Ask Me Anything Topic: Partnering with Microsoft
Introducing John Mighell, this week's Microsoft expert. John is the Global Breadth Partner Enablement Lead at Microsoft where he drives programs that enable partners to connect, gain expertise, and grow their business. John is also the author of the MPC Partnership 101 discussion board, a forum full of useful information for partners who are new to the Microsoft Partner Network or who are considering joining.
Please ask John any questions on this thread from November 21-29 and he will respond on the 29th; the top kudoed questions will be answered first.
This AMA is live November 29th 7-11am PST.
To ensure you do not forget, please download the calendar invite below!
If a partner is managed, they will have an assigned PDM who is on point to help "build with" that organization. If a partner is non-managed, we provide the "build with" motion through a guided experience which is facilitated by cloud program specialists through the Cloud Enablement Desk.
As this is a new process, we are adding additional services and expertise to this team constantly. There are a number of services the Cloud Enablement Desk currently delivers.
- Getting started and MPN membership (minimum requirement: Network Member)
- Cloud competency attainment (minimum requirement: Network Member)
- Technical enablement through the Cloud Mentor Program (minimum requirements: Action Pack Subscription or competency + 3 Cloud opportunities to work on)
This is a new and fantastic resource team specifically for supporting non-managed partners as they navigate MPN and build a practice. To sign up for engagement simply go to aka.ms/CEDnominate and fill out the form. A specialist will contact you within 48 hours.
A couple managed partner questions that came up:
What does it mean to be a managed partner? A "managed" partner has an assigned Partner Development Manager (PDM) from Microsoft who is on point to provide direct assistance to help that partner build and grow their business. The PDM can direct a partner to resources, events, trainings, etc and provide guidance on Microsoft programs and processes (example: how to become a P-seller or co-sell partner).
Why would a partner want to be manged? If you are looking for a deeper, direct type of engagement to help build, expand and accelerate your practice you may want to be managed. Remember that this is a two way relationship - your PDM will need engagement and responsiveness from you just as your expect it from them. If you prefer to self-serve your readiness through Learning Paths or some of the other resources I linked to earlier, being managed may not be right for you.
What is the process to become managed? A PDM will select the partners he or she manages based on past sales performance and future propentity. While there is no single magic formula to become managed, if your business starts accelerating and showing growth potential, you are sure to be noticed. Keep in mind that some areas may have different priorities - if a certain area is zeroed in on Azure consumption, you may not be picked up for management even if you triple your Office 365 business in a single quarter.
Perfect response. Exactly what a partner needs to know.
Thank you for your time today.
This is a fantastic topic. One that needs more and more attention. Especially as people that are new to the Microsoft partner ecosystem begin to look for a platform and partner model to build their ideas upon.
This is true for Millennials and Gen Z's just getting out of school or diving deeper into their careers. It's also true for Baby Boomers that are reaching retirement age and are ready to take their FEM Factor into the market.
Let's keep the conversation going.
Ping me anytime here, via IAMCP email, or on the social channels.
Thanks Jeff and everyone else for participating today! Absolutely agree let's keep this conversation going! Remember you can engage anytime on the Partnership 101 forum here on MPC.
Feel free to reach out to me as well on the topics we covered today or any others that come to mind.
Thanks John and Jeff!
This was a great conversation today and partners got really good help for how to grow their businesses! We're all in this together!
Q - What is the best way for a startup to get engaged with Microsoft?
- What resources are available to startups? Is BizSpark still an option?
- What guidance can Microsoft provide to determine underserved markets?
- Once a solution is created ... what are the next steps? Who from Microsoft is on-point to help new ventures get engaged with the Microsoft machine? with other partners?
Hi Jeff, regarding your question about startups, the best place to go is www.microsoftforstartups.com. Bizspark is definitely still an option and from that link you can access the Bizspark portal. This site and related content serve both developed and emerging markets today. For next steps once a solution is created, the startup should promote their solution on a marketplace (AppSource or Azure Marketplace).
To be transparent, the site I linked to (and entire startup program for that matter) is in the process of being revamped and will be updated in January. There is a "Connect Locally" tile on the site that will be refreshed and should allow you to identify people who can help new ventures get engaged with Microsoft and other partners.