New Program for Business Applications ISVs

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: MSDN Blogs.

Note that this blog post was original posted to: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-program-business-applications-isvs-steven-guggenheimer

 

The growth of data and the evolution of software as a service (SaaS) applications is driving digital feedback loops that are changing how people do their work and drive their businesses. We’ve been through many iterations of both our infrastructure and our approach to building and delivering solutions. The journey for Office from client, to client-server, to SaaS has been well documented as has the evolution from our Windows Server family of offerings to Azure. With the April ’19 release of Power Platform and the updated Dynamics 365 offerings, the business application family is now well into its transformation from client & client-server offerings to a modern SaaS platform (Power Platform) and modern SaaS service (Dynamics 365). This transformation is also well documented.

As we make the Platform and SaaS transformation in this space, the time is right to modernize our independent software vendor (ISV) approach and program to support ISVs in our joint effort to accelerate deployment of PowerApps and Dynamics 365-based solutions. From how we provide better tools in the platform for ISVs and developers, to new program offerings, and alignment with Microsoft’s broader ISV efforts, we are looking holistically at how we can better serve our ISV partners. In talking with ISVs over the last few months there is excitement for the future while acknowledging that changes are needed to achieve it.

As a platform company we know our success is determined by the health of the ecosystem and as such we wanted to give you a preview of the work we are doing that will start rolling out in July. As a kickstart to complement this blog post, check out our updated ISV website at https://partner.microsoft.com/solutions/business-applications/isv-overview.

New Program Overview

We are launching a new program in July 2019 (with more details at Inspire) for business applications ISVs and Microsoft to jointly serve our common customers. We’ve heard clearly from the ecosystem that there is a willingness to invest with us in sales and marketing efforts to help grow our collective market and that similar programs work well. We will be introducing a new two-tiered revenue sharing program (standard and premium) to deliver ISV priorities for engineering support, co-marketing and co-selling. This program will become the baseline for Dynamics 365 and PowerApps ISVs, and we’ve published an overview which can be found here.

At a high level all paid Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations apps and PowerApps will pay a revenue sharing fee, a portion of which will be used to drive joint sales and marketing efforts. In the future, we expect to add more advanced technical benefits and marketing support. Eligible ISVs that want even more GTM support can request to participate in a premium tier with expanded marketing benefits, including co-sell materials, promotions, PR support and more, in addition to co-selling support from Microsoft field teams.

ISV Focused Engineering

At the core, the separation of our first party applications from the underlying platform, which serves as the basis for our own SaaS services, is a huge step forward. Now, ISVs can leverage this underlying platform. This effort was the topic of a previous blog post and an exciting key to enabling ISVs to build or extend modern Line of Business SaaS offerings. Whether “connecting” to new or existing solutions, “building” new solutions from the ground up, or “extending” existing Dynamics 365 SaaS offerings, we are enabling new capabilities that are specific to developers/ISVs. Some of the new capabilities include:

  • Self-Service quality check for app certification – ISVs independently can verify that the apps they are building for Dynamics 365 Customer Experience and PowerApps can run seamlessly through the AppSource onboarding process and get certified without delay. Going forward all new apps will need to be certified and existing apps will need to be recertified periodically to keep them up to date.
  • ISV Studio – ISVs who have published Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps or PowerApps to AppSource can enjoy the benefits of a new ISV-centric Studio experience. The ISV Studio is critical in providing SaaS-like experiences to our partner ecosystem and providing ISVs with a consolidated view into how their apps are performing across their installed base.

Knowing how to get started on a platform should be easy and we are investing in self-serve materials for partners to get started with less friction than today. As we get closer to Build 2019 you will learn about new capabilities that we are lighting-up for Canvas and model driven app development, Common Data Service and Analytics & AI.

App Ingestion & Marketplace

We are simplifying what it takes for ISVs to submit their apps and improving how customers discover them. The first phase is to standardize our app ingestion process by streamlining the submission process from the Cloud Partner Portal (CPP), AppSource, DevCenter, Partner Sales Connect (PSC) and others into a unified Partner Center solution. This will reduce the complexity of submitting an app for ISVs while making it easier for ISVs to collaborate with Microsoft sellers. In addition to changes in how apps are submitted, we are making improvements to our Business Applications marketplace - Microsoft AppSource. Driving all the apps through a single marketplace will enable us to focus our efforts into creating a better experience for users while supporting our partners to succeed. Some of the things we are doing here are improving app discoverability, enhancing app ratings and reviews, consistently applying categories across apps, improving the user experience, and offering new transaction capabilities. Note that we will also be driving a consistent quality bar so that users can be confident in the apps that they get from Microsoft AppSource.

Sales & Marketing

From conversations with several ISVs there is a desire to grow our joint opportunity with customers. The new program has been designed to invest in the success of our ISVs by funding sales and marketing benefits for growing their business. Some of the benefits available (depending on an ISV’s tier) include co-sell ready materials, a Microsoft case study, a 20-30 second commercial, PR support, tele-sales campaign, workshops, marketing tools and more.

For ISVs that connect with multiple product groups at Microsoft, there can be uncertainty in knowing who to contact for assistance on sales opportunities. To simplify this, we are aligning the Business Applications sales and marketing formation and cadence, making it easier to work with us on marketing plans if eligible for this benefit. Supporting this alignment will be dedicated partner development managers and technical support roles who are deep in the Dynamics 365 and PowerApps businesses. Their financial incentive and metrics will be updated to drive a deeper focus on business applications. ISVs focused on industry verticals will also benefit from being connected to our industry teams which will provide a deeper reach into key companies in these industries.

Conclusion

ISVs are a critical component of the Business Applications ecosystem and we value their partnership. Changes to the engagement model take time to process for each organization so we are announcing them today to give ISVs an opportunity to assess what it means for them and to work with their Microsoft contact for next steps before the July launch. To stay updated on this partner program signup for updates here. We will also have a partner readiness webinar to learn more about the new business model along with the benefits package that will be part of the new program.

Registration links for the partner overview webinar:

As always, we value the partnership and look forward to working together to serve our joint customers and to grow the Business Applications opportunity.

Cheers,

Guggs

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