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Microsoft Unveils Key Cloud Partner Program Enhancements

Microsoft's chief partner officer outlined the new initiatives that include training and support.

Jeffrey Schwartz

March 22, 2023

6 Slides

Microsoft is readying partners to deliver its new GPT-4 in Azure OpenAI service and launching enablement capabilities for ISVs. Nicole Dezen, Microsoft’s chief partner officer, revealed planned enhancements to the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (MCPP).

Dezen explained the MCPP enhancements in a State of the Partner Ecosystem 2023 report. Microsoft will offer ISVs multi-party private offers and new training and support service designations. Also, for ISVs, Microsoft will launch new diversity and socially sound business classifications in its Partner Center portal.

The additions to MCPP come nearly six months after Microsoft launched it to replace its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). Since the launch of MCPP, Dezen noted that Microsoft now offers 28 partner specializations. The latest four Business Application specializations for Dynamics 365 partners launched last week.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

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Microsoft’s Nicole Dezen

“These new offerings are aligned to the Business Applications solution area for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and make it easier for customers to find partners that possess the expertise they need,” Dezen noted.

The specializations include finance, sales, service and supply chains.

Now under development, Microsoft is creating ecosystems for ISVs, partners seeking to offer support solutions for small and midsize customers, and for learning partners. Microsoft intends to launch the new programs for ISVs during its fiscal year 2024, which begins July 1. Also, at that time, Microsoft plans to launch three new ecosystems.

Microsoft Partner Opportunities for GPT 4

Dezen emphasized the opportunity for partners to deliver services that use Microsoft’s AI offerings. Microsoft has launched many AI technologies, including Bing Image Creator,  Microsoft Dynamics 365 Copilot, and Microsoft 365 Copilot. The company also announced the public preview of GPT-4 is now available in its Azure OpenAI service.

“This brings the latest generation of large language models to our Azure partners and customers,” Dezen said. “Partners can streamline processes, save time and improve overall efficiency so that they can focus on important day-to-day operations.”

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Microsoft’s Casey McGee

According to Microsoft corporate VP Eric Boyd, paid usage of GPT-4 will begin April 1. In a blog announcing the new GPT-4 service, Boyd described it as “the most advanced” AI modeling service available.

“With this milestone, we are proud to bring the world’s most advanced AI models – including GPT-3.5, ChatGPT, and DALL•E 2 – to Azure customers, backed by Azure AI-optimized infrastructure, enterprise-readiness, compliance, data security, and privacy controls, along with many integrations with other Azure services,” Boyd noted.

A breakdown of the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program announcements and more appears in the slideshow above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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