In my years of working with the Microsoft channel (first GP, then NAV and AX followed by all disciplines of Microsoft partner) the most consistently interesting and rewarding thing has been learning about these businesses and how they are impacted by being a Microsoft partner.
I love understanding why these companies were set up and whether what they set out to be, is what they have become today.
What was my login?
Feedback I’ve received on what it’s like to work with Microsoft as a partner has ranged from glowing to absolute despair. When it comes to personal interactions the response is almost always outstanding; it’s the programmes that have posed the biggest challenges.
How do you navigate them? How do you keep on top of things? Who can you talk to if you’re an unmanaged partner? What was my login for the Partner Portal again?
Today I’ve seen a post that provides a lot of detail on all of the forthcoming changes to the Microsoft Partner Network from AX to Visio (if only there were a competency that included Zune!), designed to help partners exploit cloud and hybrid opportunities.
At over 5,000 words and with a video to watch there’s no wonder it includes an apology for the length of the post, but it’s all crucial information if a partner is to retain a hard-won competency.
It’s not all bad news though – there are additional benefits included in the announcements too.
What’s the impact?
Whilst designed and set up to help companies explore new opportunities, these programmes, and any changes to them, have a material impact on the day to day running and long term strategy of IT organisations.
My last post generated some great discussion on LinkedIn and the blog, which included questioning my thought process (nothing like a provocative blog post title to do that!), but I was interested in exploring whether the thoughts of partners who were genuinely worried rang true.
What was really interesting to read in the feedback from the NAV community was how some thought these certification changes would impact customers, and what their recommendations would be for those seeking to assess the quality of a partner in light of the removal of some certifications.
All in all, the mood around what the changes meant for the NAV and AX product roadmap and community was confident, buoyant and, if my LinkedIn newsfeed is anything to go by, regardless of changes the channel is a great and growing place to be – everyone seems to be recruiting!
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