Empowering Microsoft Partners to start a conversation with Microsoft
Are you a Microsoft Partner and looking for ways to collaborate and have an active engagement with Microsoft? If yes, this blog can help you to get started with a conversation with Microsoft to help you accelerate growing your cloud business, technical practices, marketing and get connected!
Cloud Enablement Desk
The customer demand for cloud solutions has accelerated suddenly and you might like some guidence from Microsoft with building new innovative Microsoft solutions. The Cloud Enablement Desk can help you find focus trough a programmatic engagement to discuss your cloud business. All you need to do is fill in the Cloud Enablement Desk contact form to get started for free.
Check out Lieke Hamers blog 'How to engage the Cloud Enablement Desk to grow your cloud practice' to learn more.
Collaborate with Microsoft on behalf of your customer
Microsoft has dedicated customer teams. The reality is that customers often outsource their whole IT estate to partners. It can be desirable that a partner communicates directly with Microsoft on behalf of a customer. To organize a meeting regarding a specific customer you can nomination yourself as a the partner on behalf of the customer trough the nomination contact form. Although the form states modern workplace you can comment in the last section if it is in regards of another product. You should comment that you are a partner and whether or not you want to involve the customer or are speaking on their behalf.
Technical engagement with Microsoft engineers Microsoft FastTrack
FastTrack is an amazing program that can help you accelerate your customers deployments while building your cloud skills and learning from and engaging with Microsoft engineers engineers for free!
There are some requirements. For example, you and/or your customer need to give a commitment to work on a certain project. An minimum estimate of Azure consumption after one year or a minimum of 500 M365 licenses that need to be deployed. Learn more about the requirements and how you can work with Microsoft engineers on your customer case. Visit the FastTrack pages for Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to learn about eligibility.
Partner Technical Services
For personalized assistance across multiple technical roles, our Partner Technical Services allow you to engage with Microsoft technical consultants offering everything from presales deployment assistance, app development and architecture guidance across Azure, Modern Workplace and Business Application solutions. Partner Technical Services are available to partners who have Advisory Hours through the Microsoft Partner Network program.
Engage with a Partner Development Manager
The list of partners who will have a direct contact at Microsoft is defined every year around the ending and start of the Microsoft fiscal year. In case that you don't have a PDM and you would like someone dedicated like me there are some actions you can take! Of-course I can't make any promises but there some guidance points that might help you to highlight yourself as a potential managed partner!
- Set up your customer associations - At Microsoft we like to learn which partner is working with which customer to give recognition and collaborate. Learn more about customer associations: Why Microsoft Partners should consider setting up customer associations | LinkedIn
- Co-sell your solutions that are build with or on top of Microsoft solutions. Publish your solutions in the Microsoft commercial marketplace. In case that your are already selling these solutions and you would like to collaborate with Microsoft, make sure that you share your co-sell opportunities trough Partner Center to inform Microsoft sellers on the opportunity to collaborate.
- Optimize your Microsoft business. With the new Insights dashboard you are able to access powerful reporting by providing a unified view of data across your Microsoft Partner Network organizational hierarchy. Spanning different partner programs, licensing models, and products, these reports are built on a platform that can scale as you grow your business.
- Microsoft has a preference for specialized partners. Highlight your technical skills with partner competencies like the advanced specializations. Check out the requirements here.
- Data Warehouse Migration to Microsoft Azure
- Kubernetes on Microsoft Azure
- Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop
- Modernization of Web Applications to Microsoft Azure
- SAP on Microsoft Azure
- Windows Server and SQL Server Migration to Microsoft Azure
- Linux and Open Source Databases Migration to Microsoft Azure
- Adoption and Change Management Advanced Specialization
- Calling for Microsoft Teams Advanced Specialization
- Meetings and Meeting Rooms for Microsoft Teams Advanced Specialization
- Teamwork Deployment Advanced Specialization
- Identity and Access Management Advanced Specialization
- Threat Protection Advanced Specialization
- Microsoft Low Code Application Development Advanced Specialization
- Small and Midsize Business Management Advanced Specialization
Microsoft Advanced and Premium Support
Partners who have an Microsoft Advanced and Premium Support for Partners agreement have a direct contact at Microsoft. Cloud enablement services and Pro-active and advisory services can help you and your organization to review, discuss, build and support technical cloud solutions and skills! My colleague Rob Roggeveen wrote a blog (in dutch) about all the advantages and possibilities the ASfP offers -> 'Meer business doen met Advanced Support for Partners (ASfP)?'
Go to Market together with Microsoft
Most Microsoft Partner programs are self service trough Solution Workspace in Partner Center. Even though the GTM programs are not always interactive, I do want to emphasize the options available as I notice that partners are often not aware of these and can offer your great additions to your own GTM strategy and plan.
In case that you have a co-sell ready solution even more benefits apply. You can learn more at Co-sell with Microsoft.
Building your engagement on LinkedIn
Many of my colleagues are active on LinkedIn and share valuable information. The following list of colleagues often share partner focused information. By connecting, following and actively engaging by liking and commenting you can start to work on your visibility and your social presence.
- Michel Bouman - Microsoft Teams certified expert | Teams Talk Podcast host
- Jeroen Jansen - Partner Success Manager Microsoft | Teams Talk podcast host
- Hans van der Meer - Sr. Business Group manager Microsoft 365
- Remco de Kramer - Product Marketing Manager Modern Work
- Kenny van Beeck - Partner Marketing Advisor
- Guido Kerkhof - Data, AI and Cloud Services
- Andries Klumpenaar - Dynamics365 Partners | BusApps | Ecosystems
- JW Barkmeijer - Partner Marketing Advisor for SMB and Central GTM Marketing Motions ( Check out JW's Pointdrive for actual (free) Partner Marketing Programs)
- Christiaan Brinkhoff - Global Black Belt, Windows Virtual Desktop
- Michel Roth - Windows Virtual Desktop Sales Lead
- Gavriella Schuster - Corporate Vice President, Commercial Partner at Microsoft
In case that you are an indirect provider, you can contact your indirect reseller for support. If you encounter problems with a Microsoft service or with Partner Center, you can escalate to Microsoft for help, and track the issue until it's resolved.
Partner Center support - Get help and create tickets for all Partner Center programs.
Support on behalf of customers - Get help and report problems on your customer.
Check service health - Check if there are any current known service outages in Partner Center.
Microsoft distributors have developed excellent partner programs to support Partners with strategic guidance, support and both hands-on and on-demand training with focus on both sales and technical skills. The Microsoft organization works closely together with our distributor to be informed about opportunities to actively support when a strategic opportunity arise.
Final words and recommended reads
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope that you found new ways to engage with Microsoft. In case you want to learn more, you can scroll and click away at the Microsoft Partner Hub and the Partner Community Page. You can also continue reading by exploring my other partner blogs:
- Empowering Microsoft Partners with 5 tips to get the most out of your co-op funds
- Why Microsoft Partners should consider setting up customer associations
- Partner tips for a head start in the upcoming Microsoft Year
- Empowering Microsoft Partners with 'hidden' benefits
- Azure Fundamentals Exam Prep Tips!
- De Microsoft One Commercial Partner (OCP) organisatie voor Partners