Last October, Microsoft officially opened its Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, an extension of and replacement for the Microsoft Partner Network. The new program introduced a bunch of new additions to the program around two levels of partner integration. Microsoft is now making more significant changes to the program.
You could probably see this coming, but the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program now provides deeper access to AI tools. Microsoft has gone on an AI spree in recent months, folding the GPT-4 technology of long-time partner OpenAI into Bing, Microsoft 365, Azure, and more.
In the Cloud Partner Program, partners are now able to access these latest tools for their own services, giving “innovative solutions for their clients.” Microsoft explains the new ability in a blog post:
“We believe AI will fundamentally change every software category, unlocking a new wave of productivity growth. We are committed to empowering partners to harness the power of this innovation on behalf of customers around the world, while helping them navigate this new era of technology.”
Microsoft has also confirmed an expansion of its Solutions Partner designations to now have more options. The company says that these will help differentiate partners that develop software.
“Designations for ISV solutions are aligned to how Microsoft goes to market and how customers are buying: by industry (e.g., finance, retail); by use cases across industries (e.g., security); and by specific imperatives of line-of-business leaders (e.g., marketing and sales). These designations distinguish an application's specific capabilities and help customers identify proven solutions for their business needs.”
Microsoft is also rolling out new Business Applications that leverage Microsoft Dynamics 365. The company says these will help customers find partners that offer the skillsets they need. Component apps include Service, Sales, Finance, and Supply Chain. The Cloud Partner Program now supports 28 specializations.
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