With Azure Lighthouse, Microsoft Provides a Scalable MSP Tool for the Cloud

Microsoft is taking a big step in the direction of making Azure a friendlier platform for managed service providers (MSPs).

The theoretical appeal of Azure for MSPs has always been clear. Customers could move or create infrastructure on Microsoft's public cloud, and Microsoft partners, with far more cloud expertise than the average customer, could provision and manage that infrastructure on their behalf. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 16, 2019 at 12:28 PM0 comments


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. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 15, 2019 at 11:32 AM0 comments


Partner Backlash Leads Microsoft To Reverse Course on IUR Retirement

Microsoft is reversing course on a plan to revoke partners' ability to use internal use rights (IURs) to run their businesses after a substantial partner backlash.

"Given your feedback, we have made the decision to roll back all planned changes related to internal use rights and competency timelines that were announced earlier this month. This means you will experience no material changes this coming fiscal year, and you will not be subject to reduced IUR licenses or increased costs related to those licenses next July as previously announced," said Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of Microsoft One Commercial Partner, in a statement posted on Microsoft's partner portal on Friday. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 12, 2019 at 9:18 AM0 comments


What To Expect at Microsoft Inspire

Like other media and analysts, I'm not invited to Microsoft Inspire, the annual partner confab in Las Vegas. The media lockout policy started last year due to Microsoft's decision to combine the partner conference with the company's internal sales conference, Microsoft Ready. (That broke a streak of 12 Worldwide Partner Conferences and Inspires for me.)

For those of you who are going, here's what to expect next Sunday through Thursday in America's gambling capital in the desert. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2019 at 2:40 PM0 comments


Microsoft Channel Chief: Cloud Makes IURs Unsustainably Expensive

Editor's Note: Due to partners' negative reaction to these changes, Microsoft on July 12 announced that it was rescinding the plan to end the internal use rights benefit. See RCP's coverage here.

Gavriella Schuster has come full circle on internal use rights (IURs).

In media briefings this week in advance of the Microsoft Inspire partner conference, Schuster, Microsoft's channel chief, addressed a major brewing controversy in the Microsoft partner community. Earlier this month, Microsoft quietly disclosed that it was ending IURs, the partner program benefit that allows partner companies to run their entire business on Microsoft software and services. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2019 at 9:21 AM0 comments


ServiceNow Dubs Microsoft Azure a 'Preferred' Cloud

In a bid to win over governments and enterprises in highly regulated industries looking to move digital workflows to the cloud, Microsoft and ServiceNow on Tuesday announced an extension of their existing partnership.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based ServiceNow provides cloud-based platforms and solutions for delivering digital workflows. Its new agreement with Microsoft builds on an alliance from October that allowed Microsoft's U.S. federal government customers to deploy ServiceNow technology from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace to the Azure Government Cloud. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 09, 2019 at 11:35 AM0 comments


Q&A with the CEO of RCP Rocket Award Winner Quisitive

The results of the sixth annual RCP Rocket Awards are in, and the winner is 3-year-old Microsoft technology giant Quisitive Technology Solutions Inc.

The award, sponsored by Redmond Channel Partner and Revenue Rocket Consulting Group, is open to all U.S.-based Microsoft partners with annual revenues between $5 million and $100 million, and whose innovative business strategies resulted in sustained growth over three years. While metrics of growth are a key factor, an equally important factor is innovative and sustainable business strategies. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 08, 2019 at 1:28 PM0 comments


Microsoft Killing Its Most Popular Partner Benefit, IURs

Editor's Note: Due to partners' negative reaction to these changes, Microsoft on July 12 announced that it was rescinding the plan to end the internal use rights benefit. See RCP's coverage here.

An announcement on Microsoft's partner Web site indicates that the popular internal use rights (IUR) benefit will be discontinued in less than a year.

IURs allow Microsoft partners to run their business on Microsoft software, from their Windows desktops to all of the back-end servers to the newer cloud services. They were consistently rated one of the best features of Microsoft's partner program in RCP surveys and cited as a key benefit in partner interviews over the years. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 05, 2019 at 9:22 AM0 comments


Microsoft Launches Premium Tier for Azure Files

After being in limited preview since last September's Ignite conference and in a broader preview since early May, the premium tier for Microsoft's Azure Files service has hit general availability.

With Wednesday's release, users with higher performance needs now have the ability to access managed file services on solid-state drives in Microsoft's public cloud. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 26, 2019 at 8:49 AM0 comments


Report: Be Consistent, Blog Long and Other Marketing Insights for Microsoft Partners

When it comes to digital marketing for Microsoft partners, few organizations are watching the trends, the space and the success metrics as closely as Fifty Five and Five. Founded five years ago, the firm each year releases a lengthy report recognizing the best in Microsoft partner digital marketing.

As the London-based organization gets ready to release its annual report at the Microsoft Inspire show next month, we caught up with founder Chris Wright for an e-mail Q&A. (The company is taking advance registrations for the free report here.) More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 25, 2019 at 11:16 AM0 comments


Concern Mounts About 'BlueKeep' Windows RDP Flaw

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the lead U.S. government unit on civilian cybersecurity, has joined the chorus of warnings about the "BlueKeep" Windows security vulnerability.

BlueKeep refers to a critical vulnerability in the implementation of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) used by several older Windows operating systems, including Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. BlueKeep's Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) identifier is CVE-2019-0708. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 19, 2019 at 12:47 PM0 comments


Who Are the Worldwide Microsoft Implementation Services Leaders?

Determining the best Microsoft partners in the world is challenging. With a community as large, diverse and global as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), there are a thousand ways to look at the question.

Market research firm IDC took a crack at it from the standpoint of global implementation giants in a report released last month. The "IDC Marketscape: Worldwide Microsoft Implementation Services 2019 Vendor Assessment" is an analysis of 10 Microsoft systems integrators. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 17, 2019 at 8:41 AM0 comments