Partner investments and incentives portfolio: prioritizing for the cloud - Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program

Partner investments and incentives portfolio: prioritizing for the cloud

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We believe in the power of partnership. Our partnership model is built to support sustained impact and the success we all share when we help customers achieve exceptional outcomes. Today, driven by the pace of digital transformation and the opportunities of the intelligent cloud and intelligent devices at the network edge, we’re continuing to set our partners up for growth by prioritizing investments that support new opportunities, incentivizing strong results for customers, and making it easier for partners to do business with Microsoft.

We want to recognize partners for the value they bring to customers. Partner investment and incentive programs are designed to reward partners when they deliver strategic solutions to drive exceptional results for customers. This year, we are simplifying earning opportunities across programs and maintaining stability in investments that focus on providing flexibility for partners and customers.

Our investment and incentives focus for fiscal year 2021 (FY21) is centered on three priorities to help partners meet customers’ needs for cloud-based solutions:

  • Enable new ways of working: We are prioritizing our programs to reward partners on transforming how teams work and increase organizational productivity. 
  • Facilitate partner growth: We are adjusting our programs to prioritize opportunities that help partners differentiate, enhance their offerings, and drive more value to customers.  
  • Accelerate customer digital transformation: We are rewarding partners for enabling and supporting our customers’ journey to the cloud.

These priorities are foundational to this year’s individual incentive program changes. Details about each incentive program can be found on the Microsoft partner website. Below is an overview of FY21 program updates.

  • Cloud Solution Provider incentives. We continue to invest in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programs to provide more flexibility for building deeper engagement and successful customer outcomes. While we shift our focus amongst certain investments, we remain committed to the cloud opportunity, and our overall investment in these incentive programs remains stable in fiscal year 2021.
  • Enterprise incentives. We are shifting rewards towards advisory services and solutions that drive consumption and usage of cloud services and adjusting Enterprise incentive rates to move away from transaction-based and on-premises licenses. Partners can develop an enduring business through value-added services coupled with CSP and prioritizing opportunities for strategic products such as Modern Work Premium M365 E5.
  • Increased rewards for technical and solution area expertise. We want to support partners for developing expertise that fuels success and meets customer needs. Partners earning advanced specializations or who are in the Azure Expert MSP program can now earn additional incentives for differentiating and enhancing their offerings. 
  • Azure incentives. We are focused on simplicity and providing the flexibility partners need to grow their business by streamlining Azure incentive earning opportunities. We recognize the value-added services and the impact partners drive with customers. This year, we expanded our recognition of engagements with customers to include more opportunities for rewards when partners develop and drive value with customers via Partner Admin Link (PAL). Partners can continue to earn recognition and incentives with PAL when they help customers develop, build, and manage their Azure environments.

Visit the Microsoft partner website to find materials for the programs released in July and information about programs scheduled for release in October.


  • Erez Wohl
    General Manager, Business Strategy and Partner Investments

    Erez and his team lead the global strategy and implementation of Microsoft’s worldwide partner investments across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid business models. Through this work, he helps drive partner sales, growth, and deployment of Microsoft’s solutions and services. Before joining Microsoft, Erez worked in management consulting and completed a nine-year military service as an officer in the Intelligence Special Forces of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).