Software giant, Microsoft, has formerly launched its partner hub aimed at connecting particular partners to each other.
Microsoft partner strategy marketing and programs director, Inese Kingsmill, said it wanted to be able to broker relationships between partners. Since the conference has taken place from August 31 to September 2,400 partners had already signed up.
Partners fill in information about themselves and their organisation, what they specialise in, geographies it operates in and contact details. "It's a great opportunity for partners to build their connections and networks," Kingsmill said.
Eventually the hub will be integrated into its partner portal and overtime, Kingsmill anticipates it would be populated with thousands of partners.
"We need to figure out a way how to make it work for the volume outside the confines of the conference, but we think it's a good way for partners to find each other and form valuable connections to grow their business," she said.
A partner can search for different partner types and their specialisations such as an ISV, unified communications, server platforms, mobility, systems management, and so on.
The PinPoint portal was also launched and it is place where customers can search for their nearest partner, view their certifications and rate their services. There are already 600 partners involved in PinPoint.
"We haven't done a particularly effective job on our website to date is really being able to connect a customer to the right type of partner," she said. "The online tools that we've had in the past have been sub-optimal. We've rolled out Pinpoint, and it's basically a marketplace where a customer can find a partner that's going to deliver the application or the service they are looking for."
"We've been working with partners one-by-one on the quality of their profile, and everythings gets quality control checked."
Microsoft is looking at ways to ease the skills shortage in the market by creating a task force to help combat the shortage in the market.
"Given the infliction point we're at with the cloud, the skills shortage is a greater challenge now than it ever has been," she said. "We want to work with our partners collectively, because it's not just a Microsoft problem, it's an eco-system problem.We want to tackle this together."