“The ethos of being partner-led is always going to be in everything we do” – Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft at Inspire 2017.
This partner focus set the tone for the announcements during the keynotes on the first day of Microsoft Inspire 2017. Some of the major announcements were:
Digital Transformation the focus
Digital transformation was a key theme at the conference and Satya Nadella, CEO Microsoft, made it clear that it would go down that path through partners. This opens up a $4.5 trillion opportunity from digital transformation to partners.Microsoft believes, these transformation outcomes will also include optimizing operations and empowering employees.
Partnership with KPMG
Microsoft has teamed up with KPMG to deliver Clara, a new smart audit platform, fully powered by Azure. The comprehensive, cloud-based platform allows professional services firm to let its member firms conduct external financial statement audits. It is an accompaniment to Microsoft 365, a new go to market approach for its commercial offerings. The partnership with KPMG is part of a broader push to showcase the capabilities of Microsoft’s public cloud Azure.
This post from Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Office, provides details about the new Microsoft 365 subscriptions announced during the keynote.
While Microsoft 365 Enterprise is large organization focused, Microsoft 365 Business is small & medium sized business focused. According to Forrester Consulting, Microsoft 365 Enterprise increases partner revenue opportunity by more than 50 percent vs. selling and deploying Office 365 alone.
Microsoft EVP of worldwide commercial business, Judson Althoff said, “Microsoft 365 puts people at the center, giving them flexibility to work where and how they want, and giving them new ways to collaborate with others — all while protecting company data.”
Microsoft 365 Enterprise:
- Unlocks creativity by enabling people to work naturally with ink, voice and touch, all backed by tools that utilize AI and machine learning
- Provides the broadest and deepest set of apps and services with a universal toolkit for teamwork, giving people flexibility and choice in how they connect, share and communicate
- Simplifies IT by unifying management across users, devices, apps and services
- Helps safeguard customer data, company data and intellectual property with built-in, intelligent security
Microsoft 365 Business
- Helps companies achieve more together by better connecting employees, customers and suppliers.
- Empowers employees to get work done from anywhere, on any device.
- Protects company data across devices with always-on security.
- Simplifies the set-up and management of employee devices and services with a single IT console.
Dynamics 365 apps and LinkedIn integrations available, including LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales. The new Dynamics 365 for Talent and Dynamics 365 for Retail solutions to be released by the end of the month. More sales and marketing apps are available for the Dynamics 365 Insider program.
An extension of the Azure public cloud, developed to target businesses that are still keen to stick with on-premises environments. Azure Stack is now available for hardware partners HPE, Dell, EMC, and Lenovo. Cisco and Huawei to join soon.
ISV Cloud Embed
Partners can purchase core Dynamics 365, Power BI, Power Apps and Microsoft Flow capabilities (business applications platforms) as embeddable building blocks,at discounts of up to 50 per cent. App developers can build on top of their unique IP and partners can showcase their apps on Microsoft AppSource.
Microsoft to hire dedicated Channel Managers who will be 100% focused on supporting partners go to market efforts, helping ensure their solutions reach new customers and integrating with Microsoft’s co-sell motion. This represent a quarter of a billion dollar investment that materially increases Microsoft’ partner-dedicated personnel, and adds to Azure co-sell incentives.
Against the backdrop of all these announcements, Microsoft is changing its approach to selling with partners and establishing new incentives. It is shifting from paying its field sales on the basis of billed revenue rather than paying on the basis of consumed revenue.
Stay tuned for more regarding partner focused initiatives from Microsoft, during the course of the Inspire 2017!