As partners gear up for the annual Ignite conference, Microsoft has made big announcements regarding its Partner Center and ways partners can save on Azure compute services.
Microsoft Ignite will be a two-day event that will kick off on October 12, 2022, in Seattle. Ignite will be an opportunity for partners to level up their skills as Microsoft, industry, and partner experts will be guiding them through the latest technology with immersive demos and live sessions. It will also be a platform for partners to connect and collaborate with the community both in person and digitally.
Partner Center updates
Microsoft Partner Center is the central place for partners to manage their relationship with Microsoft. To streamline engagement between it and to make it simpler and easier to do business together, Microsoft will continue to invest in and update the user experience.
“Over the life of our partner channel, we’ve seen explosive growth in the overall size of the Microsoft partner ecosystem. Partner Center was introduced several years ago to consolidate all Microsoft partner tasks into a single, secure, and dynamic digital experience”, said Microsoft in its announcement.
Later in 2022, users can see new updates in Partner Center that will improve the Referrals workspace. The changes will enable partners to have a more efficient, productive, and faster experience. As part of the updates, Microsoft will set out clear user roles and institute design principles that are consistent and inclusive. It will launch the initial experience and continue to release improvements throughout the year. The changes will be first available as a pilot to select partners, after which there will be a general availability release.
Partner Center feature improvements and launch dates
Phase 1: Grid view – Microsoft introduced the grid view for the Co-sell Opportunities Referrals page in September. With this, users can see the updated experience by default. They will also be able to toggle back to the original experience for a certain period. New features and updates included in this release are:
- A new grid view inside the Referrals workspace Co-sell Opportunities tab
- Performance and page load times became faster
- Sorting and filtering functionality has improved
- Action buttons are relocated for a more seamless flow
- Search functionality has been added to find deals easily
Phase 2: Deal details – Microsoft is changing the layout of how the deal details are shown in September, for providing a better layout and organization.
Phase 3: New deal flow – In October, Microsoft will be changing the new deal flow for matching the user experience of the other flows in the Referrals workspace.
Phase 4: Leads tab – Microsoft will change the Leads pages in November to match the user experience of the other flows in the Referrals workspace.
Phase 5: Business profiles – In December, Microsoft will implement changes to the Business profiles page for matching the user experience of the other flows in the Referrals workspace.
Azure savings plan for compute
Microsoft announced that it will expand its saving options for customers by adding a new Azure savings plan for compute in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2023 (Q2 FY23). This will enable customers to save on compute costs and spend a fixed hourly amount for one or three years.
The Azure savings plan for compute will enable customers to unlock significant cost savings of up to 65 percent as compared to pay-as-you-go pricing. It will help customers automatically optimize savings across participating services globally up to the hourly commitment. Customers will be able to save money on their terms by customizing how often they are billed, how long they want the service term to last, and how many hours they want to commit each month.
The new savings plan for compute will offer more flexibility to the customers for their dynamic workloads. This flexibility will allow customers to spend a fixed hourly rate across select compute services, whether the changes are planned or unplanned. Azure savings plan for compute can help partners reduce their operational overhead as it is automatically applied to customers’ usage. It will help partners build trust and value with their customers and offer exceptional service. Partners can receive market-leading incentives on this new plan.
Microsoft will be releasing the Azure savings plan for compute via partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, Microsoft Customer Agreement purchasing motions, and the Enterprise Agreement.