TORONTO, ON – A number of partner enhancements are coming out of Microsoft today both for regular and CSP partners as the software giant doubles down on its channel investment.
These include enhanced certifications and endorsements, increased investment in free software, new webstore development kits for CSP partners, a new deal referral engine and more. Here’s CDN’s breakdown of all the announcements.
Regular Partner Enhancements
Competency Logo Builder
Microsoft believes in its own endorsement. Partner branding and competency badges as a whole is being updated, with a special focus on highlighting gold partners, to better identify them to customers.
The Redmond, Wash. company said it has also simplified the application certification process. It wants to make sure companies can take better advantage of the more advanced courses offered.
Free software, cloud services, and platforms
Microsoft recognizes that partners use its products to do business. It is increasing access to free software and services via its Internal Use Rights program. To quantify it, Microsoft said that it would be doubling its investment in those areas as well as cloud services and platforms over the next year.
Partner Center SDK
Microsoft claims it now has more than 17,000 partners that are now selling through CSP. To help them build profile, the company is releasing a click-to-deploy webstore.
“Because the webstore app is already integrated with Partner Center SDK, you can create and manage your own online webstore without any development effort or investment,” Microsoft said. It is designed to ease onboarding, transacting, and subscription management.
New referral engine
While many of these announcements are significant, the reimagined referral engine may take the cake. Microsoft says that partner solutions and profiles will now be syndicated across its digital properties and communications so customers will find and understand a company’s offerings even before choose to engage. The service is currently in development and will materialize later in the year.
The Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD)
Last but not least, Microsoft wants to play its part in reducing the skills shortage.
Through the Open edX on Azure platform, the company will offer content and tools for partners to establish a Learning as a Service business. The Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD), created on this platform, includes a curriculum and hands-on experience, initially focusing on data sciences.