Microsoft Corp. has recently announced new investments in technologies and programmes designed to support its partner ecosystem. The investments are aimed at helping optimise Microsoft’s partner engagement for the cloud era.
“Customers and partners alike continue to move to the cloud and accelerate their digital transformation, leading us to new and different levels of partnership,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner group. “Our portfolio of programmes, offers and resources for companies partnering with Microsoft is transforming to help them capitalise on this opportunity.”
Some highlights of the new investments announced included updates around Microsoft Teams, Dynamics 365, Azure Lighthouse and Azure Migration Program.
Just two years after its launch, Microsoft Teams now has 13 million daily active users and 19 million weekly active users. The company also announced new features in Microsoft Teams for every worker—including new ways to support healthcare organisations and firstline workers. Additional new partner integrations include support for contact centres, compliance recording and cloud solution providers.
The company also announced significant updates to the Dynamics 365 Nonprofit Accelerator and two new integrations for Dynamics 365 that address the automotive and financial services industries. In addition, the Business Applications ISV Connect program is generally available, with new development tools and guidance, marketplace resources, joint field engagement processes and go-to-market support.
The company also introduced Azure Lighthouse, which gives partners a single control plane to view and manage Azure at scale across all their customers. This provides a better managed Azure experience with higher automation and efficiency, resulting in greater visibility and security for customers. This marks the first time Microsoft has architected a solution at this scale, with partners and for partners.
Other announcements include the new Azure Migration Program (AMP), which helps customers accelerate their migration to Azure. AMP offers proactive advice and tools to help mitigate risks and address common issues associated with moving workloads to the cloud.
Since the inception of Microsoft’s co-sell programme 24 months ago, it has seen $9.5 billion in annual contracted partner revenue. The investments announced this week are designed to build on that opportunity, said the firm.
The company has announced the general availability of the Microsoft Security competency. This new competency allows partners to market their expertise and provides access to a range of benefits designed to enable business growth and profitability.
It includes five advanced specialisations. These include Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure, Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure, Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure, Modernization of Web Applications in Microsoft Azure, and Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure.
Additional pricing models, a rewards program and a new route to market are rolling out in July for companies that publish transactable offers in Microsoft’s expanded commercial marketplace. The pricing models include monthly and annual SaaS billing, flexible, custom-metered billing options, standard contracts, and free SaaS trials that convert to paid engagements.