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Occasionally, it comes down to placing partners in the same room and letting them loose to network.
August 25, 2023
With more than 400,000 partners in its channel partner ecosystem, Microsoft knows a thing or two about economic growth for partners, with that ripening only forecast to persist in coming years.
We reached out to Regina Johnson, senior partner channel marketing manager in the Microsoft GTM, program and operations (GPO) organization, which aligns with the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program. We wanted to understand what economic growth for partners means in an economy that, for a while, everyone assumed would enter a recession.
Today, elements such as inflation are gradually improving — that is, according to the J.P. Morgan 2023 Midyear Economic Outlook Report. The debt ceiling near-crisis was resolved, leading to minimal economic impacts. And overall, the U.S. economy appears to be performing better than expected, with J.P. Morgan noting in that same report that “a recession may be avoidable.”
Still, with the tech companies in unified (communications and collaboration (UCC) downsizing their labor forces, and budgets being slashed in various organizations, tech spending is still expected to grow by 4.3%, or nearly $5 trillion, in 2023. So says Gartner in a July 2023 report.
We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.
Johnson’s LinkedIn page refers to her as a “strategic leader at Microsoft,” one driving business impact and economic growth for partners through the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program. Through that program, Johnson says she aids partners in various ways.
For starters, Johnson oversees the Microsoft Black Channel Partner Growth Initiative, an agenda connected to the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner program. There, Johnson told Channel Futures she recruits fresh faces and lets them know about available resources — for example, funding, go-to-market and marketing materials.
She also works with external nonprofits operated by channel partners who support partners. That includes the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), Women in Cloud (WIC), Women in Tech Network (WIT), and the Black Channel Partner Alliance (BCPA).
Microsoft’s Regina Johnson
“Many times, it is about getting partners in the same room and letting them bounce ideas off one another to comprehend how they can work together. That is sometimes all it takes to inspire economic growth for them,” Johnson shared.
It can be as simple as ensuring partners can access aid to grow their revenue, technology, mindshare, innovation and networking prospects. Johnson told Channel Futures Microsoft built its AI Cloud program for economic growth as it lets partners select the path best suited for them.
“The path they choose offers channel partners knowledge to help them accelerate what they are already doing. So, if they need more customers, they can choose that path. If a partner desires higher revenue, they can select that path.”
In further considering partners’ economic growth, go-to-market is paramount. But it’s not always easy, depending on the kind of materials partners have access to.
That includes knowledge, which is why continuing education for the channel is key, according to Johnson. She also says this is why Microsoft launched its digital marketing center for the AI partner program. There, partners can find all the materials that help them go to market with various AI-fueled solutions that the collaboration giant offers.
If partners focus more on classic or cloud telephony but want to transition to more of an AI focus, they can find out how to do that via the portal.
“The portal looks at a partner’s solution area, be it data, AI, or apps/infrastructure, then looks at how partners work with customers and can deliver guidance on how they might revamp their technique to attain their desired results,” said Johnson.
Read more about:MSPs
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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