Microsoft makes major enhancements to its Cloud Partner Program

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Late last year, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program (previously known as Microsoft Partner Network). The didn’t just make the name change, it also made some key changes to the program designed to enhance its effectiveness such as the introduction of two levels of partner capabilities as well as the added capability for partners to tap into the largest technology ecosystem.

Microsoft doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon on that front as it has made more investments in the program to ensure continued support for its partners even as they strive to grow their businesses. The company details that the new investments will enhance efficiency, and uniqueness.

First up, now more than ever partners will be able to benefit from AI capabilities. In the past couple of months, we’ve seen Microsoft integrate AI across most of its services and products, partners can leverage these new additions for their own gain since they can help them provide “innovative solutions for their clients.”

According to Microsoft:

We believe AI will fundamentally change every software category, unlocking a new wave of productivity growth. We are committed to empowering partners to harness the power of this innovation on behalf of customers around the world, while helping them navigate this new era of technology.

Next up, the company is also expanding Solutions Partner designations to feature more options that will differentiate our partners that develop software: our independent software vendor (ISV) partners.

Designations for ISV solutions are aligned to how Microsoft goes to market and how customers are buying: by industry (e.g., finance, retail); by use cases across industries (e.g., security); and by specific imperatives of line-of-business leaders (e.g., marketing and sales). These designations distinguish an application’s specific capabilities and help customers identify proven solutions for their business needs.

Designations for ISV solutions already help customers find partner organizations that are in line with their specific needs, this expansion will build upon this premise further and refine the experience.

Additionally, Microsoft has launched new Business Applications specializations that are aligned with the Business Applications solution area for Microsoft Dynamics 365, and are designed to help clients identify partners that possess the specific skillset they are looking for, thus making it easier for them to seek out their services. They include Finance, Sales, Service, and Supply Chain, bringing the total number of supported specializations to 28.

What’s more, the company has also indicated that it is set to start providing multiparty private offers with the aim of helping partners tap into a wider market audience. Besides, the Microsoft commercial marketplace is one of the most partner-focused business platforms. “Multiparty private offers empower partners to come together, create personalized offers with custom payouts and sell directly to Microsoft customers with simplified selling through the marketplace,” says Microsoft.

Microsoft has also promised to launch Solutions Partner designations for training services and support services later this year. The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program will equip customers with the relevant skills that will help them identify to “quickly identify partners that have met the requirements, including demonstrating their customer success.”

The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program will also allow partners to submit relevant diversity and social impact business classifications in Partner Center, this will in turn allow clients to find partners that they resonate with easily. All the necessary information will now be included in your business profile.

Microsoft will also be having a virtual event dubbed Commercial Marketplace Impact on April 19, where we expect it to expound on diverse-led and social impact businesses in the marketplace and more.