As Microsoft pushes partner transformation, a state of ‘channel inertia’ is emerging

As Microsoft pushes partner transformation, a state of ‘channel inertia’ is emerging


Desmond Russell (Partner Elevate)

Desmond Russell (Partner Elevate)

Credit: Partner Elevate

As custodians of the largest partner network on the planet, Microsoft’s attempt to turn its channel inside out, upside down and back-to-front in the pursuit of go-to-market transformation has been akin to changing a jet engine while in mid-flight.

Pivoting the priorities of value-added resellers, system integrators and managed service providers at a scale of tens of thousands is no easy task, complicated further by the internal overhaul required to keep industry pace.

Such a relentless modernisation campaign – kick-started upon the roll-out of One Commercial Partner in July 2017 – has on occasions, placed Redmond head-to-head with the ‘traditional’ supply chain upon which Redmond has once relied upon.

Whether it be a change in managed partner allocation, or increased media focus on the “next-generation breed” of specialists as opposed to the reliable revenue generators, vendors must constantly walk an ever thinning channel tightrope. This balancing act includes remaining relevant to the base while continually recruiting new players.

And in housing the largest global partner base – believed to be more than 160,000 providers across the world – it’s no surprise that Microsoft’s change of direction is more profound, and understandably, more challenging.

“On the one hand, Microsoft as a vendor is trying to deal with a capability challenge,” observed Desmond Russell, co-founder, coach and mentor of Partner Elevate. “They are questioning whether they have the right partner ecosystem capabilities to help customers deploy, use and consume their latest technology.

“On the other hand, there’s a capacity question. Does Microsoft have enough people to service the opportunity in the channel? This might be at workload, solution, customer or segment levels.”

Source link