New partner assets improve your hiring, onboarding, and retention

Solving the technical skills gap continues to be one of the greatest challenges for our partners, and I’m delighted to announce the availability of new partner assets to help navigate this competitive landscape, including the much-anticipated Microsoft Practice Development Playbook: Recruit, Hire, Onboard, and Retain Talent.

The playbook is a core element of our new Partner Skills Initiative. It was created to provide you with best practices, tools, simplified learning options, and ongoing support to ensure your employees have the right skills, and to help you recruit the top talent needed to work on high-demand cloud engagements. The initiative gathers insights, strategies, and best practices from 735 partners around the world. Over half the respondents of our recent partner survey cited hiring technical cloud service talent as a challenge, with 69 percent reporting a lack of qualified candidates, and 70 percent indicating attracting new talent as top challenges.


“Business transformation begins with personal transformation”

Geeman Yip, CEO – BitTitan

Evolution of roles

Developing this playbook confirmed that technical roles are rapidly evolving, and uncovered that partners find it challenging to hire for these roles, and to develop the strategic skills within their organizations that map to current and future service offerings.

That’s why skills development needs to be a priority for your practice—if your employees can’t grow their skills with you, they’ll grow them elsewhere. In our partner survey, just over half of the respondents allocate less than 10 percent of employee time to ongoing learning/professional development.

With the cloud and innovative intelligent technologies, new career paths have emerged for roles like solution architect, cloud administrator, and data scientist.

We provide role definitions in the playbook for these and dozens more positions, and the likely career paths for developing and retaining employees with these emerging skills. We also provide resource mappings for Microsoft cloud practices, with the number of people based on roles needed and practice size.

Learning programs and retention

Our Hiring and Onboarding Study by MDC Research indicates that most partners (77 percent) lack an internal training department. Many (85 percent) have a strategy to train technical staff on cloud technologies, but the majority of these (72 percent) rely on self-study. We encourage you to establish continuous learning programs across emerging digital technologies to ensure that your staff is up-to-date on new capabilities and use cases.

To support this objective, we are investing in new guided programs to help partners elevate their transformation capabilities.

Training portal and skills assessment

Within the Partner Skills Initiative, we’re expanding our partner training resources with a new Training Center Portal that offers new role-based learning paths with curated training recommendations based on technical role, skill level, and the solutions being developed.

We have made it easy for you to get started. You can determine key steps to increase your technical proficiencies and extend your opportunities with our Transformation Readiness Assessment—it will help you map your resources and investments against solution areas and workloads. The assessment covers cloud business and technical capabilities, and evaluates how well your business model maps to solution areas.

You will receive an index to score your current capabilities and then recommended resources to continue your business growth.

Training events

We hold regular online training events tailored to specific practice areas and skills requirements. Find those that apply to your organization to advance your readiness – these are some training sessions taking place this month:

See our Events Calendar for more upcoming training sessions and let your teams know that they can take part in our regular technical community calls.

Please use these tools for new insights on successful strategies and to get recommendations for next steps in supporting your customers in a digitally transforming world.

At Microsoft, Melissa is the worldwide lead driving strategy and business development for how businesses can be profitable in the Cloud. Specifically, Melissa is focused on enabling partners and customers to accelerate their business transformation in the Cloud delivering increased profitability, efficiency, and scale across Microsoft’s Cloud services. She is passionate about leveraging technology for the greater good and advocating for women in technology. In her current role, Melissa has authored over 9 books advising companies how to be successful in building Cloud solutions, resulting in 1M downloads online. Since 2008, Melissa has held positions driving strategy, marketing, and sales execution at Microsoft.

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