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Survey: How Well Does Microsoft Meet Partners' Needs?

As Microsoft rolls into fiscal year 2016 starting July 1, we surveyed readers to find out how happy they are with their Microsoft partnership.

At a high level, partners are pretty satisfied, and report that Microsoft products are actually becoming more central to their businesses. Yet many partners report that Microsoft is not the most important company in their vendor stable.

For this survey, we received responses from 240 partners from late May through early June. About a quarter had at least one gold competency, making the respondents a gold-heavy group. Microsoft often says partners with gold competencies represent only the top 1 percent of its community.

A little more than 15 percent of the partners had at least one silver competency, and 23 percent were subscribers to the Action Pack. Of the rest, 19 percent were community members and another 19 percent were informal partners who did not participate in the MPN.

Readers gave Microsoft fairly high ratings among their vendor partners. Asked to rate Microsoft as a partner compared to other vendors, 63 percent rated Microsoft as either "Excellent" or "Above Average" (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Compared to other vendors, how do you rate Microsoft as a partner?

Microsoft has moved quickly on products in the last two years, with cloud products updated on a quarterly-or-faster basis, and even on-premises products getting refreshed at a good clip. At the same time, Microsoft also moved to embrace open source technologies in many areas. With all that change, we asked readers how important Microsoft technology is in the solutions they sell compared to two years ago. By a ratio of about 10-to-1, readers who reported that Microsoft technology is more important outnumbered those for whom it is less important (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. How important is Microsoft technology generally in solutions you sell now compared to two years ago?

But Microsoft isn't necessarily the most important vendor partner for most of the readers we surveyed. For one-quarter of them, Microsoft is the most important partner. But 70 percent only rate Microsoft as among their top vendor partners. And for 5 percent, some other vendor is the most important (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Is Microsoft your most important vendor partner?

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Posted by Scott Bekker on July 01, 2015 at 8:00 AM