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Creating transactable (SaaS) offers & Microsoft Co-selling: What You Need to Know!

Creating a transactable offer in the Commercial Marketplace is the first step in the partner journey to sell with Microsoft as an ISV.


Azure Commercial Marketplace

The Commercial Marketplace serves every software need from business application, Modern Work, Data & AI and Apps & Infra. 


Having around 4 million shoppers, 215 Millions teams users and 90k + Plus resellers channels, Microsoft truly empowers global commerce compared to other cloud vendors. Our marketplace is available on 141 geographies, supporting 17 currencies , managing tax between customer and publishers for all 52 counties. Nonetheless our publishers are paid out in the next billing cycle once the customer makes the purchase - that is fast.


Guidance on how to Create an SaaS offer and ensure you get the transactable offer listing (GET IT NOW), more information on listing here.

Steps needed for Publishers in ISVs and Start Ups to create transactable Software as a-Service (SaaS) offers in the Azure and AppSource marketplaces available on GitHub here



The second step is to be co-sell ready:

What is Co-Selling?

Co-selling with any Cloud Provider is a collaborative relationship between Microsoft and the partners within its partner ecosystem. For Microsoft, this process includes shared activities like building demand, sales planning, sharing leads, accelerating partner-to-partner selling, and delivering Marketplace-led commerce.  There are many ins and outs of the co-sell program so we thought we’d break down everything you need to know.


Microsoft Co-sell Program Overview

Microsoft launched its co-sell program in 2017 specifically to enrich the customer value proposition by compelling Microsoft direct sellers to collaborate with the partner ecosystem on a wider set of offerings.

The co-sell program is available for any collaborative engagement between Microsoft and their partner ecosystem, whether selling directly to the customer, through a partner, or through Azure Marketplace. This includes “building demand, sales planning, sharing sales leads, accelerating partner-to-partner empowered selling, and delivering marketplace-led commerce for customer transformation.”

The program is clearly delivering on its goal, as outlined in the benchmark statistics summarized in Microsoft’s FY21 Co-sell Playbook


  • $15.6B Partner annual contract value
  • 51% Compound annual growth rate in IP Co-sell wins
  • 3.5x faster deal velocity via Partner Center

4M+ monthly active users in our direct web stores

The co-sell program opens up partners to an ecosystem of 4M unique visitors each month in Azure Marketplace and is responsible for driving over $15B in partner annual contract value—pretty impressive! The program allows partners to co-sell with Microsoft, regardless of the channel in which they are selling – with Microsoft Sellers, with other partners, or directly to the customer through Azure Marketplace.




Here’s how the three channels to co-sell with Microsoft break down:





The co-sell program is tiered to allow partners to join in the co-sell fun with minimal investment. Microsoft describes these tiers in the form of “steps” that operate sequentially. 






Gina described each stage as a step along the partner journey, where the co-sell appeal grows as the partnership progresses. My preference is to depict this in a stepwise manner, as follows:



*must be billable through a SaaS transactable offer 

ISV partners will benefit from IP co-sell status beyond access to customers and Microsoft Sellers, with three key benefits to Azure IP Co-sell, including the reduction in Marketplace fees from 20% to 3% of billed sales:

  • Unlock fee reductions, bringing the fee down from 20% to 3% for IaaS & SaaS
  • CSP partners receive a 10% incentive to sell your SaaS & IaaS offerings

Count 3rd party software toward a customer’s MACC (Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment) via Marketplace

MACC (Microsoft Azure Consumption Commitment) and Co-Sell

The “MACC” program, which allows enterprise customers to decrement their Azure spend commitment to Microsoft by purchasing third party software and services through a Transact listing in Azure Marketplace.

To be enrolled in MACC both have to present: 

  1. The Partner Solution must be sold through Azure Marketplace (transactable)
  2. The Solution must have the “IP Co-sell Incentivized” designation

To see if your offer is enrolled in the MACC program, sign into Partner Center and check the Offer overview page. 

Best Practices for Co-selling with Microsoft