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ISV support is the focus at Microsoft Inspire

Vendor’s partner event has included programme updates and enhancements to its commercial marketplace

The focus at Microsoft’s Inspire event is largely around improving life for ISVs, with more support and improved exposure on the vendor’s marketplace.

Microsoft announced plans for an ISV Success Programme, which is designed to help developers design their applications and get their offerings onto the markeplace.

Frank X Shaw, corporate vice-president, communications at Microsoft, took to the blogosphere to outline what Inspire could offer ISVs, underlining the improvements to the marketplace as one of the main highlights.

“We are announcing new benefits with the ISV Success Programme, to help ISVs innovate rapidly, build well-architected applications, publish them to our commercial marketplace and grow their sales,” he wrote. “Currently in private preview, and broadly available in fall 2022, the programme is intended to be the pathway to ISV success in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme.

“Participants can get access to nearly $128,000 in benefits to utilise productive, modern and innovative developer tools to accelerate software production. Additionally, Marketplace Rewards has been integrated into the ISV Success Programme to help simplify the path for ISVs.”

But ISVs need to get onto the marketplace in front of commercial customers, and Microsoft announced that improvements were being made on that front.

The key plank of delivering those improvements is through a partnership with Tackle.io, which specialises in helping ISVs get the fruits of their labour into the cloud easily and getting them out at scale on commercial marketplaces.

“Buyers want to engage more digitally than ever before, and ISVs are looking for new ways to sell that address those expectations,” said John Jahnke, CEO at Tackle. “The Microsoft commercial marketplace offers solutions for sellers to meet their buyers where and how they want to buy. We have partnered with Microsoft since 2019 and are thrilled to evolve our relationship to enable continued platform innovation and help ISVs to scale their revenue with the commercial marketplace.”

Charlotte Yarkoni, president, commerce and ecosystems at Microsoft, said Tackle already understood the vendor’s ecosystem and partner requirements and that made the partnership fairly simple to settle on. “Tackle’s Cloud Marketplace Platform has powered many top-selling ISVs to accelerate and operationalise revenue generation through Microsoft commercial marketplace,” she said.

Inspire was also used as an opportunity to flag up further changes on the ISV front, with Shaw indicating there would be more developments later this year.

“We are also introducing new industry designations for ISVs, which will be available later this year,” he said. “These designations differentiate solutions based on their demonstrated performance with customers, technical maturity and customer success. We are starting with healthcare, retail and financial services.”

The event also included an extension of a specialist programme for partners that sold into the space market, with Microsoft keen to get more partners involved with supplying those specialist customers with more general IT support.

The Azure Space Partner Community should give some of the vendor’s channel an opportunity to get more involved in this area, with Stephen Kitay, senior director of Microsoft Azure Space, penning a blog post encouraging more to do so.

“The space industry is rapidly advancing and we believe in the power of bringing together this community in an ecosystem,” he said. “This ecosystem is enabled with opportunities such as co-engineering, go-to-market scaling and support, alongside many other benefits designed to empower our partners.

“Today, our partners span the entire ecosystem – from space operators to manufacturers, systems integrators, data providers, ISVs, startups and more. We are excited to rapidly innovate and advance the industry with our inaugural cohort of partners, and we look forward to welcoming new partners in the days to come.”

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