Software vendor unveils enhancement to One Commercial Partner Program
Microsoft is delivering enhancements and new tools in such areas as rewards and support to its One Commercial Partner Program.
The Lowdown: Gavriella Schuster, the software company’s corporate vice president of corporate partners, usually gives partners an update on the program to partners in mid-March, but the virtual event was put on hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, Schuster outlined what was going on in a blog post this week.
The Details: The program updates include:
> More opportunities: Partners are getting more access to training, support, and go-to-market services.
> Differentiated value: Partners have more ways to differentiate themselves to customers with new competencies and advanced specializations, as well as through the Azure Expert MSP Program.
> Rewards: Microsoft is offering partners reward models designed to accelerate growth.
Microsoft also is offering partners new tools, including:
> Partner Center: The new offering brings together various processes into one place, giving partners a central experience and a single place to manage their relationship with Microsoft, customers, and other partners.
> On-demand support: Microsoft is working to make it easier and quicker for partners to access support.
> Enhanced co-selling: Partners can access co-selling programs, accepting and sharing referrals from Microsoft (first-party solutions) and other partners (third-party solutions).
New offerings include:
> Advanced specialization: The company this month rolled out the Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization, which gives partners another specialization that will help them drive the use of Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and Yammer.
> Practice development playbook: The new Teams Practice Development Playbook, which launched this month, will give partners an understanding of the growth opportunity available via Teams, with tips on cross-selling, governance, and add-ons and customizations.
The Impact: Microsoft and other tech vendors rely heavily on partners to bring their products and services to end users. The rapid workforce changes driven by the coronavirus pandemic – in particular, the bulk of most employees now working from home – has put greater pressure on partners to help businesses adapt, with a focus on such areas as networking, video collaboration, and security.
Background: Microsoft late last month announced the cancellation of its partner-driven Inspire 2020 show, which was scheduled for July in Las Vegas.
The Buzz: “The Microsoft partner community is a powerful ecosystem,” Schuster wrote. “For decades, it has been and continues to be at the center of how we bring technologies and business transformation to customers in markets around the world. Today, Microsoft partners are playing a critical role helping companies everywhere adjust to a new way of working. The remote-work, business continuity solutions and services they’re delivering during this global pandemic will be the foundation of workplace productivity moving forward.”