Every year, a question inevitably arises when Microsoft Inspire, the conference that brings all Microsoft Partners together, is about to go live. What will be this year´s big news?  How can my organization better adapt to these changes and remain competitive in a market in constant evolution? Yet, despite all advancements and paradigm shifts, the core of being a Microsoft Partner stays the same.

While every company chooses its pace in adopting new solutions and embracing upcoming market possibilities, you can always connect with the essence of the Microsoft Partner Network by staying true to some guidelines.

1.     Share the mission

Microsoft’s mission is to empower people and organizations around the globe to achieve more through technology. The transformative power of tech is a constant in Microsoft’s output, especially since the global pandemic hit. There is no turning back. The changes are here to stay. So you must ask yourself: What kind of impact does my organization want to make? Are we challenging ourselves enough to get out of our comfort zone?  Are we advancing closer towards a significant breakthrough?

2.     Become customer-centric

The word “solution” should not be taken for granted. One of the keys to belonging to the Microsoft family is to offer the best possible solution to every customer, tailored to their particularities. A good Microsoft Partner must focus on what the client demands by actively listening and thoroughly researching where their pain points are coming from. The strongest solutions can only be developed after pinpointing where the problem lies and determining how it´s related to the client’s goals.

3.     Know your Microsoft ABC

Regardless of the business relationship, a Partner must know the Microsoft ecosystem like the back of its hand, from the characteristics of the different lines of business to the tools and resources dedicated to Partners. Mastering the environment means knowing how to make the most of it and leveraging all the membership benefits. For example, Digital Marketing Campaigns on-demand or Microsoft Learn can be a lifesaver for starting Partners.

4.     Certifications

Your prestige as an organization and as a Partner may be largely associated with certifications. Matching your offering with your team’s competencies demonstrate your experience and adherence to the latest updates in best practices. Specialize yourself in the areas that are most profitable for you. Support and motivate your staff in gaining new certifications and encourage your team to remain active in the Microsoft community. Soon, your organization will end up with some MVPs!

5.     Spread the word

For some Partners, training events in collaboration with Microsoft are a great part of their lead-hunting. For example, “In a Day” events are a great way to drive businesses towards Microsoft solutions.  If you´re not hosting training events in collaboration with Microsoft, educating your customers on the possibilities of the Microsoft ecosystem -the cloud, remote work, business intelligence, etc.- can be a winning ace to retain them and eventually increase sales.

6.     Be at the Microsoft Marketplace

“A cloud-based, on-demand market that lets Microsoft partners publish their solutions into Microsoft’s online product catalog.” With more than 4 million monthly users, the Marketplace is a powerful, free marketing and sales channel. Draw potential customers to your apps and business solutions in Microsoft’s two online stores: AppSource and Azure Marketplace (both accessible through the Partner Center.)

7.     Use all available resources

Take advantage of the many possibilities at your fingertips to develop, promote and sell Microsoft products and services, linking them to your own offering. For example, Microsoft’s website is full of exclusive resources for Partners, like the Solution Workspace, where you can get personalized guidance to build a solution and market it to the right audience. Or, in the training area, pick the learning path best suited to your role to increase your knowledge. Other resources include digital marketing assets that show the business impact of your solutions on social media.

8.     Meet the community

Microsoft has always been keen on building a global community fostering partners to meet, collaborate and learn from each other. Although Microsoft Inspire is now a virtual event, owing to the global pandemic, once the new normality arrives, it will be time to hit the road again. Partner and community meetings are an invaluable asset to get new ideas, explore opportunities, foster alliances, cultivate friendships and share your passion for changing the world.

In our experience

We are fortunate to have a great connection with Microsoft, which has permitted us to refine our data-driven solutions. Lucient is a Microsoft Gold Partner, with five Gold and two Silver competencies, and several Microsoft MVPs on our team.

Our professionals have written more than 30 books and official manuals on Microsoft solutions and guides to prepare for certification exams. We are also proud of delivering as much public free training as possible in collaboration with Microsoft through events like Dashboards in a Day.

Lucient’s team has attended, sponsored and spoken at many industry conferences, such as Inspire, PASS or SQL Saturdays. From these events, some of our key strategic alliances and business opportunities have grown.  We are so grateful for how being a Partner for 19 years has reinforced us as a company and inspired us as we navigate the future.