The momentum for Microsoft Azure with customers and within the industry continues to grow, and our cloud platform represents a significant opportunity for partners. Azure is the only major platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader for both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
On average, 1,000 customers are signing up to Azure every day, and 57% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure today. These customers are doing amazing things with Azure, and their businesses are benefitting from the ability to move faster, save money, and integrate on premises apps and data.
The Azure opportunity for partners
You can capitalize on this momentum by building a practice around Microsoft Azure, and delivering cloud value to customers through Azure deployment, usage, and consumption. Many partners are successfully monetizing Azure by driving multiple projects across several scenarios for their customers.
Here are three key Azure scenarios with significant partner opportunity:
- Windows Server 2003 migrations to Azure – End of support for Windows Server 2003 is less than a year away, on July 14, 2015
- Hybrid identity management – Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium is part of the Enterprise Mobility Suite
- Storage, archiving, and disaster recovery – Azure Storage provides durable, highly available and massively scalable cloud storage; Azure Backup offers simple and reliable server backup to the cloud; Site Recovery helps protect and recover applications for simplified disaster recovery
About this guide
Below, you’ll find links to training that builds technical and sales skills in your organization; campaigns and tools that help you generate demand and drive sales; and deployment and consumption resources.
Get to know Microsoft Azure
- Cloud is our core—learn how we’re helping partners build profitable cloud businesses
- Cloud Profitability Program – online, on-demand video modules that take you through the transition to the cloud
- Partner with Azure resources
Access partner-specific Azure resources and benefits
- Earn the new Microsoft Partner Network Cloud Platform competency
- Microsoft Server and Cloud Partner website (requires sign in, and is available to partners with a gold or silver competency)
- Partners with a competency or an Action Pack subscription receive Azure credits as a benefit
- Microsoft Azure learning path – includes training recommendations for Business Decision Maker, Sales, Presales Technical, IT Pro, Developer, and Architect roles
- Cloud Performance competency learning path – includes training recommendations to help you meet technical assessment requirements
- Microsoft Azure courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy – live and on-demand technical content covering a wide variety of Azure topics
- Azure Documentation Center – tutorials and guides by Azure service
- For a schedule of upcoming in-person and virtual training, refer to the US Partner Hot Sheet.
Understand the market opportunity and generate demand
- Cloud Optimize Your Business campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
- Cloud OS campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
- Windows Server 2003 End of Life campaign from Ready-to-Go Marketing
- US Partner Investments Engine: Cloud Jumpstart – marketing funds are available to eligible partners for qualifying activities
Assess, sell, deploy, and drive consumption
- IT Pros: download the Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
- Sales: Use the Immersion Program to engage with customers and accelerate your sales pipeline (requires sign in, and is available to partners with a gold or silver competency)
- Azure IaaS Cost Estimator Tool
- Microsoft Azure Deployment Planning Services for Public Cloud (AZDPS)
- Labs on Azure workshop from Partner Technical Services
Partner incentives and investments
- Microsoft Azure partner incentives – Partners that were in the Azure Circle program and that had 1 valid opportunity by September 29, 2014 will be eligible for Azure Incentives in FY15 (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015)
- US Partner Investments Engine: Cloud Jumpstart – marketing funds are available to eligible partners for qualifying activities (this content is on Yammer; request your invitation to join)
US Azure Partner Community
The Microsoft US Azure Partner Community is led by National Partner Technology Strategists from the Microsoft US Partner Team. Partner Community activities include blog posts, discussions on Yammer, newsletters, and community calls.