applications
- Modern Work
- Security, Compliance, Identity
The training and assets featured in this program are not simply product overviews or feature lists, but rather proven sales tools designed to drive strategic business conversations with customers. While it’s clear that enablement opportunities have many different forms and focuses, they all have the same goal: better positioning you for success!
Over the next several weeks, we’ll get into more detail on the specific solution areas and customer opportunities relevant to your day-to-day business. I’m looking forward to introducing you to the investments my team is making in how we can grow together.