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UPDATED: A Partner's Guide to the Microsoft Field for FY13

One of the most important things for partners to figure out at the start of a Microsoft fiscal year is what Microsoft is doing in the field.

Last week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft dropped lots of bread crumbs about how Microsoft's partner-facing sales force will be compensated and about changes to the structure of the field organization that partners encounter.

Most of the details came during Jon Roskill's WPC keynote in Toronto last week. Roskill noted that many savvy partners ask him about field compensation: "What I can tell you is we are introducing a new cloud revenue hurdle. So, our field is not going to get into accelerators, our field is not going to make the big bucks, until they hit the cloud revenue number, too."

Structurally, Roskill discussed four main changes to the organization of local field offices worldwide.

  • Partner Account Managers are getting training on higher-level business discussions. "You've been asking us and saying, 'I'm having good business development discussions, but I want to take those to the next level. I want to grow my business, and I need some help.' So, we've been up-skilling our PAMs so that our PAMs are able to have those business development discussions with you."

  • Partner Technology Advisors are being given incentives to help partners add new practices to existing businesses. "We've taken the hundreds of PTAs that are out in the field and we focused them in on building practices with you and expanding the practices that you've got going into FY13."

  • Microsoft is adding hundreds of new telesales reps to drive sales pipeline with partners.

  • More than 100 telesales specialists are being added to help close partner deals in FY13.

Roskill also reported a 5 percent increase in the massive incentives budget that Microsoft has to spend on partners for FY13. The new total will be $4.2 billion. "We're focusing that extra $200 million in on -- guess what? -- cloud incentives and solution incentives," Roskill said.

In another session, Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network, reminded partners that there were announcements at the last WPC that the way solution incentives would be aligned with the MPN competencies would change in 2013.

"We are moving our incentive strategy away from being purely focused on transacting a license," Bennani said.

However, partners are getting a little more time for the latest competency requirements to kick in -- they'll take effect in calendar 2013 as opposed to Microsoft's FY13, which started this month.

In a blog entry from WPC, Ross Brown, vice president of Partner Strategy in Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, laid out exactly which MPN competencies will be required for each solution incentive on Jan. 1, 2013. (See table.)

"​If you want to continue to grow your Solution Incentives participation after January 1, 2013, please take careful note of the requirements below, and make sure your company is eligible before the next calendar year begins," Brown wrote.

MPN Gold Competency Requirements -- Effective Jan. 1, 2013
(All MPN competency requirements are gold unless
otherwise noted.)

Management and Virtualization Incentives

Application Platform Incentives

Windows Enterprise Incentives

Lync Incentives

• Management & Virtualization
• Identity & Security
• Server Platform

• Data Platform
• Business Intelligence
• ISV/Software
• Portals & Collaboration

• Management & Virtualization
• Desktop

• Communications (Gold or Silver)

Competencies only eligible through Dec. 31, 2012:

• Data Platform
• Business Intelligence
• Application Integration​

Competencies only eligible through Dec. 31, 2012​:

• Application Integration
• Identity & Security
• Server Platform
• Management & Virtualization

Competencies only eligible through Dec. 31, 2012:

• Identity & Security
• Server Platform​


Posted by Scott Bekker on July 17, 2012