Three Dozen GA Announcements from Microsoft Ignite

Editor's Note: This article is updated to correct the general availability date of Azure Communication Services. The service will be available in the next few weeks.

We like to think "general availability" still counts for something in this always-iterating development world, which is why we often take the opportunity at Microsoft events to separate the GA milestones from preview news.

At Microsoft Ignite on Tuesday, there were more than three dozen announcements of features, services and a few products at or near the GA stage, meaning the item is deemed stable and tested enough for a supported production deployment. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 02, 2021 at 4:24 PM0 comments


BitTitan Expands Microsoft Teams Capabilities in MigrationWiz

BitTitan is expanding its tools and capabilities around tenant-to-tenant migrations of Microsoft Teams.

The move comes as the managed services automation specialist, like the rest of the industry, is seeing booming interest and usage around the Teams component of Microsoft 365. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 2:17 PM0 comments


Microsoft Postpones More Deadlines To Ease Bureaucratic Burdens on Partners

As the global pandemic drags on, partners facing Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) renewal deadlines for competencies and advanced specializations in the first half of this year are getting a one-year extension.

During a Microsoft "State of the Partner Ecosystem" session on Wednesday for channel media, Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president for Microsoft One Commercial Partner, detailed the ongoing adjustments that have been made to MPN deadlines since last March. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 8:07 AM0 comments


Microsoft Adds Advanced Specializations in Low-Code and SMB Management

Microsoft's advanced specialization catalog for partners is getting more extensive by the quarter. The company now boasts two new advanced specializations, bringing the total list to 16.

A relatively new addition to Microsoft's list of badges for partner organizations, the advanced specializations, are layered over a gold competency and demonstrate extra expertise in a particular area. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 8:29 AM0 comments


Co-Sell Revenues Climb as Microsoft Eyes SMB for Next Opportunities

Microsoft and partners continue to rack up co-selling revenues, and the company is now looking to the small and medium business segment for further growth.

Because Microsoft reports the figure oddly, as a total of all co-selling since the beginning of the program around four years ago, it's difficult to tell exactly how much revenue partners are generating under the program annually. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2021 at 8:38 AM0 comments


Acronis Updates Partner Program, Overhauls Licensing

Acronis will unify its products into a single line on March 31 and roll out significant changes to its partner program throughout 2021, the company told partners Tuesday.

Founder Serguei Beloussov described the design goal of the licensing changes as "one policy, one user interface, one license from one vendor." Acronis is aiming to roll up security, e-mail security, file sync and share, management, notarization, backup and disaster recovery under the Acronis Cyber Protect license. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 02, 2021 at 11:37 AM0 comments


4 Tricks MSPs Can Use to Check the Security of Their Vendors

When a managed service provider installs agents or sets up other tools at a customer site, the customer is trusting them at a deep -- let's call it what it is, an administrative -- level.

That makes it incumbent upon the MSP to ensure the vendor tools they're using are highly secure. How can an MSP, often challenged with a small staff and many other priorities, be confident that their much larger vendor partners are operating in a secure fashion? More

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 02, 2021 at 11:36 AM0 comments


Strong Microsoft Earnings Call Marred by Technical Glitch

Microsoft experienced a lengthy technical glitch during CEO Satya Nadella's comments to financial analysts in the quarterly investor call on Tuesday.

A seven-minute, 40-second stretch of dead air started for at least some users watching the session on Microsoft Teams a little over three minutes into the call. Partway into the outage, Microsoft posted a message from its production studios reading, "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please standby." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 26, 2021 at 5:03 PM0 comments


Bryson Named New Microsoft U.S. Channel Chief

Microsoft this week announced Tyler Bryson as the replacement for the departing David Willis to run the company's U.S. channel operations.

Bryson is officially corporate vice president of the U.S. One Commercial Partner organization. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 21, 2021 at 9:34 AM0 comments


PC Market Caught Fire in Q4. Well, in All of 2020

The PC market was on fire in the fourth quarter.

In its quarterly tracking of worldwide PC shipments, IDC reported preliminary numbers of 26.1 percent year-over-year growth to 91.6 million units. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 11, 2021 at 10:04 AM0 comments


Microsoft: Partner 2021 Priorities are Remote Work, BC/DR, Security, Cloud Migrations

In the holding pattern that is early 2021, Microsoft's priority guidance to partners for the new year is for more of the same.

Microsoft channel chief Gavriella Schuster detailed her view of partner priorities and opportunities this week in a blog post that largely echoed earlier guidance from Microsoft Inspire, the annual July partner conference that helps kick off Microsoft's fiscal year. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 07, 2021 at 9:50 AM0 comments


U.S. Channel Chief Willis Leaving Microsoft

Microsoft U.S. Channel Chief David Willis announced Friday that he would be leaving Microsoft in January after 28 years at the company.

He didn't use the word "retire" in a blog post on the official U.S. Partner Blog, and some of his phrasing left open the possibility that he might emerge as an executive somewhere in the future. However, Willis suggested that his focus in the near future would be on family time, leisure activity, travel and volunteering. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on December 04, 2020 at 1:47 PM0 comments