Partner Center Technical Corner: November 2022 edition

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Today’s blog is written by Monilee Keller. Monilee is currently the Partner Group Program Manager Director for the team that supports the experiences, APIs, and incentives for our partners and sellers.

Thank you for your continued partnership, as well as your feedback on the first edition of the Partner Center Technical Corner blog series: Partner Center Technical Corner: September 2022.

We hope you are finding this blog useful; we will continue to solicit and try to act on the feedback you have for us. This month, we have extended our focus beyond Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) to include Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and incentive partners.

Check out the Partner Center Roadmap for a view on what’s coming in the next 6 weeks in Partner Center, including technical availability and policy implementation timelines.

We want your feedback!

What content are you interested in seeing for our next blog post in this series? Take our survey and let us know.

Partner Center Resources:

Introducing the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program:

We recently we launched the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and Solutions Partner designations, and retired the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program along with gold and silver competencies. The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program is a hub of people, resources, and offerings brought together to give you everything you need to build and deliver successful solutions for your customers.

The Solutions Partner designation is our new partner badging program that evaluates partners across the Commercial solution areas using a scoring framework for performance, skilling, and customer success. While partners have been able to view their scores across the solution areas in Partner Center since March 2022, the program officially opened for enrollment in October. Please visit the Solutions Partner overview page in Partner Center to review your scores and enroll into the program if you qualify. Visit the Insights workspace to get recommendations on improving your Partner Capability Score, perform self-serve analysis on customer qualification and get data trends on scorecard metrics.

Securing the channel:

Help prevent unauthorized party abuse in your customer’s Azure subscriptions:

  • Protect your customers with multi-factor authentication: Ensure all users in your customer’s Azure Active Directory (AD) tenant have multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled — especially users with administrator Azure AD roles and users with write access to Azure subscriptions. You can turn on MFA easily by enabling security defaults or by other methods documented here: Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication.
  • Sign up for cryptocurrency mining alerts: Awareness through Azure fraud detection and notification enables you to take immediate action to determine whether behavior is legitimate or fraudulent. Once you have investigated and mitigated the event, be sure to call the update fraud event status API to specify “Fraud” or “Ignore.”
  • Take the necessary steps to transition access permissions to GDAP: Review the DAP report to identify and remove DAP relationships that are not required, and use the bulk migration tool to transition to the more secure granular permissions (GDAP). See this relevant partner center announcement: New timelines: Securing the partner ecosystem by transitioning to GDAP.
  • Security defaults in Azure AD: Security defaults continue to roll out across CSP customer Azure AD tenants, which will enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) in customer environments and disable legacy authentication that is often abused by threat actors. This will improve the security posture of customer identities that could be used to gain unauthorized access to customers’ Azure subscriptions. More information on security defaults can be found in this Partner Blog.

New commerce in CSP:

Azure savings plan for compute

Partners in the CSP program can offer their customers Microsoft Azure savings plans to gain significant savings. A savings plan can reduce your resource costs by up to 66% from pay-as-you-go prices if you commit to a fixed hourly spend on compute services for one- or three-year terms. Azure savings plans are currently available only to CSP partners from the Azure portal and are not yet supported in the Partner Center catalog or APIs. For more information, please review the Microsoft Learn guide, Azure savings plan collection and Azure savings plan reconciliation.

New disabled state for subscription lifecycle

A new disabled state is available to help partners better distinguish differences between the various types of Subscription Expired states available. For more details, refer to subscription lifecycle. Partners using the Partner Center SDK should ensure they are prepared for this new state by using the latest SDK.

Software price list supports multiple European currencies

While the European region supports more than one currency, partners based in Europe could previously only retrieve pricing in Euros, meaning they did not have a way to know their unit price in non-Euro currencies. Beginning November 1, 2022, partners based within EU/EFTA and the UK will retrieve software pricing reflective of multiple European currencies. You can read the full announcement here.

Partner earned credit (PEC) update

A data issue with Azure role-based access control resulted in PEC for some Azure subscriptions not being discounted from the invoices. The issue has been corrected and missing credits for July to September will be applied on the next invoice. No action is required from partners to receive the credit, and we’ve notified the billing administrator at partners who were affected by this issue.

Small/medium business (SMB) new customer and upsell promotion

The SMB promotion enables partners to pitch how Microsoft 365 can help prospective and existing customers “Do More with Less” by consolidating vendors, improving their security and productivity posture with a more premium product, or adopting new commerce experience. New and migrating customers from traditional license-based CSP can unlock the promotional benefits. Refer to Microsoft 365 & Security for Partners and the Global Promos Guide for more information.

Rewarding partner performance:

Azure Migration & Modernization Program (AMMP)

AMMP provides an easy path to funding and resources for Azure Expert Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Azure specialization partners to nominate customers for migrating to Azure. With the launch of AMMP Partner-led, partners can now nominate projects directly in a simpler, self-serve interface, discover funding opportunities, understand the steps required to conduct engagements, and submit claims to Microsoft for payment. More details are provided here: Azure Migration & Modernization Program. You may also view an end-to-end demo of the AMMP Partner-led experience at: aka.ms/ammppartnerled.

Payouts Revenue summary page enhancements

A better end-to-end view is available to help with incentives reconciliation. You can use the Revenue summary to look up eligible revenue and the amount of resulting earnings (by customer or subscription), look up any ineligible revenue and learn the reason why that revenue was classified as such, and export data about ineligible transactions (including ineligibility reasons and attributes) to help you to understand why those transactions didn’t earn incentives. To learn more, see: Revenue summary in the Partner Center dashboard.

Insights and Analytics:

Partner cohort analysis in referrals insights

Cohort analysis will help partners understand how other partners are performing, identify the areas where they’re performing better, and get recommendations for areas where they need to improve. This capability is powered by our machine learning (ML) model. To learn more about how partner cohort analysis works, see Partner Cohort Analysis.

Enhancements for commercial marketplace ISVs

  • Virtual Machine Software Reservation (VMSR) insights see VM normalized usage, raw usage, and metered billing metrics. For more information, refer to: Usage dashboard in commercial marketplace analytics
  • Private offer insights on how private offers are performing in the marketplace are available in a new dashboard. This dashboard displays information about an offer such as subscriptions, orders, and pricing model including growth trends. For more information, visit: Orders dashboard in commercial marketplace analytics

Strengthening partner sales growth:

Grid view for referrals co-sell opportunities

The revamped grid-based user experience makes it easy to view and manage co-sell opportunities. You can now view deal details across multiple deals at once and sort them by important parameters. We also launched an enhanced search experience. With the contact validation functionality in Marketplace leads, you can now get additional context on the validity of the email addresses and phone numbers on the leads, making it easy for you focus on the highest quality leads.

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