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5 Big Partner Announcements At Microsoft Inspire 2021

Microsoft is using its Inspire partner conference to launch new advanced specializations and Partner Center portal updates, while also disclosing enhancements for marketplace and ISV partners.

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Updated Partner Programs

Two new advanced specializations for Microsoft Azure, a revamped Partner Center portal experience and reduced commercial marketplace agency fees are among the biggest announcements for solution providers this week at Microsoft’s Inspire 2021 partner conference. Held virtually for the second year in a row, Inspire comes as Microsoft has continued to report strong growth across its Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and security businesses—with more than 95 percent of the company’s commercial revenue continuing to be “influenced” directly or indirectly by partners. Microsoft now reports having more than 400,000 partners in its network.

Jonathan Groves, CEO of LogicalisUS, a Microsoft Gold partner based in New York, told CRN that the pipeline for his company’s Microsoft cloud business has grown “dramatically” over the past year. He now expects the Microsoft business to grow tenfold over the next three years.

“It‘s a big business for us,” Groves said. “It’s something that we invest a lot in, and we’re really starting to see that pipeline grow. The opportunities, the deal sizes [are] getting larger as customers are focusing fundamentally on what their core businesses are.”

Microsoft has also been upping its game when it comes to making partner-friendly moves, he said. “They are beginning to really drive profitability in the partner community, maybe more so than ever,” he said. “I like what I‘m seeing with Microsoft.”

What follows are the details on five of the biggest partner announcements at Microsoft Inspire 2021.

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