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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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What will the theme be this year for Inspire?

We've simplified down to what we really want to do with our partnerships. We want to find and build new workloads with customers, and it's about adding new workloads across any of those solution areas. Especially in the cloud, we are getting away from things like, "Is that a new contract, or a renewable contract, or which solution is it?" We are collapsing all of that. It just doesn’t matter. If it’s a new workload of a customer, that’s what we want. We are moving everything to kind of focus on that and it will help our partners to know more consistently that it doesn’t matter where the customer was at in that journey. If they have a new workload, that's what we want to do together.

Last year [we announced] our IP co-sell motion. That's where we reward our sellers for selling the partners' services. We had this initially in the year as a declining incentive and the intention was throughout the year, there would be less consumption of the service. But, what we found was that then our sellers didn't care about say, the 6 percent, so midway through this year we made it 10 percent no matter what happens. Going into next year, we are keeping [the incentive] at 10 percent for our sellers.

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