Shopping for Microsoft Partners
If you have an interest in developing new channel partners in the new year, now is an excellent time to prepare by adding Microsoft Partners to your holiday shopping list!
For example, an ISV with a solution that enables migration to Office 365 may appeal to systems integrators delivering Modern Workplace projects. In this case, the ISV would look for SI partners with a Cloud Productivity competency. The fact that the SI sent people to the Inspire event implies they are a committed Microsoft partner, and Inspire attendees are more likely to be open to a partnering discussion since they opted-in to the partner networking tool.
Unfortunately, the Inspire networking directory is slated to be taken down around the end of the year. All that valuable partner information will be gone until Inspire 2018 (Las Vegas in July), when a new batch of attendees profile themselves.
Microsoft used to provide a web directory (“Pinpoint”) to facilitate this partner-to-partner engagement but that unfortunately is no longer available. The modern equivalent is the Solution Provider Search which only lists CSP partners and provides dismal search capabilities (for example, you can’t search by Microsoft Competencies). There are 3rd party partner directories, but because they aren’t from Microsoft they don’t elicit self-profiling by most of the Microsoft partner ecosystem.
If partner recruiting is an H1 2018 priority, conduct your search now using the Inspire networking directory. In this way, you’ll have relevant partner prospects to pursue in the new year. Note that only attendees of Inspire 2017 have access to the networking directory.
Performing the search is one step in the partner recruiting journey. Other key elements include defining a compelling partner proposition (including a financial model), eliciting partnership discussions, and supporting partners for onboarding and sales development. See the Channel Development Best Practices whitepaper for additional partner recruiting insights.
Happy Hunting and Happy Holidays!