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Azure Co-Sell Program Hits $2.3 Billion in Partner Revenues

An Azure co-sell program launched last July to incentivize Microsoft field sellers to promote partner solutions with customers has generated $2.3 billion in partner revenues so far, a Microsoft executive said.

"This program continues to grow beyond expectation, delivering over $2.3 billion in partner revenue to date," said Charlotte Yarkoni, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Growth and Ecosystem, on Monday during the main keynote for Microsoft Build 2018 in Seattle.

Yarkoni described the co-sell program as connecting both startups and other partners to enterprise customers through Microsoft's worldwide salesforce and channel.

Charlotte Yarkoni, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Growth and Ecosystem, said at Microsoft Build 2018 that the Azure co-sell program delivered $2.3 billion in partner revenues. (Source: Microsoft)

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that Yarkoni was referring to the same program that former Microsoft One Commercial Partner Corporate Vice President Ron Huddleston unveiled in July at the Microsoft Inspire 2017 partner conference. Under that program, Microsoft provides funding to pay its own sales reps up to 10 percent of the partner's annual contract value when they co-sell qualified Azure-based partner solutions.

At the time, Huddleston positioned the program as part of a broader effort to reduce friction between Microsoft sales reps and Microsoft partners in Azure deals.

"We actually piloted this incentive at the end of last year and it created 6 billion, with a "b," dollars of shared pipeline. And we paid our own sales reps on a billion dollars of partner-close co-sold revenue," Huddleston said during his Inspire 2017 keynote. "This year we're taking it big, and that's just one example of what's possible when we tear down barriers and walls and work together."

While Huddleston said the pilot program generated $1 billion during Microsoft's previous fiscal year, the spokesperson said Yarkoni's figure of $2.3 billion came entirely in the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, from July 2017 to March. The new partner revenue figure does not include the fourth quarter, which runs from April through June and is historically Microsoft's biggest period for sales.

Yarkoni on Monday discussed the co-sell program in the context of Microsoft for Startups, a related program announced in February. Under that program, Microsoft is investing $500 million over two years to work with developing companies and help them reach enterprise customers through initiatives such as the Azure co-sell program.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 08, 2018 at 3:09 PM