ISV 101: navigating Microsoft ISV partnerships
Our guest contributor for today’s blog is Alaric Wilson, Senior ISV Partner Development Manager.
Whether you’re a first-time app builder, migrating from another cloud provider, or seeking to boost sales through our platform, the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program offers a wealth of resources to Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners. Our ecosystem of tools and resources is designed to accelerate cloud innovation, develop and deepen your capabilities, and expand your reach through Microsoft channels. How you use these benefits will depend on the specifics of your business, and we are here to guide you through the steps that will support your growth and profitability. In this blog, I’ll help answer one of the most common questions we hear from ISVs: “how do I make the most of my partnership?“
Being a Microsoft partner grants you access to exclusive offerings tailored to whichever stage your business is in: ideation, building, or growing and accelerating sales. Eligibility is based on your organization’s size and maturity, but be assured that there is something for every organization — and you can choose the offering(s) best aligned to your stage, with the benefits most valuable to you. Let’s explore these benefits and the complementary opportunities for ISVs:
Build with Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub
Entrepreneurs building their business from the ground up need look no further than Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub. Designed to support founders from idea to exit by removing the traditional barriers to founding a tech company, Founders Hub provides everything you need to establish your business. Here, you can grow at your own pace with Microsoft tools and platforms, guidance from business leaders and technical experts, and startup-friendly offers from Microsoft partners including OpenAI, LinkedIn, Bubble, Stripe, and more.
Benefits in Founders Hub are built to grow alongside your company and include:
- Azure cloud credits to build your product, and free 24/7 Azure Standard Support.
- Up to 20 seats for a one-year subscription to GitHub Enterprise.
- Four LinkedIn products to help startups hire talent, find customers, and build their brand.
- A one-year, 10-seat subscription to the Microsoft 365 Business Standard suite, including Teams, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and more.
- Access to the Mentorship Network, Curated Guidance, and Azure Technical Advisory Hours.
Develop, extend, and sell through ISV Success
For existing ISVs seeking to build well-architected applications and grow sales, we are excited to share the launch of ISV Success (now in public preview). A tailored pathway in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, ISV Success offers a core benefits package that includes a developer sandbox of cloud credits across the Microsoft Cloud, best-in-class developer tools (including GitHub and Visual Studio), and curated skilling and content for ISV application and publishing scenarios. Participants also receive technical advisory hours, architecture reviews, consultations to support their publishing in the Microsoft commercial marketplace, and access to communities and events. And, as previously shared, we have expanded offerings coming soon for qualifying ISVs. Success program participants can be eligible for additional cloud credits and up to 50 hours of business and technical consultations. This new expanded benefits package for qualified ISVs will be made available later this year.
Once your applications are published, ISV Success creates a positive feedback loop with Marketplace Rewards: go-to-market benefits at each stage of growth help you progress to the next stage, in turn unlocking new benefits which support you in your next phase of growth. Whether your offer is List, Trial, Consulting or Transact, you can access various benefits such as press releases, blog articles, and cloud credits.
Go-to-market in the cloud with the commercial marketplace
The Microsoft commercial marketplace is the most partner-focused business platform in the industry and is dedicated to helping partners reach more customers, simplify sales, and unlock growth. Reach every Microsoft customer, whether that is through storefronts (Microsoft AppSource and Azure Marketplace), in-product experiences, scaling through other partners, or selling with Microsoft.
The commercial marketplace allows you to provide real value for customers by offering a trusted buying experience that simplifies the purchase and deployment of SaaS and cloud-based solutions while helping customers maximize the value of their cloud investments. On marketplace, customers with a Microsoft Azure cloud consumptions commitment can count their purchase towards their commitment when they buy eligible solutions.
Learn how to publish your solution on the commercial marketplace by visiting our live and on-demand marketplace office hours. If you have already started to publish on the marketplace, tap into the marketplace rewards. Partners using Marketplace Rewards get 5Xs more sales than partners without Marketplace Rewards activated. Get curated marketing support and unlock more rewards — including Azure cloud credits — as you sell more.
Designations for ISV solutions
As we recently announced, we are expanding Solutions Partner designations to include options that differentiate our partners that develop software: our independent software vendor (ISV) partners.
Designations for ISV solutions are aligned to how Microsoft goes to market and how customers are buying: by industry (e.g., finance, retail); by use cases across industries (e.g., security); and by specific imperatives of line-of-business leaders (e.g., marketing and sales). These designations distinguish an application’s specific capabilities and help customers identify proven solutions for their business needs.
These designations will augment into the existing Solutions Partner designations within the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program. The first available Solutions Partner designations are anchored on the Microsoft Cloud in six solution areas aligned to how Microsoft goes to market. By attaining designations, partners demonstrate their organization’s capabilities in delivering customer success in the solution areas.
We will share more information on the upcoming ISV designations at Microsoft Inspire. For additional resources, please visit the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program FAQ and the ISV growth page on our partner website.
Whatever your business’ size or maturity level, Microsoft has offerings specially designed for ISVs. Build your business from any stage in Founders Hub, or scale growth with go-to-market resources. ISV partners may also join the recently launched Marketplace Community, a new hub that connects you directly to Microsoft team members and enables powerful feedback opportunities. I’m excited about the opportunities we are co-creating with ISVs as we continue to optimize the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program as a place for all partners to thrive.