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Partnership 101

How to build a foundation with Microsoft to accelerate your business

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RECAP - Ask Me Anything Topic: Partnering with Microsoft

In case you missed it, check back to read the November AMA, which featured questions answered by John Mighell, Microsoft Global Breadth Partner Enablement Lead. Have more questions? Comment below and we will answer them.

AMA Questions:

What is the best way for a startup to get engaged with Microsoft?

  • What resources are available to startups? Is BizSpark still an option?
  • What guidance can Microsoft provide to determine underserved markets?
  • Once a solution is created ... what are the next steps? Who from Microsoft is on-point to help new ventures get engaged with the Microsoft machine? with other partners?

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As ISV looking to build apps for Dynamics 365

  1. Should I be looking at AppSource as more of a platform to Marketing my solution and tease the audience on what I can offer or should I be offering a complete solution to solve the needs of the client?
  2. Is there any guidance Microsoft has to offer on areas the Microsoft would like to see gaps filled with apps?
  3. Does Microsoft assist with any Marketing efforts once the app is listed on AppSource or should the ISV still be running it's own Marketing campaigns to drive traffic to AppSource?

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What resources are available to the Micro Partner? 

These are partners that have invested in action pack and are probably not going to ever grow beyond 1 or 2 resources internally.  They often leverage other partners to help them deliver services they can't do but offer enhanced services in their expertise (i.e. Sales Leadership, Marketing, etc).   Since they will never be able to get competencies in certain areas they will never be able to sell certain items via the CSP program.  How can they be able to get financial growth from this model?

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What resources are available to non-managed partners (from MS Corp and MS Field)?

 

This parallels my initial question about how Microsoft is engaging with startups. It also parallels David's question about small businesses that NEVER want to be big. By definition these small businesses will never be what Microsoft considers a "managed" partner. Yet, because these smaller businesses can impact Azure consumption, customer engagement, and partner perceptions there is a need to make it as easy as possible for a Potential Partner to make a Microsoft platform decision.

What this really comes down to is ... Why partner with Microsoft instead of with the competition? 

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1. What is your advice for how partners can build a great realationship with Microsoft's sales people on the field?

2. How do I utilize my MPN membership in order to build P2P relations with other partners?

3. What is, in your opinion, the most under-utilized benefit in MPN?

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How do partners find out who their Microsoft contact is? Let alone what or who a PDM is (or does)?

re: Your local microsoft contact or Partner Development Manager (PDM) might be able to provide this guidance.

While I appreciate the direct response ... there are new (and existing) partners that don't know who to contact at Microsoft.

This is a challenge for all partners across all products and geos.

  • What is MSFT doing to help new and existing partners to find their local contact?
  • Is there a guide online?
  • Is there a local, regional, and country manager that owns this motion?

The IAMCP stands ready to help. The IAMCP can be a first line of engagement and can help provide education, guidance, and a local connection / gathering / rallying point.

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What if you are NOT an MPN partner?

  • What is the process for signing up?
  • How long does it take?

PS - I know the answers to these because I answer them all the time with my partners, clients and customers. But, I think it would be great to see if addressed on this AMA.

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What guidance can Microsoft provide to determine underserved markets (where are the gaps)?

Microsoft has access to a lot more information about markets. Please share with us, the partners and potential partners, the areas where Microsoft sees opportunities (for partners).

With this guidance I know more than a few current partners and quite a few potential partners that want to start building solutions. 

Again, the IAMCP is ready and willing to help communicate this out. The IAMCP already has P2P efforts in place to identify, secure, and win business together. We want to do more. Help us with Guidance on the Gaps.

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What does it mean to be a "managed" partner?

  1. Why would a partner want to be managed?
  2. What is the process to become managed?
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