Microsoft has unveiled updates to the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), to better help partners grow their businesses and meet evolving technology needs of customers around the globe through tools, training and incentives totalling $5,8-billion for fiscal year 2012.
"Winning together with our partners today, and long into the future, means delivering incredible world-class technologies to meet customer needs, as well as the right partner incentives, tools and training, which will ultimately drive business growth for them," says Jon Roskill, corporate vice-president of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft, speaking before more than 15 000 attendees from around the globe at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference. "We are bringing our partners to the cloud with us – they can use the tools and skills they have now to take their clients to the cloud."
Roskill announced new or extended solutions and online service incentives that are available and aligned to key priorities such as customer projects, accelerated growth of public and private cloud adoption, and tools demonstrating a broad commitment to partners' success. Partners are encouraged to engage through the Microsoft Partner Network to benefit from the incentives.
The projects include:
* The newly separated Messaging competency and Communications competency help differentiate companies with the explicit skill set and depth of experience to provide a holistic unified communications solution that includes voice and video. The competency split also will enhance recognition for partners' investments in advanced capabilities with Exchange, Lync and Microsoft Office 365.
* The merger of the Systems Management and Virtualization competencies in May 2012 will strengthen partners' ability to help customers realize the benefits of cloud computing on their terms with Microsoft private cloud solutions. Partners can prepare now by attaining the current competencies for System Center management and Windows Server Hyper-V virtualisation.
* New Software Assurance Planning Services will be available in August, paying qualified partners to deliver deployment services to Microsoft Software Assurance customers for Microsoft private cloud, Windows Azure public cloud, SQL Server and software development. These opportunities will help partners grow their client base, strengthen customer relationships and increase service revenues.
* Windows Azure Incentives reward qualified partners in the Windows Azure Circle program that influence customer adoption of Microsoft's public cloud platform. As a result, partners can build new, sustainable revenue streams by helping customers benefit from the public cloud.
* Private Cloud Incentives. The Management and Virtualization Solution Incentive Program will reward qualified Gold Certified partners that influence sales of Microsoft private cloud technologies. This complements the Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate program that will fund partner and customer private cloud assessments, proofs of concept, and production deployments.
* The SQL Server Solution Incentive Program delivers rewards to Gold Certified partners that drive application platform and business intelligence solutions to customers, particularly with the upcoming cloud-ready information platform, SQL Server "Denali”.
* Monetary incentives and license mobility [http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/value-of-volume-licensing.aspx ] available through Microsoft Software Assurance for Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center and SQL Server will help hosting solution providers grow their businesses by enabling customers to deploy their Server Application licenses with Software Assurance on-premises or in the cloud within hosting partners' shared hardware environments.
* Microsoft is investing in scaled business model transformation approaches for high-potential partners (from in-person coaching to online self-serve), which will help business decision-makers within partner organizations build specific plans, analyze the change implications of integrating cloud (e.g., profit and loss shifts, staffing needs, etc.), and define commitments and a timeframe to execute the shift.
* To continue spurring the growth of Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft is offering eligible partners an increased Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Advisor Program (CSA) compensation of 40 percent on new subscription sales of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online as part of the existing CSA.
* Expanded Internal Use Rights will offer increased Lync and Windows Intune licenses for partners. The number of licenses allotted to Cloud Accelerate partners will grow to 100 from two and those to Cloud Essentials partners will grow to 25 from 10. New partner toolkits and opportunity guides will help partners start paving a path to profitability with public and private solutions for the following four markets: small business, midmarket segment, enterprise and public sector.
Wrapping up the keynotes, Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner said: “We understand that partners have a choice in working with us. As they evolve their businesses to embrace cloud technologies, partners can count on Microsoft to provide the tools for cloud training, the resources to generate sales leads, and the ability to boost revenue and increase value for customers. We're committed to our partners' profitability and long-term business success."