Why Microsoft is putting its partners front and centre

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 21 December 2018
Why Microsoft is putting its partners front and centre

Microsoft has made some big, bold changes to how it works with partners by introducing a wealth of new programmes, tools and resources to help partners innovate, grow and differentiate their businesses. 

“We set out to make dramatic changes,” said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner organization, in our Summer 2018 issue. “At Inspire, we introduced the One Commercial Partner organisation, and transformed how we engage with our partner community by bringing all of our partner facing roles into one organisation. 

“We aligned all of those partner facing roles to three motions: build-with; go-to-market; and sell-with,” she said. “This has simplified our partner engagement, driven increased collaboration and fostered a culture of work that puts our partners first.” 

Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president for Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft, is also passionate about partners. “Our partners’ success is our success,” he said in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Record. “We share a common goal of accelerating the transformation of our customers and driving growth. This is why we remain committed to our partners’ success, continue to work towards preparing them for the future. 

“In the interconnected world of digital transformation, companies are relying on each other more than ever,” Courtois continued. “At Microsoft, we know that a supportive ecosystem is critical to success, which is why we ensure that a partnership with Microsoft is a partnership with our ecosystem. “ 

According to Courtois, partners are driving a considerable portion of Microsoft Azure growth. To build on this great momentum, it is doing two new things to fuel partner growth – leaning in on marketplaces and enhancing AppSource as the entry point for selling with Microsoft and enhancing its go-to-market benefits for partners to help them grow their businesses. “Finally, we’re focusing on differentiation to attract customers,” he said. “We hear from partners that specialisation is key to growth. This concept has been a cornerstone of our profitability guidance to partners and many have taken that message to heart. The ask to Microsoft, from partners and customers, is to do more to help find the right partners with the right solutions.” 

Schuster said that partners are tapped into every industry from retail, healthcare, manufacturing, humanitarian aid and beyond. “Customers are savvier than ever before about how they can streamline their businesses using data, the cloud, AI, bots, and other developing technologies. Microsoft can’t deliver everything customers are craving.  That’s why our partners are so critical. 

“Together, through partnerships, we create the end-to-end experiences customers need.  With today’s technology, we can develop ideas and create solutions to problems the customers didn’t even know they had. But we can’t do it without each other. It’s kind of like cooking a meal. Microsoft has the kitchen, the tools, and the ingredients. But our partners are the master chefs. We work with them on creative dishes, then help them develop the menu and get the food to customers. So it’s critical for me and my team to make sure we’re constantly developing and upgrading the platform technology and tools that make our partners and their customers as competitive, efficient, and profitable as possible.” 

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