I received a lot of questions regarding my day to day job at Microsoft, so I thought it would be useful to write a post about what I am really doing. So, within Microsoft there is an organization called Microsoft Partner Technical Services (PTS). As you may guess, this organization is dealing with Microsoft Partners. We are a bunch of consultants spread over all the world basically and we help Microsoft partners show to their end customers the value added by the Microsoft Cloud (and not only). Microsoft Partner Technical Services comes to our partners with 3 basic offerings: technical trainings (delivered mostly via live webcasts), pre-sales support and advisory services.
As already stated, technical trainings are mostly offered via live one to many webcasts where consultants share their knowledge on different topics that emerge as very important for the partners. But these trainings are also meant to keep our partners updated about what’s new in the Microsoft cloud, because in the cloud there is something new every day. Here you can find an overview of some trainings available world wide. To register for them you have to be, of course, a Microsoft Partner.
Partners often get into scenarios where they have a sales lead, but the end customer is asking a lot of questions about the Microsoft services and products, about implementation scenarios, end-user experience, administrative tasks and so on. These requests often go very far, into proof of concepts and so on. In this scenarios we help partners with technical knowledge to efficiently demonstrate to the end customers the value of Microsoft Cloud services so that the partner ultimately sells the service/product.
Compete scenarios fall also into this category. If an end customer is pending a decision between a Microsoft service and a competitor’s service, we also jump in to demonstrate how our services could resolve their business needs. So, as Partner Technical Consultants, we also have to know our competition well 🙂
This offering is meant to answer deep technical “how to” questions that Microsoft partners may have regarding our services and products. This means that we really handle all advisory questions, not our support colleagues. The main reason behind is that we want our partners to have their questions answered, but also remain with an eye on the big picture. Very often, such technical “how to” questions lead to a deeper analysis of the business needs and maybe we can find some other service or product that would better fit into those needs.
How can Microsoft Partners reach us?
For those of you that might not be familiar with the Microsoft Partner ecosystem, we have 3 main types of partners: registered members, silver and gold. The Microsoft Partner Technical Services are mainly focused on silver and gold partners, but we often deal also with registered members. Microsoft Partners can find information on how to reach us on the Microsoft Partner Network. If partners would like to get in touch with us, they can also write an e-mail to askpts[at]microsoft[dot]com and their request will be forwarded to the appropriate PTS team, based on the country where the partner resides.
Also some real examples
Everything I wrote so far is kind of very theoretical. So I would also like to give some real examples by explaining the projects I am involved right now.
So as technical trainings, I delivered last week a webcast called “Troubleshooting Directory Synchronization“. As the title might suggest, I presented briefly the available tools to synchronize Active Directory objects to Azure Active Directory, like DirSync and Azure AD Sync. Afterwards I showed the audience how to troubleshoot common issue, searching the metaverse, the connector spaces, using the Preview feature, converting ObjectGUIDs to ImmutableIDs and so on.
Next week I will deliver a similar webcast, but we will troubleshoot ADFS issues in that occasion.
As pre-sales activity I am involved right now in a project of a Romanian partner which wants to migrate one of its end customers to the cloud and they have a lot of technical questions regarding Exchange Online. Hopefully we will seal the deal soon 🙂
At the same time, I deal with several other advisory questions like for example best practices to move from non-routable domains to routable domain as SIP addresses in a Lync Server 2013 environment.
I think this might have answered some questions regarding my role and the services we offer in Microsoft Partner Technical Services. Should you have additional questions, feel free to post them in a comment and I will gladly answer.