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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's your message to partners right now?

Overall, the message is we have turned the corner on our partnership and we really are focused on selling third-party services at the same level as first-party services -- we want to sell our partners' stuff as much as we want them to sell our stuff. And we are doing everything we can to make that equivalency and then open up that entire ecosystem to our partners. We have the most extensive partner ecosystem in the industry. We have been running a number of pilots over the last two years on how to more easily take partner services and make them available through another partner. How do we help matchmake, [help partners] find each other, and then help them easily transact business with each other? We continue down that journey as we make enhancements to AppSource and the CSP program to make that an easy thing for partners to do.

We continue to be as invested in partners as we ever have been. A lot of other players in the industry have very large direct businesses. We have been partner-led forever. Ninety-five percent of our revenue flows through partners and we continue to be just as invested as we elevate their services to the same level as our services.

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