Every day at Microsoft, we think about how we can bring the highest value to our partners’ development and growth. Our goal is to create more agility for you, help you plug into your customers’ lifecycle of IT decisions and management, and help to close the gap quicker toward sales and profitability.
As you transform in this era of a cloud-first world, the right training at the right phase of your learning lifecycle is imperative. We are doing this by helping you leverage existing and new breakthrough technologies to efficiently and effectively deliver you the newest training. We’re also exploring new platforms and different strategies, all in an effort to improve our offerings to you.
Where we’ve been—and where we’re heading
We’ve already made some great improvements—such as Online Proctoring, which gives you the option to take certification exams from your office or home instead of having to travel to a testing center.
Instead of the classroom, proctored, and face-to-face exams, we’re shifting to a more digital delivery. We’ll offer more on-demand, bite-sized training, too. We’re already there with some training, like the weekly Cloud Profitability webcast series and related Partner Profitability learning path. Each weekly webcast is 30 minutes or less, available on-demand digitally for viewing anytime. There’s also a chat Q&A where you can bring your questions and get answers from cloud experts. The learning path features module, bite-sized training so you can learn a little at a time—or spend a few hours going through all of the training. Through these, you can explore topics like revenue growth, gross profit, and valuation.
To help you freshen your skills and prove your knowledge more fluidly, we’re exploring on-going learning and continuous education. This includes hands-on labs, knowledge checks, in-the-moment testing, badging, and light assessments—instead of the monolithic one-time exam and certifications tied to each product release.
We’re also going to curate content for you, connecting the dots and uncovering the best training from groups across Microsoft—to save you time and provide the best resources to help you achieve your learning goals.
All of these improvements integrate into something fun, too: gamification. This doesn’t just mean games for the sake of games, but working in elements (think badges, rewards, and loyalty) that inspire and encourage you to engage deeper with Microsoft, learn more, and be recognized and rewarded for your partnership. We have plans to integrate more gamification elements into our readiness, starting with a Partner Profitability game to release before Worldwide Partner Conference 2015. Keep your eyes on social media for an announcement.
A new readiness platform
Probably the most significant and tactical undertaking is our upcoming transition away from the Partner Learning Center. You’ll hear more about that in coming months, but the transition will begin in July and encompass the way we host live as well as on-demand events and training. We’re excited to share more soon about the Learning Platform.
The right training for the right people
From a strategic perspective, we’re challenging ourselves to re-think the way we segment Microsoft partners into various groups. Moving forward, we’ll look at enablement across these roles and functions:
  • Business
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Technical
  • Support
These four segments will help us provide the right training to the right people. In the end, this means you’ll more easily find the training that corresponds to your role or task at hand.
Parting thoughts
Our ultimate goal is to keep you, our partners, skilled and knowledge about Microsoft solutions and enable you to do your best at your job. We also want to provide a common, consistent readiness strategy across the world—so that all of our partners are working from the same playbook.
We’ll discuss some of these changes at the Worldwide Partner Conference in 2015. Plan to attend our readiness team sessions, including
  • Get your organization ready for the cloud-first, mobile-first world – partner panel discussion and best practice sharing: July 14 9-10 a.m. Eastern
  • Gamification – Next wave of loyalty programs: July 14 1-2pm Eastern
See you in Orlando!
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