Microsoft is focused on diversity, artificial intelligence and improving the partner marketplace

Amber Hickman | March 23, 2023

According to the annual “State of the Partner Ecosystem 2023” briefing, Microsoft’s focus in the cloud partner program is on artificial intelligence, diversity and streamlining the enterprise marketplace.

The briefing was published on March 22, 2023 and focuses on the investments Microsoft is making to support its partners and drive innovation.

Microsoft’s initial focus is on artificial intelligence, which has been evolving rapidly with recent integrations like CoPilot and new search engine Bing.

Beginning in April, partners can request preview access to GPT-4 in Azure OpenAI Service, the latest iteration of the ChatGPT model.

“We believe that AI will fundamentally transform every software category and unleash a new wave of productivity growth,” said Nicole Dezen, Microsoft’s chief partner officer and corporate vice president of global partner solutions, in the briefing, which was published on the official Microsoft blog . “We are committed to enabling partners to harness the power of this innovation on behalf of customers around the world, while helping them navigate this new era of technology.”

Diversity is another focus for Microsoft, and partners can now submit diversity and social wellbeing classifications to the Microsoft Partner Center, which will appear on their Marketplace profiles.

Microsoft is also hosting a Virtual Commercial Marketplace Impact Event on April 19 for various partner and minority-owned partners to teach them how to accelerate their growth through the Microsoft Marketplace.

Microsoft is making the partner marketplace more effective by expanding its solution partner designations with options that further support its independent software vendor (ISV) partners.

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ISV solution labels distinguish the specific capabilities of an application and help customers find the solutions that meet the needs of their business by considering industries, use cases, and marketing and sales needs.

Soon, Microsoft will also provide multi-party private offers, allowing partners to collaborate and create personalized offers with custom payouts and sell directly to Microsoft customers. Private previews for the service will be available in the spring.

Later this year, Microsoft will introduce solution partner naming for training and support services, allowing customers to quickly identify partners who meet the required performance, support and training quality requirements.

“Microsoft partners are fundamental to our success,” said Dezen. “We are committed to investing in our ecosystem to enable partners to further differentiate their expertise, collaborate on deals through the commercial marketplace, and position themselves to meet a growing spectrum of customer and industry needs.”