Microsoft’s Kati Quigley on the Microsoft Partner Network and the Vital Role It Plays in Serving Customers at Scale
2016 is almost over! As we look ahead to 2017, we’re wrapping up the year with Microsoft’s very own Senior Director of Partner Marketing for the Microsoft Partner Network Kati Quigley. The Microsoft Partner Network is the largest partner ecosystem of its kind, and what a pleasure it is, as a partner, to be able to hear why Microsoft values their partners so much and what they have in store for 2017 to make it even better to be a partner as we roll into next year.
Take a look at the video interview below and as always, bring us any thoughts or questions you have on Twitter @meetdux or #DuxQuax!
More from Dux Quax: 2016 Year in Review from the Microsoft Team
- Microsoft’s James Phillips Recaps Microsoft’s Greatest Hits in 2016 with Business Applications like Dynamics 365
- Microsoft’s Adam Harmetz, Group Program Manager for SharePoint, Recaps 2016 and Talks SharePoint in 2017
- Microsoft’s Mark Kashman Recaps The Year 2016 and What’s Next for SharePoint in 2017
- Microsoft’s Kirsten Edmondson Wolfe Explains How Intelligent Cloud Took the Public Sector by Storm in 2016
- Microsoft’s Satish Thomas Shares Insight Into Microsoft AppSource and Talks Plans for 2016
- Microsoft’s Jonathan Friebert Explains Voices for Innovation and A Cloud for Global Good
Transcript: Dux Quax with Microsoft’s Kati Quigley on the Microsoft Partner Network
Dux: Hi, everyone. This is Dux live from the Microsoft campus. It’s a beautiful day today for another episode of Dux Quax Year-End Review 2016. With me is Kati. Kati, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell everybody what you do here at Microsoft?
Kati: Great. Thanks, Dux. I’m so glad to be here with you. My name is Kati Quigley. I’m the senior director of partner marketing for the Microsoft Partner Network. So we are responsible for connecting partners across the globe throughout the company as well as with our customers.
Dux: So, I know Microsoft is a partner-led organization. So for the benefit of our viewers, our customers specifically, why are partners so important to Microsoft? And why are partners, it’s gonna be important for our customers as well?
Kati: Absolutely. So the great thing, as Satya has said, his first day of work actually as the CEO said, “We are a partner-led company. We have been always for 40 years and always will be.” And we truly believe that. We could not serve our customers at scale or even just to understand the needs of the customers without our partners. Our partners truly are those that are connecting with our customers every day.
Dux: Wonderful. I mean, our organization being a partner has gotten a lot of benefits from your organization, the MPN. So for new organizations out there or potentially new partners, what can you tell them and encourage them to join in with the MPN?
Kati: Sure. So there’s quite a few things that we offer to our partners. There’s some things just to help you run your business. We provide a ton of training both around marketing, how to become a better digital marketer in these modern marketing days. How do you build solutions? What are the technical connection points that you need to make within the company? And so we help you make those solutions because typically, a customer needs more than just one product or one solution. And then it’s the largest partner ecosystem of any technology company out there. So really, there’s opportunities for you to connect with other partners to go to customers with solutions that they really are looking for and that they can transform their business with.
Dux: And that’s one of the great benefits at least I’ve experienced as a partner. So, to date, how many partners are out there, roughly?
Kati: We have close to 400,000 partner companies. They really, if you combine, I think it’s Salesforce, Google, and AWS together, we’re still a larger partner ecosystem. And so really that is our distinct…it is our distinction to the rest of the industry, is that we truly have this at scale.
Dux: Wonderful. And you talk about the partner-to-partner type of engagement and networking. I mean, there’s a lot of ways we could do this. I love the new online community that’s offered to partners and, obviously, the big event that we have every year, WPC. Which, by the way, will be in D.C. next year, so looking forward to that. So it’s just been a phenomenal experience as a partner. Now, 2016, any highlights you can think of, Kati, that’s memorable for you?
Kati: Absolutely. So WPC is always a highlight because that…we just had it this past July. It’s really the point in time where everyone gets together. There’s a lot of energy, excitement to kick off our fiscal year, understanding the roadmap that the company is taking, where we’re going. And so that’s always my biggest highlight of the year. But we also did some other things. We kicked off a professional development program where you can connect the different certifications together to truly show your customers that you are very qualified to help them with their business needs. And then we did some things around branding. For the first time ever, a Microsoft partner can use the Microsoft logo along with their logos. And that’s a big deal because, again, we wanna emphasize to our customers that it’s not just Microsoft, it’s our partners that are delivering this great service to them.
Dux: Awesome. And it seems like your organization, the MPN, still investing a lot in ensuring partners grow with their business as well. What’s ahead in 2017?
Kati: Sure. There’s a few things. One is that we’re focused on simplification. We know that you have a lot to do other than just figure out how to work with Microsoft. And so how can we make that as simple as possible for you to do your transactions, to find other partners, to, you know, build out your marketing campaigns? How can we help you do that in a much simpler way, navigate the Microsoft ecosystem more easily? And then the other is truly helping you go to market with your business. Quite often, you know, businesses are grown out of a technical solution they may have, but they don’t know exactly how then how to reach a customer. And how to partner with other partners to reach that customer. And so those are the resources that we’re building out.
Dux: That’s great. And boy, I mean, just looking at what’s coming, especially the way Microsoft is growing, the accelerated growth of all these technologies. You know, I’m here this week learning about what’s coming and teams just came out and all this goodness, Dynamics 365. This is a great time to be a Microsoft partner. A lot of great opportunities. There’s a lot of needs out there. So if an organization is interested to be a partner, where should they go? What’s the first step?
Kati: Sure. They can come to our portal. They can come to the Microsoft Partner Network. They just search for that, they’ll find it. There’s a lot of great resources there. We’re really building up kind of a news story approach. So you can find trends that are hot, what are the things that other partners are talking about, what’s coming, what announcements have been made recently. That really will help you start to get engaged. You can follow us on social channels because we’re always putting out different information through Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook and I think that’s a really great way. And then we’ve got some communities that we’re building. We have in-person communities and then online digital communities, you can start conversations. You can start asking, “Hey, what’s it mean to be a partner?” And talk to other partners about that.
Dux: Awesome. And then the hashtag, obviously, MSPartner on Twitter?
Kati: #MSPartner, yes.
Dux: Well, Kati, this has been great, very insightful. I’m sure a lot of our viewers learned a lot. But before I let you go, one question?
Dux: If you were a Microsoft product, what would you be and why?
Kati: That is a great question. I would say I’d like to be Azure because Azure is all about the cloud. The sky is the limit. And we like to think the sky is the limit for our partners and for our customers. So I’d be Azure.
Dux: It’s like the all-knowing…
Kati: A hot topic right now,too, right?
Dux: Yeah. That’s right. So Kati wants to be Azure, that’s great. Well, Kati, thanks again.
Kati: Thank you very much, Dux.
Dux: As always. Well, folks, thanks again for watching. Until the next episode, have a great one, bye.
Kati: Thank you.