Partner Bot launches Phase 1
This post was written by @Alanté Fields. She is the Digital Innovations Content Planner for One Commercial Partner, leading the strategy for Partner Bot as well as managing research arm of our Creative Design Studio.
The vision of the Partner Bot project is to design a personalized, virtual coach and assistant dedicated to helping our partners achieve more. It will quickly guide partners to areas of interest, proactively suggest additional resources and actions, and help partners way-find to resources that correspond with their needs.
The Partner Bot differs from many previously deployed Microsoft virtual agents as its focus is on nurture — not as a support desk — leveraging digital content to help partners progress through the partner ecosystem. As reaching this level of capability is unchartered territory, we expect this to be a multi-year project, with year one focusing on the Partner Bot MVP launch on partner.microsoft.com. The launch will be released in three concurrent phases as we develop content and increase our technical capabilities
The first phase launches with a partner acronym library and over 500 FAQs pulled from top partner questions on topics ranging from creating a business profile to managing benefits and downloads. We also launched three nurture-focused flows, which are embedded on specific pages related to the conversation. These flows are:
Go-to-Market resources and benefits
There is a swath of resources available to partners looking to bring solutions to market, generate leads, and more. Our goal with this conversation is to help partners discover, way-find, and activate these marketing resources.
Find this flow: On our Go to market with Microsoft page
Microsoft Partner Community
Microsoft Partner Community (MPC) is a discussion community designed to support partner-to-partner engagement and drive partner-Microsoft business conversations. Our goal with this conversation is to help partners access and engage with relevant communities, events, and other MPC content that fits their interests and needs.
Find this flow on: On our Build partnerships page
Released in 2019, Solution Workspace is a personalized tool, providing curated guidance to help partners track their next big idea from its first steps to customer availability. As partners continue to discover and leverage this tool, our goal with the Bot is to collect feedback around specific experiences within Solution Workspace that will drive enhancements.
Find this flow on: Partners who have solutions in Solution Workspace will be able to engage with the Solution Workspace flow on their Solution Details page.
Scheduled to occur in later this summer, we will launch an improved User Interface and have authentication enabled. We will also continue to build our FAQ library and launch new nurture flows. Based on the content of this new set of conversations, we will expand the Partner Bots to new pages.
The December 2020 release will see the launch of partner data triggered flows. This will drastically increase the Bot’s ability to provide personalized and contextual content and advice. This will also result in an expansion across partner.microsoft.com.
Other important notes
In addition to our nurture content, the Partner Bot is leveraging Microsoft’s Project Personality Chat, utilizing an adapted version of the “Professional” personality to create a more engaging experience.
The Partner Bot design principles stipulate that the Bot adhere to Microsoft’s guidelines to responsible bots, avoid stereotypes around identity, and be transparent about its capabilities. These principles can be seen in our choice for a non-gendered, non-race specific Partner Bot avatar. Let us know what you think about the avatar in the comments section of this post.
The Partner Bot’s initial release will be in English (en-us) only. We are actively working on making the Bot available in multiple language and increasing our natural language processing capabilities. We will update partners when we have a release date.
We will be monitoring Partner Bot metrics to track engagement with the nurture flows and FAQ content. As you interact with the Bot, be sure to rate your experience the level of helpfulness when prompted. Additionally, you can post feedback in the comments (with screenshots). We will be monitoring this post for your feedback.
Lastly, if you’re interested in co-designing and testing future Partner Bot experiences, please leave a note in the comments and we will connect with you.