At Worldwide Partner Conference 2011, Microsoft highlighted the benefits of cloud computing and the value of vertical solutions.
"More than 15,000 partners at the Microsoft WPC11, currently taking place in Los Angeles, have gathered to discuss business innovation and change -- and, more precisely, the change that fuels progress. Much of what's being discussed this year comes in the form of cloud computing."
While businesses consider the implications and benefits of the cloud, many partners, including value-added resellers and independent software vendors (ISVs), must evolve and transform their business models to thrive among this change.
"Making sure the transition to the cloud is smooth for partners is a big priority for Microsoft," says Doug Kennedy, vice president, Microsoft Dynamics Partners. Recently, executives released the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Partner Profitability Guide, which gives partners a 36-month roadmap for transitioning to a cloud-based business model. At WPC, an addendum will be incorporated for ISVs, which covers the considerations an ISV should make when transitioning to the cloud and includes sample pricing and licensing models to show the financial impact over a five-year period.
"The cloud isn't the only change partners are embracing. In 2009, the Microsoft Business Solutions group announced changes would be made to its partner network to encourage partners to take full advantage of a steady growth in demand for vertically specific enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions. These changes included new, more robust requirements for partners to achieve Gold and Silver certification and updated Microsoft Dynamics-specific training focused on marketing, sales, project management and solution delivery, in addition to existing technical training. The training is offered through the MDPA Academy and, since July 2010, more than 3,000 partners have been trained at Partner Development Centers located around the world, with an average satisfaction score of 8.02 out of 9," said Kennedy.
These adjustments are designed to provide partners with a sustainable model for delivering repeatable solutions to specific industries by increasing their ability to scale and helping them to be more productive.
Kennedy says the dialogue at WPC is centering on these strategies and incentives, as well as on educating partners about what's yet to be rolled out. For example, beginning Jan. 1, 2012, partners will have the opportunity to receive greater compensation for focusing on vertical specialization -- they'll be directly rewarded for growth, in addition to total revenue. "By helping our partners transition to a model of delivering vertical solutions, we can help them drive more demand, be more profitable and, ultimately, grow their business," Kennedy says.
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