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Microsoft Partner Chief Talks AI, NCE, Security, New Designations

Wade Tyler Millward

‘Our services-led partners are so core to our strategy,’ Microsoft Chief Partner Officer Nicole Dezen tells CRN.

How have you spent your first 10 months as chief partner officer? 

It’s been an exciting whirlwind. I love the partner business, which is why I think I have the best job in the company. And one that was really tailor-made for me.

The thing that’s been amazing to me is to really get my head around the breadth of our partner ecosystem. Microsoft thinks about our partners really as four broad partner types—the SIs [systems integrators] and GSIs [global systems integrators, our ISV partners, our channel partners and our device partners.

I came into this role from the device partner business. They are an amazing group of partners. And it’s been really, really cool. And as a lifelong learner, it’s been exciting to get to learn about partners of all sizes, all around the globe, and as they think about the opportunity for us to work together to jointly solve customer problems. … I get a lot of energy from spending time with partners. I love, love, love those partner meetings.

It gives me a front-row seat to understanding how they think about their business. Because I think a big part of my responsibility is to help them grow successful businesses. … They also talk to customers all day, every day.

And so hearing their perspective on the voice of the customer is really helpful for me. And seeing the joy and enthusiasm as we are on this innovation drumbeat right now has been really, really motivating.

 
Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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