Keys to ISV Success, Volume 2 – Take your Microsoft managed relationship deeper

It’s that time of the year… cherry tree blossoms grace the Redmond streets while we’re inside working on ISV portfolios!

In my earlier post, I wrote that Microsoft has “managed” relationships with about 2,700 ISVs. “Managed” means that we commit a Microsoft Partner Account Manager (PAM) and an ISV Evangelist (technical resource) to work directly with these partners, who, in turn, dedicate a PAM to work with us.

One of the questions I am frequently asked is “what does it take to have a deeper relationship with Microsoft?” In short, the closer you align yourself with Microsoft, the more we can do together. I’ll outline how we select the partners we want to engage and show you how to get involved.

Step 1: Research. We conduct research every year to understand “who’s who” in the software space. We tap our own systems (e.g., MSPP ISV Competency), external sources (e.g., IDC), and our people who work with partners. We track about 10,000 ISVs this way.

Step 2: Prioritization. We get together with the partner teams in each country to review the ISVs relevant within their area. We look at many different factors, including market presence, customer influence, technology usage, and willingness to partner. The ISVs who generate a lot of customer demand and have deeply adopted our platform, are prioritized the highest.

Step 3: Selection. Based on our capacity, we identify the top ISVs to partner with. If we already have a partnership – great, no changes necessary! If not, we assign a PAM to have exploratory conversations with that ISV, and see whether they want a closer relationship with Microsoft. Then we get down to building a great partnership.

How to get visibility into this process? A couple of ways:

  • Obtain the MSPP ISV Competency. This gets you into the process and provides visibility of your company within Microsoft.

  • Build a really cool application on Microsoft technology. We’re always looking for innovative partners with cutting-edge technology.

  • Engage with your local Microsoft team and let us know who you are. If you don’t know who to contact, post a comment here and we’ll help you find out.

Dan Lohmeyer

ISV Strategy

Comments (3)
  1. Hi Dan —

    As a young MS based ISV, we’re always looking to get more visibility within MS. However, like many others, we’re struggling on where to start and who to get in touch with.

    Per your post:

    * Obtain the MSPP ISV Competency — We’re currently working on this.

    * Build a really cool application on Microsoft technology — We really feel as if we’ve nailed this, and our early customer feedback backs this up (MS technologies used: SharePoint 2007 + Word 2003/2007 + .NET Framework).

    * Engage with your local Microsoft team and let us know who you are — This is where we’re struggling.

    Any help/comments/contacts you can provide would be greatly appreciated!



    David Williams

  2. msftisvs says:

    Thanks for your post – we’ll be reaching out to you directly to talk about how we can partner.


    Deena McCloskey

    ISV team blog

  3. Our comapny is a small IT company based in Darwin, and as a sole trader we struggle with getting the attention under the ISV programme, partly because as a sole trader we have limited resources and time, but we absolutely understand the importance of the ISV programme. Meeting the objectives has been difficult as we also need to ensure we are building our revenue streams in a small market place.

    We are seeking some guidance of how to make the ISV program work in our case. And would very much like more contacts within Microsoft Australia to grow this relationship.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Craig Hubbard

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