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New! Free Sandbox licenses for ISV Connect partners (and how partners benefit)



Since launching free and discounted licenses for Partner Sandbox environments, we’ve seen remarkable success with partners. That’s why we’re thrilled to add another exciting opportunity for partners in the ISV Connect program: free Sandbox licenses when you add a Test Drive to your offer in AppSource – regardless of revenue share thresholds


A Sandbox environment provides you with a non-production environment where you can build and demo enterprise-grade apps enabling you to learn, test, and deliver end-to-end customer demos of your solution. To date, we have more than 15 Dynamics 365 and Power Platform SKU’s in market and are releasing more each day (most recently with Dynamics 365 Business Central). 


ISV Connect Partners like Five9 and Sonata are using Sandbox environment licenses to help improve internal skilling, close more deals, and drive innovation within their core solution. By extending free Sandbox licenses to even more partners, we are continuing our commitment to enable innovation and growth by making it easier for you to build and sell with Microsoft. 


Get free Sandbox licenses with Test Drives in AppSource (plus maximize lead conversions!)


Partners who add a Test Drive experience to their offer in AppSource are now eligible to host that experience in a free Sandbox environment. Test Drives are time-based trials that allow your customers to try out your application – built on Dynamics 365 or Power Platform – in real-time and in their own environment before paying for it. 


Using Test Drive, the customer gains hands-on experience of your solution. They can edit and customize aspects to fit the needs of their unique environment for a limited amount of time, determined by you (typically 24-48 hours). 


We’ve found that partners who include a Test Drive in their AppSource listing convert 45% of visitors to qualified leads, 3x higher than those who include Free Trial, Contact Me, or Get it Now offers only. Moreover, partners report that lead quality is much higher since customers have had a chance to experience their application, resulting in higher close rates. 


If you’re interested in enabling a Test Drive experience, we offer a white-glove technical onboarding experience, as well as thorough technical documentation for those who prefer the DIY route. 


How Sandbox licenses are benefiting partners 

Since the initial rollout in August, we’ve seen remarkable results from partners who have taken advantage of Sandbox environments.


Sonata Software improves internal skilling at a reduced cost 

A Microsoft Business Applications partner since 2004, Sonata Software has extensive experience helping enterprise companies build and deploy scalable, integrated, and intelligent platforms for digital transformation.


To keep their global team of 1,500 Dynamics 365 and Power Platform experts up-to-date on the rapidly growing Business Applications portfolio, Sonata built multiple Sandbox environments on Azure and leveraged individual trial instances that would time out intermittently. In addition to significant Azure consumption costs, inconsistent experiences hampered the teams’ ability to build competency on the solutions. 


When the ISV Connect program announced the release of new Sandbox environment licenses to help partners learn, develop, test, and demo at a discounted price, Sonata jumped at the opportunity. No longer needing to build their own ad hoc environments, Sonata was able to accelerate the onboarding of new features and functionalities and increase the effectiveness of pre-sales engagements. 

“The platform has significantly evolved with a lot of components embedded in the core functions. Having the opportunity to enable these end-to-end user scenarios to showcase them for customers makes our team more successful,” explained Naveen Ajmal Mohammed, Vice President of Modernization Initiatives at Sonata. 


“The sandbox license offer was really attractive because we now had access to all the SKUs we needed in a single Sandbox environment with as many user licenses as needed at a reduced cost,” said Mohammed. “I can now have a broader team leveraging the same instance to build competency across the organization.” 

Read the full case study about how Sonata uses Sandbox licenses to build competency and showcase solutions.


Five9 drives better outcomes with customers 

Five9, a Microsoft partner since 2015 and ISV Connect participant since it launched in 2019, had previously relied on ad hoc grants and employee purchases to secure non-production environments for its customer demos and internal quality assurance processes. Inconvenient timing out and an inability to maintain consistent experience directly impacted sales. 

The new discounted Sandbox licenses were a game-changer for Five9, providing the stable environment they needed to run customer demos without timing out. 

“We need [Sandbox licenses] to showcase features and scenarios to our customers, giving them peace of mind that our solutions aren’t vaporware,” says Brandon Viamonte, Alliance Manager for Five9. “We walk every customer through a customer demo during the sales process, so these licenses help generate quality assurance and a better outcome.”


In the case of a Canadian activewear retailer, Five9 worked with Microsoft to create a demo of its not-yet generally available Channel Integration Framework v2 to demonstrate how the solution would integrate seamlessly with Dynamics 365. 


“Because of our partnership and demo capabilities, we were able to immediately show a very solid solution with great integration,” said Viamonte. “We could validate that the joint solution would work really well for their business. The demo was absolutely instrumental in closing the deal.”

Read the full case study about how Five9 is improving development and demo capabilities with Sandbox environments. 


Begin using Sandbox environments 

Ready to get started with partner Sandbox environments and claim the benefits of Test Drives for your solution? Here are your next steps:


Stay Connected

Join the Business Applications Microsoft Partner Community (MPC) to converse, comment, and ask questions with over 5,000 Microsoft Partners.


Blog post by Gerhard Marineau, Director ISV Product Marketing:

Dynamics 365 Partner Portal (microsoft.com)