Business Applications: the next big ISV opportunity

Today, thousands of Microsoft partners from around the world are coming together online, and also on-demand, to attend Microsoft Inspire, our annual global partner event. Among the latest innovations we’ll be discussing new programs and tools that support the ISV Connect Program for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform. Our session on the ISV Connect Program will provide an update around how partners are building great solutions in our ecosystem and where we are in the program’s evolution.

The Business Applications Total Addressable Market (TAM) is predicted to be $213B by 2025, of which $100B will be driven by ISVs, according to Microsoft commissioned research conducted June 2020. A year ago we launched ISV Connect which is transforming the way we empower ISVs to address this significant market opportunity. And what a year it’s been! We ended the year with more than 550 ISVs in the program, and they’ve published more than 1,200 certified and enrolled apps in Microsoft AppSource. That number is growing at 30 percent per quarter.

More important, partners are telling us that the program is helping them reduce their development time, get to market faster, differentiate their solutions, and grow their businesses in new markets in ways they could not have accomplished without the program. All kinds of partners, both new and long-standing, are seeing tremendous success, like:

  • Solgari who reports a pipeline growth of 3x and states, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen a true, transparent, open, and fair partnership program. We’ve already benefited from well qualified leads, prospect intelligence, and increased sales.”—John Colgan, CEO and Co-founder, Solgari
  • Mazik Global who shared how Microsoft Power Apps helped them adapt to change faster, enabling them to launch six new products in eight weeks in response to COVID-19. “Only with Microsoft technologies could we orchestrate this level of synchronization and take our solutions forward.”—Syed Fahad, Co-founder and Corporate VP, Mazik Global

And we’ve learned a lot over the past year, learnings that we’ve used to drive innovation in the program. At Inspire, Toby Bowers, Casey McGee, and I will share program improvements that will help partners derive additional value from ISV Connect.

We heard from partners that our go-to-market benefits were more valuable than they anticipated. So, we’ve made additional investments in this area. We are offering more benefits, such as event marketing and additional geo-expansion services to help generate leads and scale more effectively. We are also making these benefits more accessible, at both program tiers. We’ve added new revenue level thresholds, with more benefits being available at reduced levels compared to the past year.  ​

And, we continue to invest heavily in the AppSource marketplace to ensure its continued growth. We’ve made investments in improved discoverability of apps and updated search logic to provide more accurate discovery for offers based on offer title, publisher name, offer description, and keywords selected by the publisher, as well as “search by phrase” (search using phrases in quotes) for additional search accuracy.

As many of you know, I announced my pending retirement this coming fall. I feel good about the program, where it is going and likewise that this is a great time to say my official farewell. I know our Biz Apps ISVs are going to be more successful over the coming year, and there is tremendous opportunity for all of us to capture! At Inspire, Toby Bowers, General Manager, Microsoft Business Applications will assume accountability for the ISV Connect Program and working closely with our partners and the community.

In my 27 years at Microsoft, I’ve been fortunate to experience many great opportunities. None have been greater than the opportunity for mutual growth represented by ISV Connect and the ability of our partners to develop with Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. I know that most of you who read my blog have already enrolled in the program, but if you haven’t yet—join ISV Connect.

See you, virtually,