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Top 10 Most Important Products for Microsoft Partners

Windows is still a common denominator in most partners' practices, even in this cloud-first, mobile-first era, a recent RCP reader survey shows.

In a survey this fall, RCP asked readers, "What Microsoft products do you commonly include in customer solutions?" Readers were asked to choose from a list of 17 core business products and they could select as many products as they used.

10. Skype for Business
The Skype for Business communication suite edged out a lot of other products for the 10th spot on the list. In all, 41 percent of respondents said they commonly included Skype for Business in their solutions. That put Skype ahead of management tools like System Center and Intune, and ahead of the Dynamics products, which are represented, at least for now, by a relatively small but committed core of partners. (That may change with the recent release of Dynamics 365.)

8 (tie). Azure & Hyper-V
Eighth-place was a tie between Microsoft's strategic Azure public cloud platform and the Hyper-V virtualization technology. Both checked in at 42 percent.

7. SharePoint Server
SharePoint, with its customization options and broad use cases, has a vibrant community of partners around it, and finds its way into the solutions of 44 percent of the partners in this survey.

6. Exchange Server
Office 365 is surging in the market (see below) and gets most of the attention from Microsoft's top brass, but there's still a place for on-premises Exchange in the partner community. Nearly half of respondents (48 percent), commonly include Exchange in their solutions.

5. SQL Server
Microsoft's flagship database technology is also key for Microsoft partners. Some 56 percent regularly include SQL Server in their solutions.

4. Office 365
Office 365 is way up the list of products that readers commonly include in solutions. With 64 percent putting Office 365 in solutions offered to customers, the cloud productivity suite is a clear staple of the modern Microsoft partner business model.

3. Office
Tradition dominates the top three in this list. The Office suite itself is a hair ahead of Office 365 at 65 percent.

2. Windows Client
When it comes to Microsoft-based solutions, the product that made Microsoft a household name is still critically important. The client version of Windows is a component of customer solutions for about 68 percent of respondents.

1. Windows Server
Azure and Azure Stack are getting heavy investment and Microsoft's enterprise servers are starting to support Linux as their OS, but when it comes to partner solutions, the on-premise Windows Server remains the most widely used product at 69 percent. Whether it's powering SQL databases, Exchange servers, SharePoint solutions and custom applications or simply running a domain or serving up files, Windows server still forms the base of the partner solution stack.


Posted by Scott Bekker on December 01, 2016