What’s new for Microsoft partners: October 2021 edition

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Microsoft is continuing to invest in the partner network and has rolled out a number of exciting changes and updates over the past several months. As we look forward to future milestones, we’ve compiled the most pertinent news from the last few months for partners:  

Expanded opportunities 

We’ve integrated the Solution Provider Search (also known as “Partner Finder”) into Microsoft AppSource, increasing partners’ exposure to the millions of cloud customers visiting this marketplace each month. There is no action required for partners with an existing business profile in order to receive this additional visibility—though it is a great opportunity to refresh and optimize your organization’s business profile in Partner Center. More information on how to do this is here

The general availability of Azure Arc enabled data services went live in July, expanding cloud revenue opportunities for partners to on-premises networks and accelerating hybrid adoption with Azure Arc. This will help customers stay current, dynamically scale workloads, and better protect their data. 

December 31, 2021 will be the last day to transact Open License program offers as we transition to the new commerce experience in the Cloud Solution Provider program. As part of this evolution, we are bringing Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, and Windows 365, to the new commerce platform in the Cloud Solution Provider program, alongside new features and functionalities for provisioning and billing. Software offers for commercial and public sector customers, including government and nonprofit are available, as well as Microsoft Azure. It remains critical for partners to fully migrate their organization and customers to the Cloud Solution Provider program before the end of 2021. 

Business applications partner offers 

At Microsoft Inspire 2021, we announced new developments relevant to the Business Applications solution area, including pre-sales and post-sales partner offers. Program details for these channel investments are available for review here, and partners can request funding for specific Partner Offers activities here. We have seen positive momentum with this program and are excited to be moving forward with increased investment and a simpler structure. 

Reimagining the partner experience 

We’ve unveiled the redesigned Partner Center, with improvements to navigation and personalization based in partner feedback. All partner organizations currently have access to the new user experience, which will be finalized on November 15, 2021.  

We’ve also outlined several commercial incentives for Fiscal Year 2022 that will maximize the partner earning opportunity and create new value for customers and partners. More information on these incentives and how they correlate to current promotions is on the partner blog.  

Refreshed learning opportunities 

A new recommended training course for partners is our Code of Conduct Standards of Business Conduct (SBC) training. This track provides partners with an understanding of Microsoft values and expectations, featuring an updated video.  

In recent months we also announced new advanced specializations for DevOps with GitHub on Microsoft Azure  and Networking Services in Microsoft Azure. These are both great opportunities to help partners differentiate themselves in the marketplace.  

The latest enablement resources 

We are working to simplify the go-to-market experience for partners by standardizing and centralizing partner opportunity, attribution and rewards. This will allow partners to earn incentives across purchasing motions and better understand their performance, eligible incentive engagements and customers across solution areas. 

As business seek to improve the customer experience in response to post-pandemic customer expectations, our real-time B2C customer journey orchestration capabilities in Dynamics 365 Marketing can help. Featuring With AI and natural language input assistance to engage customers, these resources are generally available to all businesses.  

To better support customers in their cloud transformations, Microsoft partnered with VMWare to create an Azure VMware Solution that empowers organizations to efficiently and cost effectively move existing VMware apps to Azure. Partners can capitalize on this opportunity with the Azure VMware Solution (AVS) Campaign in a Box, which offers ready-to-use co-marketing assets such as thought leadership and LinkedIn campaigns. 

The latest addition to our library of Cloud Practice Development Playbooks is a Data Platform & Analytics Practice Development guide. This reference aims to help partners build intelligent solutions with advanced business analytics and IoT capabilities. 

These new, personalized resources are based in partner feedback and designed to help all businesses accelerate their practice. We’ll keep checking back in to share partner news quarterly, and hope you’ll stay in contact with us across all Microsoft partner channels.