The enablement advantage: building your Business Applications practice
This is the second blog in a series from Kymber Lowe, senior director of Global Partner Enablement at Microsoft. In this installment, Kymber will be focusing on enablement resources for the Business Applications solution area. Parts one, three, four, and five of the series are available on the Microsoft Partner Blog.
As we take a closer look at the advantages that enablement resources afford our Microsoft partners, let’s begin by exploring business applications. Like other Microsoft solution areas, this is a specific category representing significant market opportunities, which we’ve created various enablement, training, certification programs, and other skilling resources for our partners to take advantage of. All our offerings are available through targeted delivery or on-demand and are designed to suit the various roles within an organization. By focusing on enablement for specific solution areas throughout this blog series, I will show you how to optimize your practice – across the Microsoft cloud.
Microsoft cloud business applications are designed to provide partners with increased autonomy and agility to respond to customer needs –powering business growth. These applications, which include Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, open opportunities to grow your practice, leverage our tools and expertise, and, ultimately, to reach more customers. By better understanding this solution area, you can access the most relevant enablement resources for your practice. One useful tool to help you build and grow your Business Applications practice is our cloud practice playbooks – developed by partners for partners. Relevant to business applications is Business Applications, App Innovation (includes the Power Apps opportunity), and the Connected Commerce playbooks.
Accelerating growth with business applications
As the global pace of digitization increases, we know that activating digital selling is crucial to reaching customers in a timely and accessible manner. Customers are increasingly prioritizing quick access to information, and customer experience is predicted to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator.
Investing in business applications training and skilling also has benefits for partners who are looking to accelerate their growth. I have seen partners successfully use Dynamics 365 along with other tools to optimize their supply chain with intelligent operations, implement new automated infrastructure, and unify their operations. We also help partners make the most of their data with a platform that includes built-in advanced analytics and data virtualization. Dynamics 365 Customer Insights can organize key information—such as the source of an opportunity or when the customer was contacted and by whom—for more personalized sales connections.
By incorporating a variety of these options, our Business Applications’ solutions ultimately help partners reach more customers via access to Microsoft channels, partner ecosystem, and go-to-market services. The cloud enables rapid app development through low-code platforms such as Power Platform, increasing the speed of building and deploying new solutions. This makes commerce not only faster, but more connected—equipping partners to create personalized commerce experiences with integrated insights and analytics.
Learning to build on the Microsoft cloud
Engaging with Microsoft Business Applications allows partners to leverage our industry-leading cloud. By building on Dynamics 365, partners can integrate their solution with other Microsoft capabilities such as Microsoft 365, Teams, or Power BI –leading to a more comprehensive offering.
I’m passionate about helping partners get certified to demonstrate their mastery of specific technical skills. Depending on your role, these courses are available via a “Fundamentals” track or tailored to specific roles within your company, including Sales, Field Services, Commerce, Supply Chain, Finance and Operations, Marketing, and Business Central. Available business application courses are:
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundamentals certifications
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 role-based certifications
- Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals certification
- Microsoft Power Platform role-based certifications
We also offer relevant on-demand technical trainings that can help you explore specific programs in greater depth or dial in on key areas of your business such as customer service or supply chain management.
Selling business applications
Business applications can be a key differentiator for partners selling to enterprise customers. We’ve prepared resources to help you create a sales model that effectively communicates the benefits of business applications at-scale. The Business Applications Partner Sales Acceleration Program—on Partner University–contains sales assets along with video guidance to support your enterprise sales engagements.
We’ve also designed a learning path for Dynamics 365 partners targeting the SMB and mid-market. This eight-step course helps partners pivot to a SaaS-based business model that embraces all the advantages of the business applications opportunity. Additionally, for partners with a gold competency or ISV partners with a co-sell incentive eligible offer, Business Applications SureStep Ambassadors is a learning path to help you stay up-to-date on sales information across modern workplace, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics.
All Microsoft partners have access to our broad portfolio of go-to-market resources, which include on-demand digital marketing campaigns aligned to each solution area. With specific marketing campaign content tailored to business applications, we are committed to helping partners accelerate their time-to-market and reach new customers. Additionally, we’ve recently launched the Partner Go-to-Market Toolbox, an online platform that allows partners to grow their business through personalized and actionable marketing plans and to easily develop high-quality, solution-specific, co-branded materials – based on their marketing initiatives – in 10 different languages. It’s currently available to partners with a gold competency or ISV partners with a co-sell incentive eligible offer.
As customers of all sizes and specializations look toward a new frontier of digitization, Microsoft business applications can help you stay on the cutting edge of software solutions. We’re here to help you build faster, smarter apps and communicate your competitive edge to our customer network. I hope you’ll browse our library of resources for this solution area and come back for the next post in this series where we’ll review even more partner sales opportunities.