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February 6, 2019

Microsoft Adding 7,500 Commercial Partners Every Month

A massive 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue comes via partners

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft is adding a massive 7,500 commercial partners to its network every month, the company said in a “state of the channel” call on Tuesday afternoon, pledging to improve user experience, as well as access and visibility for independent software vendors (ISVs) across its Azure Marketplace, and AppSource channels.

With 95 percent of Microsoft’s commercial revenue flowing directly through its partner ecosystem, it is ramping up relationships with a range of partners, it said, as the company adds a growing range of SaaS offerings to Azure; it now lists a potentially bewildering array of over 8,000 apps and services on its marketplaces.

(Azure Marketplace is Microsoft’s online applications and services marketplace. Customers, mostly IT pros and developers, can discover, try and buy cloud software solutions built on Azure or built for Azure. The catalogue’s listings include Azure building blocks like Virtual Machines (VMs), APIs, and Solution Templates).

For partners, Azure Marketplace is also the launching point for all joint Go-To-Market activities with Microsoft to reach more customers.

microsoft marketplaceMicrosoft’s Charlotte Yarkoni, head of commerce and ecosystems, cited Forester research that suggests enterprise adoption of cloud marketplaces will grow from 29 percent to 75 percent in the next two years.

She said in a blog: “Customers are changing their software buying patterns, especially among the biggest enterprises that increasingly want to learn, try, and buy online.”

She added: “Offers from ISV, MSP, and SI partners now sit alongside Microsoft services like Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure in our product catalog, providing customers with the most extensive set of options available direct and from our reseller channel. Partners should consider which storefront is best for them to reach more customers and expand their distribution potential, either AppSource, with a focus on industry-tailored solutions, or Azure Marketplace, home to state-of-the art cloud software…”

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Microsoft Marketplace Tweaks Pending

One of the biggest (new) developments is the ability for Microsoft partners to offer their solutions to its partner ecosystem via the Cloud Solutions Provider programme, with a single click, Microsoft said, also promising a range of UX upgrades.

“We’re also improving the user experience and interface with natural language and recommendations features. And by setting up private marketplaces, partners will be able to customize the terms for any specific customer—billing or metering their services on a per-user, per-app, per-month, or per-day basis to meet customer needs.”

The call came as Microsoft also announced that it was doubling down on its partnership with Accenture, creating a new Accenture Microsoft Business Group.

Accenture described its involvement as “the largest investment by a partner in Microsoft to-date, 45,000+ dedicated professionals form the largest group of Microsoft solution experts in the world (outside of MSFT).”

The commitment adds 10,000 professionals committed to upselling Microsoft-centric solutions to the 35,000 under their Avenade joint venture.

In a blog announcing the fresh partnership push, Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster said: “Part of Microsoft’s digital transformation is moving beyond transactional reselling via partners, to a true partnership philosophy where we’re working together to develop and sell each other’s technology and solutions… We focus as much on selling third-party solutions as our own, and the speed of the cloud enables all of us to accelerate value to our customers.”

Gartner estimates the opportunity for business applications will be $133 billion this year, with independent software vendors (ISVs) driving more than half of that.

See also: Five Things We Learned from Microsoft’s Earnings


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