The ecosystem of Microsoft Partners is growing rapidly creating a win-win-win for Microsoft, MS Partners and users. Read about the planned marketplaces for Microsoft Partners.
7,500 commercial partners are added to Microsoft’s network of partners every month according to a “state of the channel” call earlier this month .
As 95% of Microsoft’s revenue is flowing through the partner ecosystem, it is probably not a surprise that Microsoft wants to keep this ecosystem healthy and happy. With more partners, Microsoft can reach more customers and the customers will get a greater variety of offers at hand.
Road Map for marketplaces
One of the ways Microsoft is doing this is to make it easier for partners and independent software vendors to publish apps and solutions on Azure Marketplace  and AppSource . Where Azure Marketplace is aimed at cloud software built on or for Azure, the AppSource marketplace has industry-tailored solutions.
You can get some guidance on which marketplace is the most relevant for you at ‘Publish your App’.
There are already more than 8,000 apps and software solutions on the marketplaces, but Microsoft has further plans to make it easier for partners to publish to these marketplaces. You can see the road map and plans for the two marketplaces at ‘Azure Marketplace and AppSource roadmap’.
With more apps and solutions, Microsoft widens its customer base, which makes it more compelling for potential partners to join the Microsoft ecosystem – which means potential customers get an increasingly diverse selection of systems to help support their business.
With more users of Microsoft technology, it is getting even more attractive for potential partners to join too.
Opportunities in 2019
To achieve this virtuous cycle, Microsoft is planning to attract more Microsoft Partners and offer more opportunities for existing partners. Microsoft has outlined their plans for partners in a blog post ‘Looking ahead: Opportunities for partners in 2019’.
Here Charlotte Yarkoni, Microsoft’s head of commerce and ecosystems, is citing research by Forester that shows enterprises will start to use cloud marketplaces much more in the coming years. From 29% now, up to 75% in two years time. This means that your potential customers will increasingly browse marketplaces, such as Azure Marketplace and AppSource, to find cloud software that optimises their cloud systems or industry-specific solutions.
As Charlotte puts it:
“Customers are changing their software buying patterns, especially among the biggest enterprises that increasingly want to learn, try, and buy online”.
But it is not only big enterprises. Charlotte continues:
“Our marketplace investments are designed to serve customers of all sizes with the broadest catalogue of enterprise software solutions from both Microsoft and our extensive partner ecosystem”.
Well, maybe you are thinking “this all sounds great, but how do I start? I’ve got an idea, but that’s all” or maybe “Hey, we could tweak our internal app a bit and make it a general solution we can offer on the marketplace. How do we do that?”
Microsoft has detailed guides at ‘Azure Marketplace and AppSource publishing guide’ and ‘Investing in our partners’ success’, where you will find links to technical resources and support as well as guidelines on how to migrate to the cloud marketplace.
There are plenty of exciting opportunities out there, so good luck!
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