Microsoft clarifies changes to channel division

By By James Henderson Jul 13th 2017
Microsoft clarifies changes to channel division
Tech giant brings together partner-focused teams into one organisation, under the newly created One Commercial Partner division.

Microsoft is bringing together partner-focused teams from across the company into one organisation, under the newly created One Commercial Partner division.

“One Commercial Partner harnesses our partner expertise and knowledge – technical, marketing, business development, and programs,” Microsoft corporate vice president of One Commercial Partner Ron Huddleston said.

“It brings together the things that work so that every partner can benefit, regardless of size, business model, or geography. This organisation is not just partner led, it’s partner first, and it was designed to put our focus on your success and growth.”

Unveiled during the opening day of Microsoft Inspire in Washington D.C., Huddleston said all partner-facing roles will have the responsibility to work with the channel in one of three primary functions - Build-with; Go-to-market or Sell-with.

“Whether you need to build a practice, build IP, or build your capabilities, our team of partner development professionals are there to support you,” Huddleston explained.

“They have business model expertise and are supported by technical and specialist resources. Their mission is to get the right resource to you at the right time to support your success and growth.”

From a go-to-market standpoint, Huddleston said Microsoft’s partner marketing team will help the channel bring solutions to market through new offers.

“They will orchestrate with the teams that build with you on the market opportunity and the teams that sell with you on customer needs,” he added.

Specific to the sell-with aspect of the new-look channel division, Huddleston said the vendor is adding a new role to its partner business.

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“Channel managers have responsibility for connecting the right partner solutions to the right customer at the right time,” Huddleston added. “Armed with best practices, marketplaces, and solution maps, they will work hand in hand with Microsoft sales teams and customers of all sizes and across industries.”

As Microsoft moves towards selling with partners, the vendor is also investing additional resources into two key programs.

The first, Azure co-sell, provides sales and marketing support for partners building solutions with Azure.

“Azure is the only public cloud providing partners with this incredible benefit through which Microsoft sales reps are paid up to ten per cent of the partner’s annual contract value when they co-sell qualified Azure-based partner solutions,” Huddleston explained.

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“The second is our new Channel Managers. This globally distributed force will be 100 per cent dedicated to you and help you sell solutions built with Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office, and Dynamics 365.”

Collectively, Huddleston said these programs represent a quarter of a billion dollar investment to increase partner-dedicated personnel and add to the vendor’s new Azure co-sell incentives.

James Henderson attended Microsoft Inspire as a guest of Microsoft.

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