The evolution of Partner Center: better, faster, more efficient
Making it easier to do business with Microsoft has never been more important. As I explored in a recent blog post, we are committed to helping our partners maximize their potential as part of the Microsoft Partner Network by helping them build innovative solutions, effectively bring them to the marketplace, and capitalize on customer selling opportunities with Microsoft, other partners and directly. This continued commitment to our partners is showcased by the changes we have made to Partner Center, the web-based portal that allows you to manage your partner network membership and associated activities.
About 20 years ago, we developed our first partner membership center. We had hundreds of partners sign up, and that has grown to hundreds of thousands over the years. While we’ve continued to grow and evolve our existing systems in response to changing market dynamics, we have recognized the need to greatly simplify and consolidate our partners’ experience by building a smoother, more integrated user experience with Partner Center.
In response to the feedback you have shared with us, we consolidated our partner functions by creating Partner Center—a unified platform where partners can take advantage of all the opportunities in the Microsoft partner ecosystem. This digital-first experience enables partners to create a customized business profile in the Microsoft Partner Network directory, streamlining the process to connect with customers and collaborate with other partners. Additionally, Partner Center provides a personalized experience based on individual roles within the organization. For example, a sales and marketing manager may see a different view from the person responsible for managing your organization’s competencies and advanced specializations. Partner Center also lets you publish your solutions to the Microsoft commercial marketplace and connect with millions of customers and partners around the world. Here partners can create and manage commercial marketplace offers, view customer engagement and sales reporting, submit support requests, and find revenue collections and payout information.
Partner Center not only facilitates business transactions, but promotes relationship building crucial to driving growth both now and in the long term. Partners can interact within the global community, unlocking opportunities with our sellers, with other partners and with new and existing customers, differentiating themselves in the marketplace.
Including the examples above, Partner Center provides the ability in one place to:
- Create, renew, and manage membership
- Earn, assign, access, and maintain benefits
- Publish solutions into the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace (AppSource and Azure Marketplace)
- Track eligibility and payouts for incentive and investment programs
- Manage co-sell opportunities with Microsoft and other partners including leads and referrals
A robust experience for partners
We will continue to introduce new features for Partner Center to make it easier than ever for partners to do business with us and each other. This resource is now more accessible and secure, offering the level of support your organization needs to scale and build profitability. We have also migrated Partner Sales Connect into Partner Center, so managing co-sell opportunities, including connecting with Microsoft sales teams and other partners, and reviewing and closing deals can all be managed from one online location.
The evolution of the Partner Center is just one example of Microsoft’s ongoing digital transformation journey and our commitment and continuing investment into our partner programs, tools and resources. We firmly believe that as we join forces across the partner ecosystem, we are far more capable of bringing innovative, impactful solutions and services to the marketplace to effectively meet the evolving needs of our customers.