MS Inspire not very Inspiring?
Am I the only one that found the UK Local Connection session not very connecting and underwhelming?
Yes its nice to see who wins partner of the year, but for the only UK based session I'd rather have learnt more about what Microsoft UK will offer of the next 12 months. Not having a PDM its the main point of contact for a lot of partners to hear straight from Microsoft what opportunities there are going to be.
I've already fed back in some of the sessions last night that as a smaller partner like the majority its gets boring constantly to see in the presentation "Talk to your PDM for further information". Its as if Microsoft is becoming a closed shop for the larger selected partners when you add on to this what has happened over the last 12 months with NCE and now with the new Microsoft Cloud Partner Program.
I'm looking for the positives, but so far see little.
Likewise I have not had a chance to catch-up as have had my hands full sorting out issues with customers and NCE!
But having seen all of the LinkedIN posts etc., it looks like the interesting stuff was kept for the "Private" UK Partner sessions as outlined by Orla "kicking off a full day of exec meetings and roundtables." Along with the awards dinner later.......
As an ex-Microsoft partner manager I do find it disappointing that Microsoft are trying to push the majority of partners to distribution - I don't think they want fewer partners but they do want to manage less directly. Not sure what you need to do these days to register on the radar - size? growth? Microsoft commitment? Driving key products? We have activated 2,000+ seats of Business Voice (Direct Routing) last FY and we dont even get a drip feed of leads through the portal any more!
It's hard to tell what they want unless they talk to the community. The issue they've got is that by dealing with a very narrow selection of partners they'll get a very narrow world view. I've certainly stopped replying to their surveys so they're not even getting that feedback now.
Are partners who are managed by distribution really partners in the descriptive form, or just Partners in title? Maybe Partners by name, but we effectively partner with the distributor. And that's bringing quite a set of mixed results too!
We are a tier 1 currently, so distributor to fall back on so seem to fall in to this grey area where Microsoft simply don't care as not big enough in there eyes, but don't want to rely on a distributor on tier 2.
Microsoft don't publish the requirements either to get a PDM as set at a local level so you never know what level you need to reach to be remotely interesting to them.
Not had a single qualified lead in the portal since April 2021!
The only UK based event for partners appeared to be a security event in October to which we applied to only to be rejected as we were seen as a direct competitor to those leading the event for Microsoft. It means no UK based events for us this year at the moment.
Well that makes me feel slightly better that it is not just us then!
Microsoft have set out their stall and the "squeezed middle", which is where I would put Risc and 848 , are left to fend for themselves.
I can't comment as I haven't even bothered to join any of the sessions, partly because I'll catch up with anything important but mostly because positives were already hard to find.
It is sad, but I suspect you are spot on. They want fewer partners, and they're going to get their way.