From imaginative and prescient to actuality: Microsoft’s companions embrace AI to ship buyer worth


Synthetic intelligence is a defining expertise of our time. Over the previous yr we’ve begun to see the way it can unlock profound prospects for people, organizations and society — and it’s clear that we’ve got solely scratched the floor.  

For Microsoft and our companions throughout industries, AI provides a generational second to reimagine the capabilities that software program and companies can present. Our aim at Microsoft is to innovate and democratize our breakthroughs in AI — and the chance for companions is much better than the sum of AI applied sciences themselves.  

For this State of the Companion Ecosystem second, we’ll share how companions are seizing the alternatives that AI provides and making its promise actual for organizations the world over. We’ll spotlight companions who’re constructing AI-powered options to innovate throughout industries, together with three companions who’re: 

  • Serving to individuals and organizations obtain, in months, what as soon as may need been a multi-year endeavor. 
  • Innovating in increased training by streamlining work in advertising, admissions and pupil advising. 
  • Empowering real-time resolution making on the level of influence throughout the provision chain. 

First, we’ll have a look at how Microsoft is empowering our companions to innovate, construct and differentiate with AI via a mixture of expertise developments, an {industry} main accomplice program and true market differentiation. Throughout this time of AI transformation, there has by no means been a better time to be a Microsoft accomplice, and our companions are totally embracing this new alternative.

Unprecedented momentum: the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program 

Microsoft is driving innovation in generative AI, with new Azure OpenAI Providers and an increasing portfolio of Copilot choices. At present, we provide essentially the most complete business portfolio available in the market with AI infused all over the place from the cloud to the sting, and throughout each resolution space.  

Companions can faucet into all this innovation via the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program. By analysis, partnership, and new investments, we’re bringing companions the capabilities and advantages to assist them empower clients of each dimension, in each {industry}.  

Simply as AI capabilities are infused all through our expertise portfolio, AI advantages are wired all through the accomplice program. And today we’re asserting enhancements to allow companions to create an AI-powered future, together with:  

  • The enlargement of AI skilling, boot camps and occasions 
  • New advantages packages with product enhancements like Microsoft 365 developer, elevated Azure credit, and Visible Studio enterprise, to assist AI observe development 
  • New designations for companions to ascertain licensed AI options or methods to distinguish themselves. 

This builds on the unbelievable momentum we’ve seen since we introduced the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program final July. The truth is, the Microsoft AI Transformation Companion Playbook outlining new prospects with AI has been downloaded over 35,000 occasions. Our free go-to-market asset, the Period of AI advertising campaign-in-a-box, has been downloaded over 13,250 occasions.  

Today greater than 13,000 companions constructing options with Microsoft Azure AI, serving greater than 53,000 clients with generative AI capabilities alone. Our accomplice ecosystem is rising to satisfy demand with a virtually 250 p.c improve in the variety of generative AI-related companions up to now eight months. 

If you add that up, it factors to a yr of exponential innovation and development for companions, and we’re persevering with to develop new methods to assist this development curve. Listed here are some specifics on the updates we’re making to the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program within the coming months.

An infographic showing a thoughtful person alongside a statistic: nearly 250% increase in partners transacting with generative AI in the last eight months.

Program updates, together with new designations and certifications for companions

Options accomplice designations and specializations are a method we assist companions differentiate themselves available in the market. Designations and certifications assist to confirm abilities and validate the effectiveness of options so clients can discover the accomplice and expertise that’s proper for his or her wants. 

To acquire designations and specializations, companions should meet skilling and efficiency necessities, and supply buyer proof to show their capabilities — and companions have embraced this chance with Microsoft AI. We have now seen 58 p.c development since final July in accomplice designations for Azure Information and AI options, and 172 p.c development in accomplice specializations for the Construct and Modernize AI apps with Azure and AI and Machine Studying designations.  

To construct on this momentum, immediately we’re asserting a number of new designations for companions throughout software program, companies and coaching. 

A brand new set of designations for companions who develop software program: Options Companion with licensed software program 

At present, we’re happy to announce the overall availability of Options Companion[i] with licensed software program[ii] designations. Licensed software program designations present a chance to higher join with clients and to unlock extra advantages from Microsoft.  

By changing into a Options Companion with licensed software program, companions can differentiate their resolution, improve their discoverability within the Microsoft Business Market, join with extra clients, and make the most of advertising and branding assets designed to assist speed up income development in a quickly increasing market.  

There are two pathways to develop into a Options Companion with licensed software program: resolution areas and Business AI 

  • Resolution areas. To develop into a Options Companion[i] with licensed[ii] software program for resolution areas, a accomplice’s software program should meet readiness and technical necessities and show a observe document of buyer success. Resolution space designations embody Azure, Enterprise Functions, Fashionable Work and Safety.  
  • Business AI. To develop into a Options Companion with licensed software program for Business AI, along with the necessities above, a accomplice’s resolution should additionally meet an industry-specific problem aligned with the Microsoft Business Cloud situations and embody a Microsoft AI functionality. At the moment, companions can attain the next licensed software program designations for Business AI: Healthcare AI, Retail AI, Monetary Providers AI, Manufacturing AI and Sustainability AI.  

Greater than 75 companions with options throughout all 5 industries and from world wide have participated within the public preview of the designation, together with Netherlands, Iceland, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Norway, Eire, India, Canada and the USA. There are 49 options at present licensed with an extra 27 in progress.

New Coaching Providers Options Companion designations 

We’re additionally releasing new designations for companions who present coaching companies. Beginning April 10, companions who qualify for Options Companion for Coaching Providers designations will have the ability to full enrollment.  

Certified companions will obtain designation-specific badges distinguishing their companies from different accomplice varieties inside the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program. These badges vastly improve buyer discoverability, making it simpler for them to establish companions with distinctive experience and a confirmed observe document of supply high quality coaching. 

New Small and Medium Enterprise (SMB) paths for Azure and Safety Options Companion designations 

Primarily based on accomplice suggestions, we’re investing in our small- and mid-sized enterprise ecosystem and making a pathway for companions who concentrate on delivering options for SMB clients throughout Azure Information & AI, Digital & App Innovation, Infrastructure and Safety.  Later this yr, we are going to introduce devoted SMB paths for Options Companion designations for Azure​ and Safety, including to our current SMB paths for Enterprise Functions and Fashionable Work. 

For companions who serve smaller companies, this creates an thrilling new alternative — a brand new option to qualify for current Options Companion designations, giving extra companions entry to the merchandise, go-to-market assets, assist, and advisory advantages that include these designations. The brand new SMB paths will differentiate companions who can meet buyer wants and drive buyer success by validating these companions’ capabilities in our Azure and Safety resolution areas.  

Extra particulars for the SMB paths for Azure and Safety can be out there within the coming weeks. 

An replace on the Help Providers Options Companion designation  

At present we’re asserting that companions with a Options Companion for Help Providers designation will quickly obtain unique new advantages, together with paid assist settlement pricing and entry to a knowledge-based library of curated supplies designed to assist companions resolve incidents shortly and effectively, along with customer-facing badging. Normal availability and extra particulars will come later this yr.

Equipping companions via AI skilling  

Speedy innovation with AI expertise has created an elevated demand for accomplice skilling for each pre-sales and technical roles. Responding to accomplice suggestions, we’ve got launched a breadth of Microsoft AI-focused skilling workshops, boot camps and coaching occasions. Since July 2023, greater than 350,000 accomplice personnel have additionally develop into expert pre-sales and technical depth learners for Microsoft AI, Copilot and Cloth. 

Microsoft AI accomplice coaching roadshow 

In March, we launched an in-person coaching collection referred to as the Microsoft AI Companion Coaching Roadshow to focus on six cities globally via June, throughout India, the Bay Space, Germany, Japan and Brazil. Our inaugural occasion in India had 1,500 attendees from 40 accomplice organizations with 96 p.c of individuals agreeing that the occasion was helpful and 94 p.c indicating they gained new abilities to achieve success of their roles. The roadshow is concentrated on in-person coaching on AI, concentrating on 270 accomplice organizations, and features a keynote session highlighting the distinctive worth of Microsoft AI, Cloth and Copilot for Microsoft 365, adopted by a gross sales excellence and technical excellence tracks. 

Copilot for Safety upcoming launch and accomplice skilling 

To assist our companions and clients in securing their companies, we’re excited to announce the basic availability of Microsoft Copilot for Safety in all commerce channels, together with Cloud Resolution Supplier (CSP) channel, on April 1, 2024. We initiated an energetic Copilot for Safety accomplice group at Encourage final yr, which has since grown to greater than 1,000 individuals. Over the previous six months, Microsoft has engaged with greater than 100 Managed Safety Service Suppliers (MSSP) and Unbiased Software program Distributors (ISVs) in a Copilot for Safety Companion personal preview. Upcoming safety skilling occasions embody:  

  • Microsoft Copilot for Safety Companion Boot Camp Helps individuals perceive how Microsoft Copilot for Safety allows safety analysts to maneuver on the pace and scale of AI by augmenting the human expertise. Beginning April 16. 
  • Menace Safety and Incident Response with Microsoft Sentinel Workshop Individuals will learn to deploy and join this SIEM and SOAR resolution to totally different knowledge sources and   use clever safety analytics and risk intelligence capabilities for assault detection, risk vulnerability, proactive looking and risk response. April 22-25. 

New AI skilling for gross sales/pre-sales and technical depth  

  • Azure OpenAI Workshop – Designed to assist individuals deepen their understanding of Azure OpenAI Providers, that is tailor-made for builders and knowledge scientists aiming to do extra with much less. Beginning April 16. 
  • Microsoft Cloth Workshop – Individuals will study extra about this complete suite of companies, together with knowledge lake, knowledge engineering and knowledge integration, multi functional place. And learn to implement this easy-to-use product that’s designed to simplify analytics wants of enterprises. Beginning April 8. 
  • Copilot for Microsoft 365 Pre-Gross sales, Deployment and Adoption Bootcamp Individuals will discover how Copilot for Microsoft 365 gives real-time clever help, enabling customers to boost their creativity, productiveness, and abilities. Beginning March 26. 

New Companion Advantages 

On Jan. 22, Microsoft launched three new advantages packages: Companion Launch Advantages, Companion Success Core Advantages and Companion Success Expanded Advantages. Function-built to satisfy the various wants of companions at totally different phases of development and assist companions scale their enterprise via a portfolio of key Microsoft advantages, the packages can be found for buy at a major low cost for companions 

These refreshed advantages comply with companions via each aspect of the accomplice journey: from creating their options, to go-to-market, to differentiating their organizations within the market. Past the three new packages, companions can proceed to pursue Options Companion designations and specializations to distinguish their organizations within the Microsoft  Business Market and entry extra product and assist advantages. Companions who develop software program IP may faucet into ISV Success, a set of assets that assist speed up software program resolution growth and amplify gross sales.  

The suggestions on the brand new packages has been extremely optimistic, and we proceed to hearken to accomplice suggestions and discover new methods to spend money on our companions.  

Replace on Copilot for Cloud Resolution Suppliers  

On Jan. 16, Copilot for Microsoft 365 turned typically out there throughout all gross sales channels, together with via our Cloud Resolution Suppliers. Normal availability of Copilot for M365 opened a wealth of quick alternatives for companions to ship end-to-end companies to assist clients obtain a easy transition into an AI-powered group.  

One Microsoft distribution accomplice, TD SYNNEX, has already engaged greater than 2,000 companions in its enablement journey for Copilot for Microsoft 365, demonstrating the {industry}’s eagerness to harness the potential of generative AI. With greater than 500 people licensed in this system, TD SYNNEX gives its companions with the technical and operational experience, options and assets to assist companions leverage Copilot’s capabilities and acquire a aggressive edge. 

From imaginative and prescient to actuality: companions are delivering AI options world wide 

We’re dedicated to constructing AI capabilities throughout the Microsoft cloud, guided by our Accountable AI rules. Our companions allow us to scale and ship these applied sciences to each group and each individual on the planet. We anticipated some outstanding innovation on this space, and in simply over a yr we’ve got been amazed by the outcomes and influence companions are reaching world wide. 

Listed here are a few of the methods Microsoft companions are growing differentiated options and serving to clients rework their enterprise processes throughout industries.  

Accenture, along with Avanade, is working with Amadeus to develop a generative AI-powered interactive assistant utilizing Microsoft applied sciences, together with GPT fashions from Azure Open AI Service, Microsoft 365 and Groups, to permit company vacationers to orchestrate advanced travel-related duties utilizing solely pure language.  

Anthology Inc is offering AI-powered innovation for increased training via its pupil success and lifecycle engagement resolution that’s constructed on Microsoft Dynamics 365. 

The Atlassian product suite — together with Confluence, Trello, Jira and Atlas — improves productiveness and collaboration. As a part of the Microsoft Copilot Early Entry Program, Atlassian enhanced its apps to empower customers to trace duties, resolve points and handle initiatives seamlessly.  

Firms use Blue Yonder for end-to-end provide chain administration. Blue Yonder, constructed on Azure, makes use of AI and ML to offer real-time decision-making energy and workflows that assist companies fulfill orders and reply shortly to shifting market circumstances.  

CallMiner’s AI-driven platform empowers organizations to ingest and analyze each dialog that occurs within the contact middle and past to uncover insights, act, and drive transformational change.  

Datadog integrates with all main Azure companies, together with Azure OpenAI Service. Now clients can higher optimize prices, troubleshoot points and monitor the efficiency of their AI-powered purposes.  

EY labored with Microsoft to create a generative AI chatbot to reply payroll questions from workers throughout the 159 international locations and 49 languages that EY shoppers embody.  

Icertis Contract Intelligence Copilots are offering clients with assistive and generative pure language capabilities that minimize via legalese and switch contracts into interactive property that ship insights and automation to drive companies ahead.   

Intapp is enabling 1000’s of monetary {and professional} companies corporations to harness the intelligence of their professionals via AI-powered software program options.  

LTI Mindtree is leveraging generative AI, powered by GitHub Copilot and Azure OpenAI Service, to speed up the migration of legacy apps from on-premises to the cloud. Their methodology automates the creation of latest cloud structure, code conversion and documentation era, leading to a median discount of 46 p.c in migration time.   

Sight Machine works with producers to make their companies stronger, extra sustainable and extra resilient. To higher assist producers’ knowledge accessibility wants, Sight Machine used Azure OpenAI Service to harness generative AI (GPT-4) and to develop Manufacturing unit Copilot. 

Veeam Software program, just lately introduced an prolonged, five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft to innovate new options for shielding clients by integrating Veeam’s product household and Microsoft Copilot and AI companies. 

Wanting forward: limitless alternatives for AI innovation 

We have now seen large progress as companions seize the second and switch the promise of AI right into a actuality world wide. At present, we’ve got moved from speaking about AI to making use of AI at scale in methods nobody might have imagined just some months in the past. 

Microsoft is infusing AI throughout each layer of its tech stack, creating new methods to energy organizations and industries, and unlocking new alternatives to ship transformational worth to clients.  

Key to creating all this a actuality are the capabilities, companies, product innovation and depth of {industry} data delivered by our companions. Microsoft’s mission is to empower each individual and each group on the planet to attain extra. Our companions allow us to ship on that dedication, in each buyer section, each geography, day-after-day.  


[i] “Options Companion” refers to an organization that could be a member of the Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program and will provide software program, companies, and/or options to clients. Reference to “Options Companion” in any content material, supplies, assets, internet properties, and many others. and any related designation must be not interpreted as a suggestion, endorsement, assure, proof of effectiveness or performance, a dedication or some other sort of illustration or guarantee on the a part of Microsoft. All selections pertaining to and associated to your small business wants together with however not restricted to methods, options, accomplice choice, implementation, and many others. relaxation solely with your small business.   

[ii] A certification is (A) particular to the answer’s interoperability with Microsoft merchandise and (B) primarily based on self-attestation by the answer proprietor. Options are solely licensed as of the date the answer is reviewed. Resolution performance and functionality are managed by the answer proprietor and could also be topic to vary. The inclusion of an answer in market and any such designations shouldn’t be interpreted as a suggestion, endorsement, assure, proof of effectiveness or performance, a dedication or some other sort of illustration or guarantee on the a part of Microsoft. All selections pertaining and associated to your small business wants together with however not restricted to methods, options, accomplice choice, implementation, and many others. relaxation solely with your small business. 

Tags: AI, Microsoft AI Cloud Companion Program, Microsoft Copilot for Safety, Microsoft Companions, Accountable AI


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