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3 ways to stay aligned with Microsoft | Partner Success Guide


By Gloribel Mondragon on 12/16/2021 ~ Original Post Found HERE


This series aims to make it easy for you to achieve meaningful growth in five areas that define successful partners. With each post, you gain actionable guidance for deepening the characteristics of each success attribute within your team.


The past year has been a wild ride for partners and Microsoft. Together we’ve stood up solutions for unique challenges on never-before-seen timelines. Case after case shows how the Microsoft ecosystem has been able to respond with agility to exceed customer expectations to deliver meaningful outcomes. A key component of this success is alignment.


Alignment is one of the common characteristics of successful Microsoft partners. Alignment is when your business processes mirror Microsoft’s strategic priorities. You are better positioned to benefit from the partner programs in place to help you achieve robust, sustainable growth and meet market demands with ready knowledge of the technology that serves your target audience.


Microsoft is driving forward on a path of innovation, with support to help partners succeed in our shared objective of empowering every person and every organization to achieve more.


Before we go on, make sure that the next Microsoft Inspire is on your calendar. This is our annual partner-focused kick-off where you will be first to hear where Microsoft is headed and how to make the most of your partnership.


Meantime, catch up with on-demand sessions or watch Satya’s keynote from Inspire 2021 on-demand now.


1.     Understand where Microsoft is going

Microsoft continually assesses the economic, industrial, and social trends shaping our world to stay on the cutting edge of service to our customers. As we adapt and respond to what’s coming next, make sure you know where the Microsoft is going and how your business aligns from a strategy and technology perspective.


Leverage existing partner channels to create a rhythm of recalibration. In doing so, you will be more fit to take advantage of the partner programs available (see next section), build a more successful business, and add value through ready knowledge of core architectural principles and coherence built into the Microsoft tech stack.


Understand Microsoft’s priorities and vision for the future Microsoft Inspire is the partner kickoff event of the fiscal year. Explore many valuable sessions and watch Satya Nadella’s keynote to understand Microsoft’s vision and priorities for the coming fiscal year.


Watch now: Microsoft Inspire 2021: Keynote with Satya Nadella – YouTube

Get the latest on Microsoft and the partner community Stay up-to-date on the Microsoft and US partner community news that’s important to you, including important announcements, events, and resources. This is also the place to go to get answers from Microsoft’s experts and other partners.


Join the discussion: Announcing the US Partner Zone within the Microsoft Partner Community

Stay ahead of technology Stay on top of emerging trends and deepen your understanding of Microsoft technology with snackable, high-value technical videos made just for partners.


Explore: Announcing the new Partner Technical Success Channel


2.   Know the partner programs

The programs and benefits available to partners via the Microsoft Partner Network are designed with alignment in mind. Within the resources below, you can find support every step of the way. Take time to explore and understand what’s available and how to leverage these to benefit your business and customers.

Here are some great places to start:


Get more out of my Microsoft Partner Network membership Familiarize yourself with the key resources available to your through the Microsoft partner website, your personalized launchpad for getting the most out of the Microsoft Partner Network throughout your partnership.


Learn more: Partner Essentials: Get more out of the Microsoft partner website

Find the right resource for my next growth step The Partner Playbook is your easy-to-use guide for knowing how to best partner with Microsoft and leverage the world-class resources available through the Microsoft Partner Network. It’s streamlined and built around the stages of the partner journey – a great place to start.


Get it now: Partner Playbook – your guide to growing your business – US Partner Community Blog – Microsoft

Understand my Go-To-Market (GTM) resources Know the Go-To-Market (GTM) resources available to help you create a quality marketing engine to accelerate time to market, grow your cloud business, and generate leads.


Learn more: Partner Essentials: 4 steps to understanding GTM Resources and benefits


3.   Map programs to your business

Once you’ve familiarized with Microsoft’s strategic direction and understand the Microsoft Partner Network programs relevant to your organization, the final step is to map these to your business. This step is closely intertwined with the process of differentiation, another attribute of successful partners.

Your differentiated value proposition is informed by where your team’s experience and expertise intersect with Microsoft’s strategic direction. Through this lens, consider which strategic areas you can overlay your expertise with the opportunities empowered by Microsoft’s technology and partner enablement resources.

Specific programs can help you identify and tighten these areas of overlap, measure program success, and offer accountability to deliver jointly with Microsoft.


Identify and focus on priority solution areas Deepen expertise in specific solution areas that Microsoft has prioritized according to high customers demand and close alignment with Microsoft priorities.


Learn more: Differentiate your practice with Microsoft advanced specializations

Shift to a cloud-first business practice Kick-start you cloud business with Plays-in-a-box, a framework for building and executing sales plays mapped to priority areas. Conveniently packaged with the latest resources – from marketing BOMs to co-selling information – leveraging PiBs is a decisive step toward alignment with Microsoft.


Explore now: [Top Plays-in-a-box for FY22]

Microsoft investments & incentives for partners now prioritize cloud-based solutions. To maximize the benefit of this valuable support for business, assess how your offer mix aligns with eligible solution areas.


Get insights on customers opportunities Get insights on what your current customers are interested in and understand the gaps between your current offerings and high-potential service areas. Leverage suggested courses of action, act, and measure.


Learn more: Partner Essentials: Expand your business with existing customers



Tight alignment with Microsoft positions you to make the most of the Microsoft technology stack and partner resources available to you through the Microsoft Partner Network. The resources above are starting points for dialing in an alignment strategy that will help you accelerate business growth with Microsoft.



Next step


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