Microsoft Partner Network news includes tools, investments and programs.

Lynn Haber

April 13, 2020

3 Min Read
Microsoft Partner Network: What’s Ahead for the Channel


Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft global channel chief Gavriella Schuster today shared Microsoft Partner Network updates on investments and new partner program offerings. In lieu of the company’s annual state of the partner ecosystem update, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Schuster addressed partners via her blog.

This latest Microsoft Partner Network news focuses on current as well as future direction. It comes in addition to resources and program updates that help partners navigate the pandemic. The updates address partner program updates and enhanced tools. The vendor’s investment strategy addresses several areas of partner opportunity, such as Teams, security and Azure migration. Schuster also discusses recently launched offerings and addresses global partner impact.

“The Microsoft partner community is a powerful ecosystem. 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,” Schuster said. “Today, Microsoft partners are playing a critical role helping companies everywhere adjust to a new way of workingThe remote work, business continuity solutions and services they’re delivering during this global pandemic will be the foundation of workplace productivity moving forward.”

Here’s a closer look at the Microsoft Partner Network program updates underway.

  • Microsoft is giving partners increased access to training, support and go-to-market services.

  • The company is helping partners differentiate by offering new competencies, and advanced specializations through the Azure Expert MSP Program.

  • Driving strong results and positive outcomes for customers helps partners earn more rewards and reward models specifically designed to help build and accelerate growth.

Schuster outlines enhanced tools and says more will follow.

Partners are now onboarding to Partner Center. It is a centralized experience for partners and a single place to manage their relationship with Microsoft, their customers and other partners. With streamlined processes into one place, it makes it easier for partners to do business with Microsoft.

On-demand support is one of the new ways Microsoft wants to give partners quicker and easier access to Microsoft support. The goal is to better help partners solve challenges and meet customer needs.   

To further support its commitment to shared growth and profitability, Microsoft is enabling partners to access co-selling programs so they can accept and share referrals from Microsoft (first-party solutions) and other partners.

Here are some of the digital transformation areas where Microsoft sees strong partner opportunity and is making investments.

  • Teams for modern business. The ability to connect remotely with coworkers, friends or family is vital. Partners have an opportunity to support activation and usage for their customers. We’re seeing adoption and change management partners focus on extensions to further customize to their customers’ business needs.   

  • Microsoft wants partners to support customers movement toward tech intensity. The vendor says there’s an opportunity for partners as organizations move past adopting the latest technologies to developing their own digital capabilities.

  • Azure migration. The latest versions of Windows Server, SQL Server and Windows Virtual Desktop offers opportunity for businesses to secure and modernize their workloads. Partners can help customers migrate to the cloud and unlock the benefits of Azure to transform workloads.

  • Security is a top priority for customers. Security is engineered into Microsoft our products, but partners are needed to help secure the customer’s environment from endpoint to data center.

Schuster reminds partners of two recently launched offers, the Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization and the Teams Practice Development Playbook.

The Microsoft global channel chief also shares partner success stories. These vignettes highlight partners addressing scientific and business continuity needs related to COVID-19.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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