Microsoft Inspire 2020 is a wrap. On behalf of the Business Applications team, thank you to everyone in the partner community for participating in our first ever all-digital event. You turned out in droves from every corner of the planet—in fact, 70 percent of you tuned in from outside the United States—and brought an incredible level of excitement and engagement to our virtual gathering space. It was a great experience for us, and we hope you are inspired and energized as well.
This year, we spotlighted how the partner community has shown leadership during the public health and economic crisis—acting as digital first responders supporting those on every front line—healthcare and education, the public sector, and every industry and vertical. Our mission is to build on this momentum, to empower you with purpose-led strategies, incentives and offers, and resources to drive inclusive and sustainable growth.
Delivering excellence in FY21
We extend our thanks to the partner community, as well as congratulations to our partners of the year. As an example, watch how Hitachi Solutions builds and grows its partner practice with Dynamics 365 Sales—partner of the year in the intelligent sales and marketing category.
We’re excited to work side by side with you to deliver solutions to help customers build resilient businesses positioned for growth and success.
Before sharing details about some of the investments for our partner community, we encourage you to explore the wealth of Inspire content now available on-demand. Watch the welcome segment from Satya Nadella, Brad Smith, Nick Parker, and Gavriella Schuster on Microsoft’s role in the world, innovation and scale with partners, partner achievements, and the opportunities ahead. Watch the on-demand session from Alysa Taylor about the partner investments to drive customer success with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform, as well as Microsoft’s industry investments to help you grow your business. You’ll also find on-demand Connection Zone sessions—Ask the Experts, partner conversations, and partner-to-partner discussions on a range of topics.
The world is changing rapidly and customer needs are evolving. Now, more than ever, there are ways to create new business opportunities for partners. Our FY21 investments in the Business Applications partner community are designed to reward partners who deliver strategic solutions that drive exceptional results for customers. Take a moment to review some of the highlights, including the ISV Connect Program, incentives, and offers.
ISV Connect Program
At Inspire, Steven Guggenheimer, Casey McGee, and I previewed what’s next for the Microsoft Business Applications ISV Connect Program, along with a look at how partners are building innovative line of business solutions for businesses across industries. In our Inspire session, we detailed how, in FY21, we’ll continue to focus on building on the fundamentals—platform access, marketing benefits, and co-sell benefits—as well as event marketing, geo-expansion and channel expansion, and making go-to-market benefits more accessible to partners. Investments in Microsoft AppSource are making it easier to connect directly with customers, including updated search capabilities and user experience to improve the discoverability of your apps and services.
Watch the next big ISV opportunity session on-demand and read Steven’s “Business Applications: the next big ISV opportunity” blog post on the program’s updates. Moving forward, I’m honored to take the reins of the program from Steven Guggenheimer who, in just one year, built a program with more than 550 ISVs and 1,200 certified apps in AppSource. I look forward to engaging with the ISV community to build on the tremendous momentum so far. There’s really no better time to build an app, IP, or practice around the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform portfolio.
Incentives and offers
In FY21, Microsoft will continue to provide a rich set of investments for our partner community across the entire cloud platform, including Microsoft Business Applications. These investments include partner incentives, which reward a partner’s role in driving strategic outcomes for the business and partner offers, which provide funding for driving specific pre-sales and post-sales activities.
The Microsoft Business Applications partner incentives portfolio will emphasize the importance of not only helping existing cloud customers grow seats, but also supporting new customers getting back to work and revitalizing their businesses. New cloud customers will come from existing on-premises Dynamics 365 users as well, as they seek partner help to migrate to the cloud—migrations are a focus area for investment.
In addition, the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) offerings will include incentives for key products such as Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Professional, so partners can choose to zoom into specific solution areas most relevant for the current business environment.
Microsoft is also allocating investments to growth areas where partners play a strategic role in developing customer relationships. To this end, a new set of partner offers is being introduced to help partners drive pre-sales activities, designed to help customers accelerate through the buying process. Such activities will include Catalyst Accelerators like the Envisioning Workshop, and activities that establish proof of value, like Pilots.
The activities that get funded will include:
- Offer 1: The Catalyst Accelerator pre-sales: Identify and extend the customer’s desired KPI changes into one of the Sales Play key scenarios using Business Applications workloads as defined in the solutions blueprint
- Offer 2: Proof-of-Value: Demonstrate the value of specific Business Applications solutions to the customer through pilots and in-a-day workshops
For more information, please see the Business Applications FY21 partner offers.
The team is getting ready to announce the details on incentive changes in August—stay tuned to the Dynamics 365 blog and the Microsoft Partner Network for more updates.