Microsoft Partner Network and support for ISV Partners – Where do you go for support?
In our work with ISV partners many of you are mentioning the variety of Microsoft Partner programs and processes to be a lot of content for different partner types, terminology, processes, acronyms and updates to understand and we realize this can be overwhelming and potentially cause confusion and even dissatisfaction. In addition, we hear your feedback on Support for ISV partners; through different support programs and extra options, about the support process itself and how to work with the support teams. In this article we wanted to better explain about how Microsoft provides Support to ISV partners, give an overview of the programs & options, and provide you with more specific pointers for you as a SaaS ISV partner.
First and to explain more in general, we provide all our partner types registered as a member in the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) with standard support from both their Technical (platform/product) perspective and needs as well as for the commercial side of the Partnering programs.
So, where do you go for support?
The most simple and direct answer to this question for all partners is: go to Partner Center portal!
Partner Center is the single destination and one-stop-shop for everything you need help with as a Microsoft partner. Support in Partner Center starts here: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/support/?stage=1
Support Programs & additional options
In addition to your basic Network Membership, and based on your specific need as a partner, you can choose from several Support Programs adding increasing benefits and support (at increasing costs).
- ISV Success Program – for in particular ISV partners just starting to work with Microsoft, in selected countries and with no direct Microsoft Partner Development Manager associated, this new and free 9-month program will be a great resource and offering a lot of benefits such as initial development licenses, credits, support options and 1:1 consultations to get started. The prerequisite is that the partner must be committed to publishing their software solution to the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace. The program is still in preview, but you can nominate yourself already and participate. See for more: ISV Success Program Overview | Microsoft
- MAPS (MPN Action Pack Support) - this is the initial paid subscription pack for MPN partners providing additional benefits (like extra developers licenses and Technical Service) and extra support options . For in particular ISV Partners we see this as the most suitable program providing the best balance in additional value/costs. See for more: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/membership/action-pack
- Advanced Support for Partners - Advanced Support for Partners helps you support your customers and grow your cloud business at an economical, fixed price point. Partner with Microsoft to get prioritized support, pooled account management and actionable cloud enablement services. Leverage Developer Account Planning to help you build new apps or integrate, migrate and modernize your existing applications. See for what's included and all details: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/support/advanced-cloud-support and feel free to contact Roel Donk: email@example.com
- Premier Support for Partners - Microsoft Premier Support for Partners offers complete, end-to-end managed support across the full Microsoft platform to meet your complex needs, expand your capabilities in the cloud, and collaborate more strategically with Microsoft. See for more: Microsoft Premier Support for Partners
(Although less relevant for new ISV partners, but to be complete in this overview we also need to mention the MPN Silver and Gold Competency Programs, but please note these programs will be changing per October 2022, see for more: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/membership/solutions-partner . Both the Silver and Gold Competency Programs are for the more advanced Microsoft partners who want to develop and attain a specific Competency and are certified level partner and to a paid subscription. As there’s no ISV specific competency available, this program is/was more suitable for other types of (Services/Licensing) Partners.)
As said, it's depending on your specific need as a partner and how you prefer to support your customers, to best select the most suitable program for your company and business.
Below you see the technical support differences in the above programs in an overview:
About the Support Process. How to contact Microsoft Support as a Partner?
As said in the beginning of this article: this is simple. For partners registered in the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), the single way to contact and work with Microsoft Support teams is via Partner Center, the central portal in which all partner related topics and activities are consolidated. Here you can find all your resources, activate and enroll for programs or start a conversation with the support teams - on any topic.
FAQ's for ISV partners
In our engagements with specifically ISV partners we encounter the following most occurring questions, process-unclarities and challenges that make partners need help with:
With regards to all functionality and activities in the Partner Center portal:
- General information on Partner Center by topic: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/overview
- How to register for MPN as a new partner? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/mpn-create-a-partner-center-account
- How to get an account in / or Access to Partner Center? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/verification-responses#checking-your-verification-status
- How to get around in Partner Center portal? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/get-around-partner-center
- How to get Access for your employees / User Management / Roles & permissions? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/create-user-accounts-and-set-permissions
- How to update your Partner (Company) Profile? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/update-your-partner-profile
- How to find your Workspaces? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/find-workspaces-roles-admins
- How to enroll for the Commercial Marketplace Program? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/marketplace/create-account
- How to publish your SaaS solution to the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/marketplace/plan-saas-offer
- How to configure your solution to be approved as CoSell Ready? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/co-sell-configure?context=%2Fazure%2Fmarketplace%2Fcontext%2Fcontext
- How to start Co-Selling when approved CoSell Ready? (receive Leads or Share your CoSell Ready solutions' Customer Opportunities and collaborate with Microsoft Sales teams) https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/referrals
- How to publish your SaaS solution as a Marketplace - Transactable offer (to be sold to end customers by Microsoft)? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/marketplace/determine-your-listing-type
- How to activate your GTM benefits? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/mpn-learn-about-go-to-market-benefits
- How to raise a support case (on many different topics)? https://partner.microsoft.com/en-US/support/v2/?stage=1
With regards to the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace:
- What is the Microsoft Commercial Marketplace and how can I leverage this opportunity for my business growth? See: https://partner.microsoft.com/en-rs/solutions/the-commercial-marketplace
- How do I publish my SaaS solution to the Commercial Marketplace? https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/marketplace/plan-saas-offer
- How do I develop the required technical elements for a Commercial Marketplace Transactable offer? https://microsoft.github.io/Mastering-the-Marketplace/ and upcoming session: https://microsoftcloudpartner.eventbuilder.com/event/63732?source=MarketplaceOverviewandQAforPartners
With regards to Azure, SaaS Application Development and technical support:
- Where do I start my Azure development? https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/free/search/ and https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/get-started/
- How do I start building a SaaS solution in Azure? https://partner.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/azure and https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/technical-guide-to-building-saas-apps-on-azure/
- How do I get technical support on Azure? https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/
General information and resources (technical, commercial, business model, pricing, etc) for my SaaS business?
- The Netherlands ISV Community Group on Linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/groups/9175296/
Big Thanks to Roel Donk and Niels Janssen for their contribution to this article!