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News from WPC—invested in Partner growth

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Editor’s note 11/3/2015:
This post has been corrected to remove Data Loss Prevention (DLP) from the list of advanced security features that will be offered exclusively in the Office 365 E5 plan. In fact, DLP is offered at no additional cost in Office 365 E3, as well as in E5.

Today’s post was written by John Case, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office.

I’m in Orlando this week, where more than 14,000 attendees are gathered for our annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). It’s a week of networking, sharing, learning and celebrating the incredible work Partners do every day. Our CEO Satya Nadella took the stage this morning to talk about our company ambition to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And I have the privilege of speaking on stage about the evolution of our channel and the investments we’re making to help Partners transform and grow their businesses in the cloud. As we innovate and deliver new experiences in Office, Azure, Dynamics CRM Online—and across all Microsoft products and services that enable people to achieve more at work—Microsoft Partners play a critical role in helping organizations across the globe to realize tangible business value.

So today we are providing Partners a first look at some of the innovations we are bringing to help organizations transform the way they work. We are also announcing new investments in programs and resources designed to help Partners build and maintain profitable businesses. Here’s more on today’s news:

Expanding the Cloud Solution Provider program

Last year at WPC, I announced limited availability of our Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, designed to deepen Partners’ involvement in every aspect of the customer journey, from sales to renewal. Today I’m pleased to share that we are expanding the CSP program to include Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and CRM Online, in addition to Office 365. We are making the program broadly available to all eligible Partners in 131 countries, up from 48 at last WPC. We are also introducing a new Partner Center for streamlined onboarding and customer management experience, as well as releasing new commerce APIs for Partners to automate transactions and integrate into their own systems.

Delivering significant new value in Office 365

I am also pleased to announce our plans to introduce a new premium Office 365 Enterprise Suite called E5 before the end of this calendar year. E5 will encompass the core value of the modern productivity and collaboration capabilities Office 365 provides today, as well as significant new capabilities including Skype for Business services for real-time communication such as Cloud PBX and PSTN Conferencing, new analytics features like Power BI Pro and Delve Organizational Analytics, and new advanced security features such as eDiscovery, Customer Lockbox and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).

The E5 suite will provide a significant new opportunity for Partners to build service offerings to reach new customers and enhance value for existing ones.

Driving customer value with Office 365

Finally, we are announcing the availability of a new dashboard that will enable Partners to directly view usage reports for their customers, right from within the Partner’s MPN Online Services Dashboard they use today. The new usage dashboard will help Partners identify opportunities for helping their customers realize the full value of Office 365 by taking full advantage of all of the services delivered within the suite. This investment also aligns with changes in our competency and incentive models to drive active usage.

Office 365 remains the fastest growing commercial product in Microsoft’s history, and it’s unbelievably exciting to see so many Microsoft Partners seize the opportunity and achieve tremendous business growth with Microsoft Cloud services. Thank you, Microsoft Partners, for all that you do, and I look forward to a future of continued success and deep partnership as we work together to help organizations embrace the modern workplace.

—John Case

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