Microsoft is updating its partner program with an emphasis on driving further success and profitability in indirect sales.
In the area of digital capability, the company is rolling out guidelines and resources to support partners in more efficiently building solutions by better aligning partner experiences across the commercial marketplace, Partner Center, and the Microsoft Partner Network.
As part of an effort to enhance partner technical capabilities, the company has also announced advanced specializations and deep technical training across solution areas including business applications, Azure and security, compliance and identity. A 250% year-over-year spending increase has been promised in this area.
Microsoft also seeks to streamline engagement between itself and partners through expanded lead sharing and improving Partner Center transaction fees in order to drive profitability.
In addition, effective October of this year, the company is changing the name of its partner program from “Microsoft Partner Network” to the “Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.” This move is intended to underscore the investment in the cloud as a strategic lever for innovation and growth. The reflagged partner program is intended to support all partners in the Microsoft ecosystem, whether they build and sell services, software solutions or devices. Specifically targeted solution areas include Data & AI, Infrastructure, Digital & App Innovation, Business Applications, Modern Work and Security.
The solutions partner level is a designation that is based on meeting specific requirements across what we call the partner capability score for each solution area. Specializations and programs will provide solutions partners a means of differentiating their organizations’ technical expertise. To attain a solutions partner designation, partners will need to earn a partner capability score of at least 70 points (out of an available 100 points) across the four measurement areas.
Partners will be able to renew the benefits they’re currently using, while also taking advantage of new benefits packages customized to meet their unique needs based on their business focus. Partners will continue to receive internal use rights licenses (IURs), including on-premises licenses, cloud service subscriptions and Azure credits, although IURs will be now called “Product Benefits.”
The Microsoft Partner Network is comprised of more than 400,000 global organizations.
The overall intention of the changes is to further promote partner growth and customer success.