Microsoft Overhauls its Partner Program as Azure on Centre Stage
Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled the first major revamp of its partner program for the cloud. It will remarkably impact more than 4,00,000 global organizations that sell and support services across six different cloud products and service areas. This October, the Microsoft Partner Network will be replaced by ‘Microsoft Cloud Partner Program,’ which will put Azure front and centre. Microsoft said, “first material change to the Microsoft Partner Network in 15 years”.
The global giant claimed the change will better the position of its partners to meet the requirements of the digitized customer base and increase the cloud reliant.
Microsoft grouping them into six resolutions areas aligned with the Azure cloud will focus on:
- Modern Work
- Digital and App Innovation (Azure)
- Data and AI (Azure)
- Infrastructure (Azure)
- Business Applications
The multinational software firm will stop offering Gold, and Silver companion designations when the new program starts. The current companion designations are still available until September 30 to resume their enrolments into existing Silver or Gold levels. It will be allowed to utilize these companion designations from October 2022 to September 2023.
Rodney Clark, Corporate Vice President of Channel Sales at Microsoft, said: “While we’ve delivered on this promise of customer value in the past, the reality is that this has shifted, especially in the last two to three years, It’s no longer us — Microsoft and our [partners] — leading our customers on this tech-intensity journey of innovation and ongoing development. It’s very much our customers that are directing us based on their emerging needs.”
Nick Parker, corporate vice president of Global Partner Solutions, said “The scale of our success that we see through our partners drives these incredible results — USD 28 billion in partner co-sell value in the past four years — and we continue to refine and enhance the sales motion with partners as [evidenced] by the 37% revenue growth”.
In the new scoring system (dubbed the partner capability score, or PCS), a vender must reach a partner capability score (PCS) of at least 70 out of an available 100 points in at least one of the six technology areas. Moreover, overall points have been awarded independently in four areas for overall growth, customers added, successful deployments, and certifications. All partners can access the portal for their current PCS score in the dashboard to witness their progress towards the goal.
“From there, we provide technical skilling if there’s a gap that we need to close to help them get to 70 points, there’s proactive support to help partners navigate exactly where they need to go and how they need to invest in order to get there.” Clark said.
The tech giant revealed that it would concentrate more on investing in the channel’s success along with the upcoming changes. Partners will also be allowed to resume their existing benefits, and new package benefits.
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