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Microsoft Is Back to Talking About Channel Scale Numbers Again

It's been a few years since Microsoft wanted to talk about how many partners it had.

In the old days, the company would regularly boast of 600,000 or even as high as 800,000 partners in broad terms. When it came to registered members of the old Microsoft Partner Program or the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), the figures regularly landed north of 400,000 organizations.

Lately Microsoft has kept those totals close to the vest. Two years ago, I committed a little algebra on some figures Microsoft revealed to conclude that the company had about 264,000 partners. But Microsoft did not come out and claim that number.

This year, Microsoft is shouting out the figures from the rooftops.

We're told Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's keynote speech at Microsoft Inspire on Wednesday will focus on the numbers 100 to 17 to seven. One hundred refers to the 100,000 Microsoft employees, 17 refers to 17 million partner employees worldwide, and seven for the 7 billion people in the world Microsoft hopes to reach.

In a pre-conference media briefing, Gavriella Schuster, the corporate vice president running the Microsoft One Commercial Partner organization, said, "The way I think about our partner program is that we service 300,000 organizations around the world. We're seeing about 7,000 new organizations join our network every single month."

Why the change of heart on talking numbers? I'm not sure, but it always seemed weird for the company not to highlight the huge advantage it has over competitors in the unmatched scale of its channel program.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 15, 2019


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