Microsoft Focuses on Partners' AI Readiness with New Benefit Packages
- By Gladys Rama
- January 22, 2024
Microsoft on Monday unveiled three new benefits packages for its partners, each aimed at specific levels of technical readiness and expanding opportunities for partners to test drive Microsoft's AI products.
The three new packages are currently available "in major markets," according to a Microsoft blog post Monday, with wider availability expected by the end of March. Each comes with a certain amount of technical and marketing support, on-demand product licenses and Microsoft Azure credits. They are as follows:
- Partner Launch Benefits is designed for the smallest and newest Microsoft partners.
- Partner Success Core Benefits is aimed at more established partners who need "a more robust set of tools and support."
- Partner Success Expanded Benefits, which has "the most comprehensive range of product benefits and support," is designed for partners "who are ready to scale at a larger level."
Partners can choose the package that best aligns with their current needs and purchase other ones down the line as needed. Partners can purchase more than one package at a time, though they are limited to one of each.
Compared to other partner benefits programs, like the Action Pack, these new packages contain "significantly more Microsoft Azure credits, seats, and technical support," according to the blog.
Specifically, said Microsoft partner program vice president Julie Sanford in an interview, the Partner Success Core Benefits package provides $2,400 in Azure credits. That's "double what we do in the Action Pack," she said. Meanwhile, she added, the Partner Success Expanded Benefits provides $4,000 in Azure credits.
Opening the door to more Azure credits was a key objective of these new partner benefit packages, according to Sanford, because partners need them to test and build their own AI products.
"The No. 1 ask for us [from partners] is more Azure credits to enable them with their AI solution building," she said. "So you'll notice in the Core and Expanded offers, one example of how we're trying to support partners is that we've actually tripled and doubled the Azure credits compared to what they have in the Action Pack offer."
Besides the increase in Azure credits, other AI perks in these new packages include access to Microsoft Copilot and Microsoft Sales Copilot.
"We are putting offers in market that enable them [partners] to build and test their own AI offerings," Sanford said.
Partners interested in purchasing a benefits package can do so through their Partner Center account. They're open to partners of any level. "There's no badging or requirements for these three new offerings," Sanford said. "This is meant for partners to purchase and get access to an amazing set of benefits at a pretty significantly discounted rate."
A more detailed breakdown of each package, including pricing, is available here.