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Microsoft’s plans to leverage marketplaces & co-selling in SMB

I didn’t want to miss this from last week, so saved it for here.

Microsoft has a new blog post about it’s partner ecosystem, including two critical updates to their partner program.

Quoting the blog:

  • The commercial marketplace: Microsoft has made publishing solutions, services and offers in Microsoft’s commercial marketplace easier, so partners can reach nearly 4 million active users across 140-plus countries. In addition, partners can realize new opportunities by participating in Microsoft’s co-selling programs.
  • Co-sell: We are increasing our focus on co-selling within the small- and mid-sized business segment (SMB). This includes making targeted marketing investments in top SMB customers, supporting and growing our ecosystem of ISV partners who serve SMBs and streamlining the way we help partners develop their practices.

Why do we care?

There are several other bullets, but I want to highlight these two.

Working backwards, let’s address co-sell.   I’ve covered Microsoft’s push to sell more to SMB customers on the show and their missteps on this program.   Let’s highlight what they are saying here… “Co Sell”

Read that as “we’re going to push directly to customers”.  There’s a clear addendum that they intend to try and bring partners along for the ride, sure, but let’s be clear… co-sell includes selling.  Not their investments are in top customers, NOT saying just top partners.     You had better adjust your plans.

Second, the commercial marketplace.  I’m releasing an editorial deeper on my thinking around e-commerce and marketplaces, but note that Microsoft sees the value in buying and selling in e-commerce.    IT services companies need to be thinking a lot more about their ecommerce selling.

Source: Microsoft