Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to formally introduce myself to you all, as Microsoft UK’s new channel lead. Since joining the team in December last year, I have already learned a great deal, and I’m certainly excited for the challenges that lie ahead. In this new role, I am responsible for driving Microsoft’s channel partner strategy in the UK, and creating solutions to help our partners jointly serve our customers’ needs.

I have spent a lot of these first few months travelling across the country to meet with partners. It has been a fantastic opportunity to, not only learn more about all the great work taking place in the UK channel, but also understand more about the current challenges facing our partners and how Microsoft can help them overcome any obstacles.

What has really stood out so far is the promising outlook on cloud migration. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the potential for cloud is huge, as we see an increasing number of customers migrating every day, and many businesses beginning to be born in the cloud. According to a recent Microsoft survey of over 500 UK SMBs, 50% view cloud as a priority for their business moving forwards and 50% plan to migrate at least half of their line of business applications to the cloud in the next two years.  

As such, we are working hard to mainstream cloud into the core of the Microsoft Partner Network, and it’s great to see our partners, both big and small, increasingly integrating these services into their offerings. 

However, we do understand that this is not without its challenges, and we are working hard as a company to make this transition as smooth as possible for our partners. One of the key requests that we are hearing from partners is for more training. This will ensure that they feel completely knowledgeable about, not only the technology that they are selling to customers, but also the sales potential that cloud solutions offer.

It is for this reason that we have implemented the latest updates to the Microsoft Partner Network. One of the core objectives of the update is to simplify our offering to one universal subscription, so that partners can have much greater flexibility when it comes to making the most out of resources. 

Based on the feedback from our partners, we have created six Resource Centres: Professional ServicesResellingApplication Design & DevelopmentManaged ServicesHosting, and Device Design & Development. With each of these, we also offer custom learning paths, which have been designed to equip our channel teams with the necessary sales and technical skills, to ensure that they are confident in expanding their businesses.

The technology landscape is one that is in rapid and constant change, and it is necessary that we work closely with you, our partners, so that you feel prepared to, not only tackle the challenges that this produces, but also thrive. With these latest updates, we aim to provide a fully flexible solution to our partners, so that you are able to tailor our offerings to suit your customers’ needs, be that cloud, on-premise or a hybrid of the two. 

Of course, there is still a great deal to be done, but it is exciting to lead the partner team at such a dynamic stage. My focus is now on how we can support you, our partners to have a strong close to this financial year, whilst continuing to build on this momentum for our next financial year. As always, I look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible in the coming months, both here in the UK and at the World Partner Conference in Washington DC in July, and working with you to make sure we continue the same level of success.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.

Linda