Company looks to channel to grow its presence in expanding online collaboration space
The rapid transition to working from home driven by the coronavirus pandemic has fueled spiking demand for collaboration technology and Microsoft continues to enlist partners’ help in ensuring that its Teams offering is in the mix.
The Lowdown: The company this week announced two new advanced specializations for partners around Teams around deploying the remote work solutions and using the voice and phone features.
The Details: The new specializations, available to partners with an active gold Cloud Productivity competency, are available now.
The Teamwork Deployment specialization is aimed at ensuring customers can best leverage all Teamwork services, not only Teams but also SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Yammer. To earn the specialization, partners must:
> Achieve active entitlement growth of at least 2,500 on three Teamwork services in a trailing 12-month period
> Maintain an average of 20% active usage for customers in each of the services
> Associate at least 12 new customer tenants for one of the services in a trailing 12-month period
> Have four employees who have passed the MS-300 and MS-301 Microsoft 365 Certified: Teamwork Administrator Associate exam and provide three customer references
Partners with the Calling for Microsoft Teams specialization are expected to help businesses with implementing the call solution in the service. To earn the specialization, partners must:
> Have a minimum 2,500 active entitlement growth of Teams in a trailing 12-month period
> Have four employees who have passed the Microsoft 365 Certified: Teams Administrator Associate and Teams Calling Technical Assessment
> Provide three customer references that show expertise in Microsoft 365 Phone System and other calling and network skills
The Impact: Businesses have turned to the channel for help in making the sharp shift to teleworking, including adopting videoconferencing and other remote work technologies. Zoom officials said they saw the number of daily participants jump from 10 million in late December to 300 million last month. Microsoft is competing with the likes of Zoom, Google Meet, and Slack in this rapidly expanding market. Microsoft in late April said Teams had more than 75 million active daily users.
Background: The new partner specializations come soon after Microsoft said Team video calls will now support up to 250 participants at a time, up from 100 previously.
The Buzz: “As thousands of companies across the globe navigate the widespread shift to remote work, organizations are grappling with how to drive meaningful collaboration and engagement – at a distance,” Dan Truax, general manager of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner program, wrote in a blog post. “While remote work isn’t a new concept, the fact that it is now an everyday experience certainly takes getting used to, and many organizations are working to accelerate plans to get every employee set up for success in this new, ever-shifting landscape. But with the challenges comes the opportunity to embrace change. … For some, it may feel like the nudge they needed to fast-track existing plans; for others, a necessary but difficult transition into uncharted territory. But one thing is clear: The cost of failing to adapt to this new way of working and the technologies required to power it will be far greater than the investment of time and resources of implementation.”