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Three big areas of focus for Microsoft’s Canadian channel

Microsoft Canada channel chief Jason Brommet

Orlando, Fla. – Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off on Monday in the land of Mickey, but it was Sunday night where Canadian channel partners got a sense of where the subsidiary is headed.

Jason Brommet, the channel chief for Microsoft Canada, said there are three areas the solution providers should focus on with the software giant going forwards. They are:

  • Cloud;
  • Application development; and
  • Consumption.

Brommet characterized consumption as the new currency. “Consumption is fundamental and I dream of the day when we don’t sell Azure, but partner solutions. This will challenge your business model,” he added.

Microsoft worldwide channel chief Phil Sorgen said inside the company’s mobile first, cloud first strategy there is place for every channel partner today. However, he added that this strategy will evolve rapidly.

“I want to be clear about this; product innovation is blurring with go-to-market and how we bring programs such as Cloud Solution Provider will be integrated with the channel for them to deliver these services, which will be enhanced with the right business intelligences and analytics. When the channel drives the solution; it’s their solution with the Microsoft cloud platform,” Sorgen said.

Also new will be a business division for Surface. Microsoft Canada has added a new resource in the channel for this with the hiring of Greg Cooper as partner sales manager. It will be his job to help the channel align with Microsoft new direction.

The addition of Cooper is just one of many additional resources and programmatically changes that Microsoft is planning to announce this week at the Worldwide Partner Conference from a Canadian perspective. This will include the Cloud Solution Provider program, Co-selling opportunities under the P Seller program and bring in partners earlier on in the innovation process with Microsoft.

In terms of channel investment Microsoft Canada will provide more dollars towards two categories: go to market and partner incentives.

In the go to market area, Microsoft Canada will divert more money to drive demand and invest in start-ups. This will also include an approach to include the partner as part of the solution.

In partner incentives, more announcements will be forthcoming this week at the event, but Brommet said incentives will shift dramatically to the cloud and consumption areas. He described these incentives as “great” and “emotional”.

The investment in start-ups would see a company receive up to $125,000 from Microsoft Canada to stay in the country.

Microsoft Canada is in the running to be named subsidiary of the year. Janet Kennedy, president of Microsoft Canada, confirmed they would be either No. 1 or No. 2 by the end of the event here in Orlando.

The Canadian operation did very well in 2014. Office 365 was up 65 per cent, while Azure sales soared by 111 per cent. Also CRM Online grew 126 per cent and EMS more than 700 per cent.

Meanwhile, Toronto-based solution provider ProServeIT was named Impact award winner for Microsoft Canada Partner of the Year for 2015.