Microsoft Taps Channel for Digital Business

Microsoft Taps Channel for Digital Business

Microsoft Taps Channel for Digital BusinessMicrosoft Taps Channel for Digital Business

Microsoft is trying to better position its channel partners to take advantage of what it describes as a $4.5 trillion market driven by digital transformation.

One Commercial PartnerOne Commercial Partner

All Microsoft’s sales, marketing and technical support resources will be aligned with a specific vertical industry. Channel partners targeting enterprise accounts will be assigned to a partner account manager, who will align the partners’ sales efforts with Microsoft salespeople who will engage with customers to drive revenue to partners.

Microsoft 356 Platform PushMicrosoft 356 Platform Push

Microsoft is bundling Office 365, Windows 10 and its portfolio of security technologies to make it simpler for customers to acquire an integrated platform. Microsoft has forecast that partners stand to make nearly $1,500 in revenue per user and more than $700 in margin per user over three years based on a 5,000-seat deployment.

ISV Cloud EmbedISV Cloud Embed

Partners that add intellectual property on top of a Microsoft Dynamics cloud service are now eligible for discounts ranging as high as 50 percent on Microsoft business applications via a new ISV Cloud Embed program. Microsoft has also pledged to make applications developed via this program available on its online store.

Azure Stack ArrivesAzure Stack Arrives

Via OEM partners, Microsoft is offering a local instance of the operating environment it employs on the Azure cloud. Initially available on systems from Dell EMC, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Lenovo, the release of Azure Stack is expected to drive significant hybrid cloud opportunities for partners of those vendors. Cisco and Huawei are also expected to participate.

Mixed-Reality Partner ProgramMixed-Reality Partner Program

As part of its effort to drive adoption of augmented and virtual reality solutions based on HoloLens, Microsoft is offering a multi-week readiness program that consists of in-depth technical training on mixed-reality solutions, as well as sales and marketing readiness. Upon completion of the program and a proof of concept , partners can qualify for a range of benefits.

Windows 10 as a Virtual ServiceWindows 10 as a Virtual Service

Windows 10 E3 and E5 customers now have the option to add virtualization use rights to Windows subscriptions via partners participating in the Microsoft Cloud Service Provider program starting in September. The goal is to enable partners to more easily deliver desktop-as-a-service solutions.

GDPR Becomes a PriorityGDPR Becomes a Priority

As the European Union prepares to implement a General Data Protection Rule in May 2018, Microsoft is offering partners playbooks, assessment tools, product demo kits and an online portal for discovering best GDPR practices. Microsoft has pledged that all its products and technologies will be GDPR-compliant by 2018.

Boosting Surface Tablet SalesBoosting Surface Tablet Sales

This fall, a new Microsoft Surface Reseller Alliance program will give its tablet partners easy access to product information, training, marketing support materials, end-customer assistance, and help with and direct deal registration for Distributor Managed Partners. It will include a revamped online portal with training modules, live webinars for newly launched Surface products, and will provide incentives for partner sellers to complete the training curriculum.

Investments in Lead GenerationInvestments in Lead Generation

Microsoft is also ramping up its marketing support by making investments in lead generation, providing assets, guidelines and assistance to help its partners.

Michael Vizard
Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight, Channel Insider and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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