Each year in February, Microsoft partners from all around the world start to compete for The MPN Partner of the Year Awards.
Namely, somewhere in the third week of February, the Microsoft Award Submission Tool opens up the gate, and it closes by the end of first April week.
It’s the “Oscars” or “Grammies” in the Microsoft world, who’s ecosystem counts hundreds of thousands of technology companies worldwide, and every year they are all invited to showcase their “best-in-class” projects built on Microsoft platforms.
There are more than 30 different award categories that partners can apply for, and all the winners and finalists are honored during the award ceremony at the Microsoft Inspire Conference in Washington D.C. (ex-Worldwide Partner Conference.) in the summertime.
But, besides the obvious – becoming an acknowledged Microsoft “rock star” partner – there are more benefits to gain by entering this competition.
Let’s look at the four main “pros”:
1. Partner recognition, new business opportunities, and ROI
There probably hasn’t been a single Microsoft partner, either chosen to be a winner or one of the three finalists per category, that didn’t gain significant recognition within the Microsoft ecosystem.
After the awards, many partners reaped new business deals, spread their impact on new markets, sped up their international growth, and, ultimately, increased their revenues.
“Winning this award has had an instant and tangible positive effect on our business. Almost immediately, we’re starting to attract new customers, and we no longer have to establish our credibility to our prospects. Sales and Account Managers act like they’re invincible – and anyone with sales experience knows that’s a golden trait.”– Cloudamour, Packaged Solutions Partner of the Year Award 2014.
“We are seeing a 30 percent increase in international business. The award also is a stamp of quality, and off the back, we have won two very big contracts.” – Softcat, Software Asset Management Partner of the Year 2014.
2. Undisputable social proof & instant credibility
Besides testimonials and case studies, which showcase your solution from the customer’s point of view, award recognitions do the same from the professional angle, bringing in more overall credibility.
Winning an award is very powerful social proof that instantly positions your company at the forefront of your industry. The coveted logo proves that you’re doing something better than your competitors, something different and remarkable.
And everyone loves to work with winners!
“Winning this award will have a transformational effect on our business. It’s a huge endorsement from Microsoft and will strengthen even further our reputation in the market and ability to deliver.” – Dot Net Solutions, UK Country Partner of the Year 2014.
3. Free Marketing & PR
Winning a Microsoft award or being shortlisted as a finalist can instantly skyrocket your marketing efforts by increasing your company’s visibility and third party endorsements. All winners and finalists get extensive press coverage and an entire media/promotion kit to use. Awarded partners receive:
• Customized logos and web banners
• Custom public relations templates to help promote your award status
• Recognition collateral to help celebrate your success
• Congratulatory letters from key Microsoft executives
• Invitation to an exclusive awards celebration at the Microsoft Inspire Conference in Washington DC, as well as recognition during keynote presentations and photo opportunities with key Microsoft executives
4. Employee motivation & new talent acquisition
Besides maybe extra vacation days or a raise, winning an award is the best possible validation of those who make your company shine by doing all the fabulous work – your team. They will feel proud of the enterprise they work for, motivated and victorious, and there is no need to explain the value of that factor.
Positive energy and an award-winning success story will not only boost productivity with your employees but can also be a great magnet for new talents. Millennial employees love to work with those who go the extra mile and stand out from the competition.
And that is precisely what an awarded Microsoft partner represents.
So, ready to step into the spotlight? Yes? Great!
But first, get down to work on your award submission. The entry itself must shine and sparkle to ensure your real chances of winning.
Stay tuned for more information about the overall chances and the pre-submission process, including how to write a fantastic entry.
If you want to start right away and need professional assistance from a writer who has helped partners winning the Microsoft award, feel free to reach out at email@example.com