Engaging diversity and inclusion through the commercial marketplace - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

Engaging diversity and inclusion through the commercial marketplace

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Today’s blog is from guest contributor Charlotte Yarkoni, President of Commerce + Ecosystems.

As we conclude Women’s History Month, I am reminded of our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. This mission is far-reaching and applies to many facets of business as we work to support and represent all voices from all backgrounds.

We are continuously looking for ways across our ecosystem and channels to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront. As the Microsoft commercial marketplace continues to grow and mature, we have an opportunity — and an obligation — to foster collective movement toward greater diversity and inclusion through our actions and partnerships.

Surfacing all voices through the marketplace

We know that increased diversity leads to more innovation. A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with above average diversity produced 19 percent more of their revenue from innovation than companies with below average diversity. More voices around the table will always lead to the most creative, innovative, and profitable solutions.

To help empower our partner ecosystem to connect with customers to intentionally align on shared values, we have expanded features and functionality in the marketplace. Customers can now search for partners who align with specific credentials, requirements, and certifications. For example, a customer looking for a supplier relationship management solution and interested in purchasing from a minority-owned business can search for those specific certifications within the marketplace. This not only helps partners differentiate themselves, but also helps customers identify and procure from suppliers with shared corporate values.

Making connections easier

For partners with solutions on the commercial marketplace, the process of identifying their company with specific credentials and certifications is as simple as filling out their business profile in Partner Center. Partners can self-attest to relevant diversity business classifications by selecting the appropriate checkboxes in their company profile. Businesses with relevant social impact or diverse business third-party certifications may also upload valid certification documentation directly and it will be vetted by Microsoft (learn more here).

I am proud of how our marketplace is making it easier for companies of every size to differentiate and promote themselves while connecting directly with like-minded customers. A few of our partners recently shared their thoughts on this opportunity:

  • Icertis embraces diversity and believes in acting with integrity across all business relationships. Microsoft shares these values, and partnering together enables us to connect with customers through marketplace to help more businesses establish purpose-driven supply chains and ethical sourcing practices with contract intelligence.”
    – Deanna Lanier, Chief Strategy Officer, Icertis

  • “Identifying as a diversity-owned company acknowledges the LawToolBox commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. This commitment to diversity aligns with the values of many customers, partners, and team members. It also provides LawToolBox with a competitive edge in the marketplace, as it empowers us to broaden our vision and approach business with an open mind.” – Carol Lynn Grow, COO, LawToolBox

We are excited to bring these opportunities to the marketplace and see the amazing connections that develop through our partner and customer ecosystem. You can connect with us at our spring marketplace community event on April 19, where we will show additional details about how marketplace has a more intentional focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. And, for all of March, the marketplace community created a series interviewing women leaders in technology — you can read the most recent story here.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to expand opportunities through diversity and inclusion to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.


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    Senior leaders and subject matter experts from across Microsoft are regularly invited to contribute to the Microsoft Partner Network blog. They explore relevant topics and provide valuable insight into the strategies, tools, trends and differentiators that help our partners thrive.