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Microsoft Channel Chief Schuster On Shifting The Sales Focus To CSP, Bringing In Partners Earlier And Offering 'Richer' Cloud Compensation Than Competitors

Microsoft channel chief Gavriella Schuster spoke with CRN about how the company is working with partners to accelerate customer adoption of Azure and Office 365.

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Schuster On The Record

As Microsoft's fiscal year of massive change comes to a close, the signs are everywhere that many of the company's big bets have paid off. That's according to Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster, who sat down with CRN this week to talk about how channel partners fared during the transformational year, which began with a company-wide reorganization and channel overhauls announced at the Inspire partner conference last July. Schuster, who is corporate vice president for Microsoft's One Commercial Partner (OCP) organization, also spoke about the opportunities ahead for solution providers in areas such as the Azure cloud platform and Office 365 now that a firmer foundation for partnership is in place. Microsoft, Schuster said, has "turned the corner on our partnership" efforts. "A lot of other players in the industry have very large direct businesses. We have been partner-led forever," she said. "We continue to be just as invested as we elevate their services to the same level as our services."

Schuster sat down with CRN at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash., ahead of Inspire 2018, which is taking place July 15-19 in Las Vegas. What follows is an edited portion of the conversation.

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