Microsoft is constantly evolving. In this earlier blog (in Dutch) I explained why Microsoft is keen to enter into partnerships with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who develop software solutions based fully or partly on a Microsoft platform. Since then there have been significant further developments.
The major organisational changes launched at Microsoft a few months ago are enabling it to enter into even more effective partnerships with ISVs. With the introduction of a new partnership model, we are able to offer stronger support to our many partners, allowing us to grow faster together.
The promise of the OCP model
We already have an extensive ecosystem of partners, and the introduction of the One Commercial Partner (OCP) organisation offers an operating model that enhances the potential value that we can offer the market together. Under the new model we will take on even more of an orchestrating and advisory role, making it easier for our customers to gain value from the solutions offered by Microsoft partners.
The new OCP model is comprised of three phases. In each phase, ISV partners are brought into contact with Microsoft teams that are specialised in specific phases. Microsoft will look more closely at an ISV partner’s development phase and we will always ensure that an expert is available with a precise understanding of what a partner needs at every prod.
These are the three phases:
● Build-with In the first phase, Microsoft helps its ISV partners by offering the right resources for the ISV to build its solution or develop it further. The solution can quickly be enhanced using the Microsoft Azure platform.
● Go-to-market In the second phase we help the ISV to enter the market as effectively as possible and to offer its solutions in the right way and in the right place. Our experts will help ISVs to optimise their marketing materials and raise their visibility in the market.
● Sell-with In the third phase, Microsoft helps ISVs to find and reach customers. Microsoft’s experienced worldwide sales organisation knows what customers in particular industries need and what ISV solution would be most valuable to them.
A new focus on industry verticals
The Microsoft sales organisation receives feedback on a daily basis about what customers in different industries need. To offer more effective support to ISV partners in the sell-with phase, we have divided our customers into six industry focus areas: Finance, Manufacturing, Retail, Government, Healthcare and Education.
We have applied the same categorisation to the portfolio of solutions that our ISV partners offer. This means that we can bring our customers and ISV partners into contact with each other more effectively. So our customers will be able to find a suitable solution from an ISV partner more quickly and easily, and our ISV partners will be able to identify their markets more quickly.
The benefits of partnerships for ISVs
ISVs that enter into partnerships with Microsoft immediately expand their sales reach. For decades Microsoft has been developing a worldwide ecosystem of strong customer relations. We know exactly who our ISV partners should offer their solutions to.
Our sales staff actively promote our ISV partners’ solutions to our customers throughout the world. For instance, that may be to a steel manufacturer in South Korea or a boat builder in Brazil. Our ISV partners can reap the benefits of the market knowledge and efforts of the Microsoft sales machine.
Besides expanding sales reach, a partnership with Microsoft offers other major benefits too. By using a Microsoft platform like Azure, an ISV will immediately fulfil the compliance and security requirements that corporate customers often stipulate. This is an important step in view of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Microsoft is probably the most trusted party when it comes to cloud platforms. You could almost regard working with advanced Microsoft solutions as a mark of quality for ISVs. ISVs that work with Microsoft are often immediately regarded as enterprise-ready.
Partners who base their solutions on our technology can immediately reap the benefits of Microsoft’s reputation. This opens the door to a new segment filled with major customers, which would not have been accessible to them if they had developed their own platform.
This is the kind of relationship that we like to enter into: one that benefits both sides.
Example: why BlueCielo has chosen to become a Microsoft partner
BlueCielo is a major Microsoft ISV partner that offers its services to customers in the oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and chemicals industries, as well as the metal & mining and utilities sectors. Its solutions help customers with Asset Lifecycle Information Management, a discipline that is also important to major corporations in other sectors such as government or manufacturing.
Because BlueCielo uses Azure for its Meridian360 Portal solution (see: https://www.bluecieloecm.com/software/portal/), its software immediately satisfies the security and compliance requirements that you would expect its corporate customers to apply. This offers customers immediate reassurance, and for BlueCielo it comes at a fraction of the price that it would have cost to make its software secure and compliant on its own.
Microsoft supports and promotes this ISV partner with the aid of its worldwide sales organisation. By actively introducing BlueCielo’s solution to potential customers, we are working together to open up new markets and growth scenarios.