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What One Commercial Partner means for the Microsoft channel

James Henderson | July 13, 2017
Industries take centre stage as Redmond rings internal changes to better serve evolving ecosystem.

Delving deeper, Microsoft is also bolstering investment in inside sales capabilities, in a bid to bridge the vendor’s extensive marketing assets, its Global Demand Centre and all of the campaigns that come from it with partner opportunities.

“This organisation will feed leads to you to help drive us towards that total addressable market,” Althoff explained. “And the final thing you need to know is that the One Commercial Partner is critical to our success in the enterprise and in the small, medium and corporate space and that we will always be a partner-led, partner-first company.”

As explained by Althoff, the One Commercial Partner organisation is structured around three key areas - Build-with; Go-to-market or Sell-with.

“Our build with organisation is going to be aligned by you,” Althoff explained. “If you want to write code with us, if you want to build services, if you want to actually go and deploy these things and create value with customers, host them, create managed services, we want to build with you.”

The move represents a shift in thinking for Microsoft, as it moves away from using traditional channel acronyms and definitions, such as value-added reseller (VAR), system integrator (SI) and cloud service provider (CSP).

“If you want to build with us we're going to build with you,” Althoff added. “This organisation will be organised by partners.

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“And when it comes to selling with you, we're going to sell with you the same way in which we're organised, by industry and by segment. We're going to develop rich solutions that serve our customers well.”

Industry alignment

Labelled as “industry focused, partner powered”, the prioritised industries will form the backbone of Microsoft’s channel efforts in the year ahead, with sales, engineering, business development and marketing divisions also aligned from an internal perspective.

“To understand a customer you have to understand the industry they're in,” Microsoft corporate vice president of Worldwide Public Sector and Industry Toni Townes-Whitley added.

“You have to understand what they're trying to disrupt, you have to understand what their competitive environment is, what their market is, you've got to speak their language and you've got to start with your customer language and translate back to your product portfolio.”

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According to Townes-Whitley, industry alignment will be delivered through four key drivers, including partner model, new industry-dedicated roles, tools and resources as well as industry solutions.

“It’s important to know what we're building together towards an industry,” Townes-Whitley added. “It's important to know that we're selling together within industry capability.”


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