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New partner programme targets the company’s most capable Azure MSPs.

In the run-up to Microsoft’s 2018 Inspire partner conference, the software giant has launched a new program aimed at identifying its most capable and reliable managed service providers for Microsoft Azure deployments.

Named the Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) programme, Microsoft’s stated intention is to give their most capable Azure MSPs full support to help drive revenue for themselves—and their customers.

Azure Expert MSPs are required to complete a rigorous, two-day onsite audit by an independent third-party and provide multiple customer references of Azure managed service projects delivered over the past year. To maintain a credential, the MSP partner must meet the annual prerequisites and complete a progress audit every year.

Partners earning the new Azure Expert Managed Service Provider designation will then be the vendor’s go-to options for customers looking to outsource administration of their Azure-based workloads.

Giving Microsoft’s most capable Azure MSPs their full support to help drive revenue for themselves—and their customers.

Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President for Commercial Partner Channels & Programs stated that ““This will give customers the confidence when selecting a partner to help them with their digital-transformation journey”.

B2B research firm MarketsandMarkets has published findings showing that the managed services market size is expected to grow to USD 257.84 Billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.1%.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the growing IT infrastructure of enterprises and a growing number of compliances are the driving factors for the managed services market. Moreover, increase in the adoption rate of cloud deployment among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have led to the adoption of managed services.

Microsoft’s highly successful CSP programme has been the impetus behind much of the growth in the company’s cloud business, with the company reportedly adding 6 000 CSP partners globally every month at one stage. With the managed services market also showing good growth potential, it makes sense for Microsoft to invest in this space and raise the profile of its Azure cloud platform with managed service providers.