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Microsoft State of the Channel: Positive co-sell progress, but trillions in digital transformation value still to come

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW

Gavriella SchusterMicrosoft's new leader of One Commercial Partner (OCP), Gavriella Schuster, delivered a Microsoft State of the Channel briefing today and noted the positive results so far around partner co-selling efforts.

OCP focuses on three areas in which Microsoft interacts with its partners - "build with," "go-to-market" and "sell with" - and Schuster focused upon the co-sell success. Since Inspire 2017, Microsoft has invested $250 million in incentives for its internal sales force to drive more sales and revenue together with partners; its enterprise sellers are now paid 10 percent of a partner's annual contract value, which has proved a powerful driver. Some stats Schuster offers:

  • Since July 2017 and with 500 partners, the co-sell pilot has generated $6 billion in partner pipeline and $1+ billion in partner revenue
  • Co-sell project size was on average nearly six times larger
  • Co-sell deals closed nearly three times faster
  • More than 9,000 partners have become co-sell ready since Inspire, which is a 543 percent increase since then (and rising)

The Year of Transformation

But is co-sell solely an Azure consumption driver? That question was raised during the Q&A session. Schuster advised that the co-sell motion encompasses Insights, the Modern Workplace service and Dynamics services offerings; but, "seller incentives are specifically focused on those applications that drive the Azure platform embedded in the apps themselves." So - yes, co-sell is tied to Azure consumption, if not synonymous with it.

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About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).