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Microsoft Debuts 'Azure Certified' Program for Partner Apps

Microsoft unveiled an opportunity for its partners to leverage the Azure cloud platform to sell their services at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) on Monday.

John Case, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office, announced the Microsoft Azure Certified program during the WPC's opening keynote. The program lets participating partners get their apps listed on the Azure Gallery, alongside other certified apps and Microsoft's own solutions. Partners will have permission to display an official Microsoft Azure Certified logo on materials promoting their apps. They will also have access to co-marketing, business planning and technical support.

Eventually, participants will be able to provide their app users with timed trials and the option to pay based on use, Baker said. Charges for using certified apps will be included in customers' Azure invoices.

The Azure Certified program is designed to create a "curated" app environment that helps give "credibility to the partners' offerings," wrote Bob Baker, director of cloud and enterprise partner marketing at Microsoft, in a blog post. "This will significantly boost partners' ability to reach large organizations that purchase Azure through Microsoft enterprise agreements -- usually a very expensive marketing effort for many Microsoft partners."

The program currently supports apps that run on Azure virtual machines. Partners' apps can be deployed from the Azure Management Portal provided that they take the form of virtual machine images that are composed of a single virtual hard disk. Apps must meet Microsoft's requirements for running on Azure virtual machines, and partners must provide customers with technical support.

More details about the program's requirements are available in the FAQ section here.

Microsoft notes that the program is still in "limited availability," so not every partner app that meets the stated requirements may be included in the program. There are currently six partners participating in the program, including Oracle and and SAP.

"Microsoft is working to build a scalable onboarding process to support inclusion of more partners in the future," the FAQ reads.

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About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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