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Community Summit Preview: Partner Preconference to bring Microsoft FY24 channel goals into focus

by Jason Gumpert

Microsoft's partner channel drives a significant portion of the company's commercial business, but the size, complexity, and evolving nature of the partner program can leave resellers and ISVs in a state of constant adaptation on critical issues like sales priorities, marketplace strategy, benefits, marketing plans, and more.

Community Summit 2023 Partner Preconference

Organizers of the Partner Preconference event at this month's Community Summit 2023 have designed a program on October 16 that they believe will help Dynamics partners improve their understanding of Microsoft's FY24 priorities and get recommendations directly from company officials on how to take advantage of the latest channel incentives and opportunities.

"We are trying to cover topical areas that partners tie their business challenges to," says Joe Corigliano, Executive Vice President for Global Alliances at Ciellos and one of the event's organizers. "When we designed this event, we wanted to cover strategy, best practices, how to work with Microsoft field sellers, and channel incentives."

At the Partner Preconference, attendees will get a blend of perspectives from Microsoft representatives at both the corporate and subsidiary levels, with some presenters focused on SMB and others on enterprise products and sales.

The day begins with a keynote from Alfredo Ramirez, Microsoft's GM of go-to-market and strategy for business applications. Ramirez has been in the role since January 2023, according to his LinkedIn profile, and he leads the overall sales model and GTM strategy for the Business Applications solution area. From there, Cecilia Flombaum, senior director scale growth at the corporate level and Steve Cohen, GM for business applications in the US East will present a Dynamics FY24 strategy at the SMB level. They will be followed by sessions on working with field sellers; taking advantage of Microsoft programs; understanding partner incentives; and working with Partner Centers.

Within the discussions of partner programs, sales alignment, and product outlook, Corigliano expects that Microsoft's marketplace goals will be a recurring theme woven into the day's sessions. Microsoft has promised to bring transactability to AppSource for several years, and as partners continue to add their products and service offerings to the platform, they are also looking for ways to optimize that effort.

"How is Microsoft compensating [for marketplace-driven deals]? What do I have to do as a partner? And one of the misconceptions is that you have to have IP to be on marketplace. Service partners can also participate in marketplace," Corigliano noted.

The afternoon of sessions will also allow attendees from Microsoft and the channel to engage in dialog as they discuss some of the real-world challenges of partners in attendance. For an executive from a partner firm with an established Business Central practice will share some of her experiences and ambitions like establishing an ISV business and expanding to serve the Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management market.

By his own calculations, Corigliano estimates that just two percent of Dynamics-focused partners are managed by Microsoft out of approximately fifteen thousand globally. Without the kind of personalized support that Microsoft PDMs give to that select tier of managed partners, other partners are constantly struggling to stay on top of the latest developments. That need is what makes events like the Partner Preconference so important in today's channel environment, Corigliano believes.

"What I see is that Microsoft has so much that they throw at partners and that they need partners to absorb. It takes a lot for partners to truly be in lock step with Microsoft and the opportunity to have an event like this to help partners understand Microsoft's guidance and have a forum to ask questions, network, hear from other leading partners, it's sorely needed."

You can register for the event on the Community Summit Partner Preconference website. Here’s a sneak peek at the sessions and speakers for the Partner Preconference:

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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