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"Your success is our success", Glenn Woolaghan, Microsoft Partner Development Lead


The fourth day of Microsoft Inspire, and the UK regional session focused on partner growth, centring around market opportunity, partner and Microsoft investment. 


Market opportunity 


Clare Barclay, Chief Operating Officer for Microsoft UK, described the UK’s as ‘a market full of opportunity and optimism', and announced that over the last year, Microsoft’s UK commercial sector grew by 21 percent, with cloud growth of 73 percent coming from Office O365 and triple digit growth in Azure.


Joe Macri, the newly appointed OCP (One Commercial Partner) Lead for Microsoft UK, observed that the innovation around the intelligent cloud, as announced by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the Vision Keynote Monday 10 July, creates significant opportunity for even further solution development. 


Partner and Microsoft investment


A main message for UK partners from the section in troduced by Mark Smith, UK Azure Lead, and featuring various partner organisations, emphasised the importance of building a team culture that’s agile, and has the ability to deliver a rapid proof of concept, while filling gaps through partnering with SIs and support companies.


The need to align by industry and developing managed service offerings was also stressed, as well as the importance of investing in solutions supplementing a partner’s own services, creating greater collaboration and cooperation between sales and marketing, and developing expertise and skills within the partner’s company.


Hugh Millward, Director, Corporate External & Legal Affairs, and Nicola Young UK Skills Lead, discussed the skills shortage in the UK, and how Microsoft is helping to address this with the launch of their skills initiative and commitment to drive apprenticeships, the Massively Open Online Courses, and covering a range of Azure training.


Referencing the Apprentice Programme, it was announced that over 50 partners had signed up to the Partner Pledge, guaranteeing over 500 apprentice places, during Inspire week alone.


Microsoft supporting partners


Referring to a simplified structure within the Microsoft marketing department to support the aims of becoming outcome focused, relevant to all partners, and scalable, Microsoft advised partners to keep updated with news and development through using social media and accessing the resources:


- Concierge
- Cloud workshops
- Co-marketing


Michael Frisby, Vuzion MD, comments, “The Microsoft UK team laid out a clear vision for partners of how to best engage with Microsoft in FY18.  The investments in new teams and programmes will help the UK partner community achieve new heights in the coming 12 months.”