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Strategic Microsoft Partners Get the 'Swarm' Treatment

The ongoing reorganization of the Microsoft channel operation, One Commercial Partner (OCP), includes a new concept called the "swarm," a pool of technical experts at Microsoft available to strategic partners.

The term came up during the most recent podcast in the "The Ultimate Guide to Partnering" series as host Vince Menzione was interviewing Scott Buth, director of partner development in the Microsoft U.S. OCP. Buth, a 10-year Microsoft veteran, is responsible for improving the capabilities of Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider (LSP) partners, an elite group that currently consists of 16 companies.

Specifically, he works with those partners in the newly defined solution areas -- Modern Workplace, Apps & Infrastructure, Data & AI and Business Applications. Those four topics were laid out as major horizontal solution focus areas in the field reorganization that was laid out in July.

Asked by Menzione to elaborate after mentioning the "swarm" term, Buth offered this description: "It is the pool of essentially of Cloud Solution Architects that align to our four solution areas...Those resources are aligned so those solution areas and the [Partner Technical Strategist] who quarterbacks the technology and the solution development for our strategic partners has the ability to engage those individuals and bring them into the conversation, help train and enable the partner technical resources, as well as create a deeper roadmap for where they want to go with their solutions."

The definition came up as Buth was describing Microsoft's overall efforts to deploy Microsoft's partner-supporting business and technical experts in combination for the benefit of partners.

"It's really to get under the hood of our partners' capabilities, understand the types of practices that they have in place today, the offerings that are generating profit for them, and then also work with them in a strategic way to align them on a road map of offering development that we want to work on," Buth said.

You can listen to Menzione's interview with Buth here:

While the "swarm" term doesn't seem to be commonly used outside of Microsoft or confidential briefings with individual partners, the concept lines up with floating technical resources in Microsoft OCP organizational charts (see below). Those charts mention Cloud Solution Architects and Partner Technical Architects that are outside the main organization buckets of OCP (Build-with, Go-To-Market and Sell-with).

[Click on image for larger view.]

The "swarm" idea offers hints of how Microsoft intends for those technical experts to be deployed.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 30, 2017


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