Microsoft names Nicole Dezen as new partner chief

Microsoft names Nicole Dezen as new partner chief

Replaces Rodney Clarke, who resigned in May.

Nicole Dezen (Microsoft)

Nicole Dezen (Microsoft)

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has replaced its vacant channel chief seat with its vice president of partner device sales, Nicole Dezen. 

Announced during its annual Inspire conference, Dezen’s role will see her lead Microsoft’s commercial partner business and a global team “responsible for building and selling Microsoft Cloud applications, services and devices with partners,” according to her LinkedIn. 

Dezen replaces Rodney Clarke, who held the role of Microsoft corporate vice president of channel sales for one year following the departure of Gavriella Schuster.

“As a long-time Microsoft employee and someone who has deep ties in our sales and partner organisations, I have always been motivated by the opportunities for growth and innovation that our partner ecosystem presents," Dezen said.

“The companies that comprise this ecosystem – device partners, global systems integrators, independent software vendors, services partners and others around the world – are enabling digital transformation for customers every day in ways that were unimaginable even a few years ago. 

“It would not be a stretch to say I am passionate about helping these organisations harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud through services like Azure, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Mesh and others,” she added. 

Dezen will officially hold the title of chief partner officer for Microsoft, a new title that she described as “speak[ing] to the enormous opportunities” to unlock with partners. 

A hardware specialist from early on, Dezen first joined Microsoft in 2010 as senior director for its HP original equipment manufacturer (OEM) division in Asia Pacific. Before moving to the vendor’s Redmond headquarters in 2013 to lead global device marketing. 

Since then, she has held several sales and partner leadership positions in Microsoft’s device division, both in its HQ and also in the United Kingdom. 

Following Clarke’s departure in May, the channel chief role was held in the interim by Nick Parker, who has been promoted to president of the industry and partner sales (IPS) organisation.  

According to Microsoft, the IPS oraganisation encompasses industry, partner and enterprise commercial teams and “adds increased dimension to Microsoft’s sales capabilities”. 

“With Microsoft’s unique and differentiated cloud technology, IPS drives business growth through creating new industry market opportunity, increased sales and consumption with industry solutions, strategic deal origination and acceleration, structured enterprise engagement and partner ecosystem success,” the company stated. 

One of Dezen’s first tasks as channel chief will be to roll out the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program, which will replace the Microsoft Partner Network and put Azure at the centre of all partners’ dealings. 

She will also be responsible for handling the switchover to its New Commerce Experience (NCE). Initially, the software giant set out the date as 11 July as the end of auto-renewals for legacy cloud service provider subscriptions.

However, the company has now '"indefinitely" extended the terms of when CSPs are required migrate legacy subscription to NCE and will continue to support legacy auto-renewal functionality. 

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