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Insights for Microsoft partners

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Attraction and retention

With cloud transformation services still in high demand, and new technological developments like AI and machine learning becoming more popular among businesses, Microsoft partners will no doubt continue to see a growing need for their services in the coming year. But with skills shortages constricting the ecosystem, and many skill sets difficult to come by, attracting and retaining the talent they need to deliver for clients will be top-of-mind for many partners and ISVs.

In this section, we’ll look at what attracts talent to careers with partner organizations, and find out what partners can do to lean into that appeal and source candidates from an industry-wide talent pool.

Motivation to work for a Microsoft partner

Almost two-thirds (59%, down from 67% in our last survey) of end user employees who responded to the survey would consider working for a Microsoft partner. Surprisingly, the potential to gain a higher salary is not the main reason these professionals would consider a switch to partner working. Instead, it was the appeal of broadening their skills portfolio that proved a bigger draw.

Factors cited as most likely to attract end user employees to a role with a partner include:

Opportunity to expand on skills, knowledge, and experience with Microsoft products

Professional development

Working on a diverse range of projects

Higher earning potential

To make better use of my skills

Working with a variety of organizations

Flexibility in lifestyle

To tackle different challenges



Those respondents who would move to a partner for the higher earning potential would want, on average, a 28% increase in their earnings to make the switch.

We also asked the 17% (up from 14%) of respondents who would not work for a partner why they wouldn’t make the move, with reasons including:

I'm happy in my current role
0 %
I enjoy solving business problems from within the business
0 %
I've worked for a partner previously, but I prefer the
end user environment
0 %
I prefer working on one big project 19%
I consider working for a partner to be stressful 12%
I don't want to travel for work 12%
I'm not interested in working for a partner 8%
I don't enjoy the increased interaction with clients 5%
Other 5%
I prefer working on one big project 19%
I consider working for a partner to be stressful 12%
I don't want to travel for work 12%
I'm not interested in working for a partner 8%
I don't enjoy the increased interaction with clients 5%
Other 5%
‘Other’ reasons include not liking the ‘billable working environment’ and a preference for choosing one’s own clients.


Though the number of end user employees who’d be open to working for a Microsoft partner may have dropped slightly since our last report, there is still ample opportunity for partners to attract potential candidates from the customer sector. Our findings show that the 59% of end user employees that would consider making the move to a partner are highly motivated to develop their skills and learn more about the products they work with.

Almost three-quarters of those amenable to such a change said it was the chance to expand their skill sets and experience with Microsoft solutions that appealed to them most. Coming in close behind was the opportunity for professional development and a desire to work on a diverse range of projects. There are clearly many professionals currently working for end user organizations that feel their ambitions may outgrow their current environment—and that is great news for any partner looking to hire ambitious talent. Partners can capitalize on this opportunity by highlighting the variety of projects they work on, and the support they offer for employee upskilling.

Investigate the motivations of partner employees considering the move to an end user.


How satisfied are partner employees?

Professionals working for Microsoft partners and ISVs are largely happy in their roles—69% say they’re satisfied with their job, down from 73% in our previous survey.

While 53% are satisfied with their salary, this is down from 62% in our last survey, and the proportion of professionals unhappy with their pay has increased from 13% to 16%.

Demand for partner services

How has demand for Microsoft changed in the last 12 months?


Expert Insight

David Johnson, Operations Director at 26-time Microsoft Partner of the Year HSO, shares his tips on the essential skills partners should look for in potential candidates

Cloud technology: analytics, the wider Azure platform and security and cloud application development are big-growth areas. All of those wrapped around master data management and interaction with data.

We’re seeing less demand proportionately for consultants in ERP and CE, and more around data scientists, analytics, and security to work out how we can take the best advantage of things like the drive towards AI.

However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need that overall digital transformation that is driven by your big business applications. You are still going to need those historic skills, but architect skills and the defining of the journey will be more valuable than focusing on how to implement Dynamics 365 Finance within a specific set of process areas.

Head over to our blog to read further insights from David regarding the potential future direction of Dynamics 365

Top 5 Microsoft Dynamics 356 products that have been most in-demand with partners’ clients in the last year

1 Dynamics 365 Finance (formerly Dynamics AX) 42%
2 Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly Dynamics NAV) 41%
3 Dynamics 365 Sales (formerly Dynamics CRM) 31%
4 Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management 30%
5 Dynamics 365 Customer Service 23%

Microsoft Power Platform products that have been most in-demand with partners’ clients in the last year

Power BI 77%
Power Apps 56%
Power Automate 56%
Power Pages 15%
Power Virtual Agents 10%

Top Microsoft Azure product categories that have been most in-demand with partners’ clients in the last year




Security, Storage

Migration, AI + Machine Learning, Compute


Top Microsoft 365 products that have been most in-demand with partners’ clients in the last year

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Outlook


Microsoft Word, Exchange


How has demand for Microsoft cloud migrations changed in the last year?


What are the potential project pitfalls when working with end user clients?

We asked those who work for a partner about the typical challenges they face when working with an end user client, so that you can plan for these in your next project—responses include:
Scope creep (changes in a project's scope) 50%
Lack of communication from/between stakeholders 39%
Reluctance from some employees to adopt the new technology 36%
No clear objective from the customer on what they want from their Microsoft product 30%
Data migration issues 30%
Lack of training given to frontline staff using the product 28%
Shortage of resource in the end user organization available to manage the product 25%
Lack of appropriate skills in the end user organization to manage the product 24%
Issues managing expectations around what is possible with Microsoft 24%
The end user organization isn't ready for the business change 23%
Difficulties migrating data from legacy system to Microsoft 23%
Funding ran out/budgetary constraints 21%
Lack of project goals and benchmarks 17%
Price negation 16%
Lack of stakeholder buy-in 14%
None 6%
Other 2%

Want the highlights from this year's Careers and Hiring Guide at a glance? Our key findings report contains our top level insight and salary tables, so you can compare your own salary or benchmark your teams' across the Microsoft ecosystem.