Phil Sorgen Heads to RingCentral

Longtime senior Microsoft partner and sales executive Phil Sorgen has moved to RingCentral Inc.

Sorgen took on the role of Chief Revenue Officer at Belmont, Calif.-based RingCentral earlier this month. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 13, 2020 at 8:06 AM0 comments

Microsoft Releases New Badges for Teams Partners

Microsoft on Wednesday launched two new advanced specializations that allow partners to highlight their capabilities around remote work with Microsoft Teams and related teamwork platforms.

A specialization focused on using the Office 365 platform for distributed collaborative work is called Teamwork Deployment. The other specialization, Calling for Microsoft Teams, is for partners who can deploy and support voice calling capabilities within Teams. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 06, 2020 at 1:27 PM0 comments

Virtual Microsoft Inspire To Last 2 Days; Registration Opens in June

Microsoft's annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire, will be packed into two online-only days this July with registration opening next month.

Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster provided a video and blog update on Friday about Inspire, which Microsoft had already announced in late March would be changed to a virtual event due to COVID-19. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 01, 2020 at 11:14 AM0 comments

Microsoft Teams Usage Rips Higher to 75 Million Daily Active Users

Microsoft Teams usage has surged more than 70 percent in a little over a month as the massive shift to remote work makes online collaboration and video conferencing platforms essential.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed an updated figure for daily active users (DAU) on Wednesday of 75 million. Nadella announced the daily active users number during a call on Microsoft's quarterly earnings, which grew double digits in revenues and earnings per share even as business activity worldwide has plummeted. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 30, 2020 at 1:04 PM0 comments

Teams, Azure Absorb Coronavirus Hit to Microsoft Earnings

Before Microsoft reported its quarterly earnings on Wednesday, analysts weren't sure how COVID-19 would affect different parts of its diverse portfolio of businesses.

But as CFO Amy Hood told investors during the Wednesday afternoon earnings call, there was a minimal net impact to the total company. A slide presented during the call broke down the impact of the coronavirus at length for Microsoft's third quarter, which ended March 31: More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 29, 2020 at 3:52 PM0 comments

Microsoft 2020 Partner of the Year Deadline Extended

If you thought you blew the deadline for the Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards amid the chaos of applying with banks for Paycheck Protection Program loans, pivoting the business, setting up your workforce and customers for remote work, et cetera...think again.

The original deadline was this week -- April 21, to be exact. But Microsoft earlier this month extended the deadline until May 12. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 23, 2020 at 11:14 AM0 comments

Microsoft Shakes Up Partner Priorities for 2021

Partners can expect less blue-sky transformation and more down-to-earth optimization when it comes to the programs and incentives Microsoft presents for fiscal 2021.

When Microsoft unofficially kicks off its 2021 fiscal year in July with the Inspire partner conference, the message will be shaped by COVID-19. On a surface level, that's because the live event in Las Vegas was canceled due to the novel coronavirus and replaced with a virtual event. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 14, 2020 at 8:36 AM0 comments

Microsoft Eases MPN Deadlines, Requirements

As partners scramble to meet urgent priorities in the face of the public health and economic crisis of the coronavirus, Microsoft took steps this month to remove its Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program requirements from their growing to-do lists.

"We've heard from many partners that it's challenging to meet requirements and renew existing competencies in the current climate," Microsoft One Commercial Partner Corporate Vice President Gavriella Schuster said in a blog post. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 07, 2020 at 3:34 PM0 comments

Gates Urges 'Tough Medicine' in U.S. Shutdown Debate

Bill Gates has waded into the ongoing discussion over how the United States can curb the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic without sacrificing the health of its citizens.

On one side are those urging a massive public health response to save millions of people from death; on the other are those looking for less extreme measures to soften the unprecedented economic hardship that the shutdowns, self-isolation and social distancing are causing. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 27, 2020 at 8:18 AM0 comments

Microsoft Cancels In-Person Inspire Partner Conference

Due to concerns over COVID-19, Microsoft canceled the in-person portion of its massive annual partner conference, Microsoft Inspire, which had been scheduled for Las Vegas from July 19-23.

Early registration had been scheduled to open Tuesday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 24, 2020 at 11:13 AM0 comments

Microsoft Teams Usage Surges by 12 Million Users in a Week

Way more people are kicking the tires of Microsoft Teams worldwide as the coronavirus forces people to work from the isolation of their homes as a public health measure.

"We have seen an unprecedented spike in Teams usage, and now have more than 44 million daily users, a figure that has grown by 12 million in just the last seven days," reported Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, in a blog post Thursday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 19, 2020 at 8:46 AM0 comments

Microsoft Stores Shuttered

Microsoft followed Apple and many other retailers in shutting down all Microsoft Store locations until further notice in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus.

"With today's recommendation from the United States government to not socially gather in groups of more than 10 people, we will be temporarily closing Microsoft Store locations -- effective immediately," wrote David Porter, corporate vice president, Microsoft Store, in a letter to customers and the community e-mailed Monday night. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 17, 2020 at 3:11 PM0 comments