Microsoft has more than 10,000 partners worldwide and in Business Applications alone, that number is approximately 3,000. Of those, 20% of the partners account for 80% of the turnover. We asked HSO CEO Peter ter Maaten about the membership of the Microsoft Inner Circle, now in its 14th year, and why being a member is of great value to HSO and its customers.

“The Inner Circle consists of the partners that have the most impact on the Microsoft ecosystem,” says Peter. “For example, Microsoft looks at the contribution that the partner makes to its turnover, the number of employees, the number of licenses sold, and also the use of applications.”

Source of relevant contacts to directly support customers

“As a member of the Inner Circle, you are invited to an annual Microsoft event, which the 50 top Microsoft executives also attend” continues Peter. “Of course, it is nice that these events take place in an exclusive location, but you often don’t pay that much attention to your surroundings. It is more about hearing firsthand what Microsoft’s strategy will be, what the main goals are and the KPIs for your most important Microsoft relationships. As a member of the Microsoft Inner Circle, you have access to all this information and access to all the people who matter. You also have the time to get to know each other informally.

After all the years that I have been attending the event, you get to know each other well; you trust each other. It gives me easy access to the top people at Microsoft. Why is this relevant to our customers? These connections are of great added value during escalations. Is Microsoft going to do something about x or y? What are the plans with product z? With such questions, we are just one phone call or IM away from the right answers. This provides an additional pool of high-level, relevant Microsoft contacts with which we can directly support customers.

Never leave customers out in the cold

Recently, a large customer was affected by the transition to One Version. In order to better support them, we were able to escalate to Microsoft and quickly received technical support. This means we never leave a customer out in the cold. Microsoft announced HSO’s new 2020/21 Inner Circle membership during Microsoft Inspire; 14 years as part of this elite club. We also get to hear that HSO had won the 2020 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in the category Modernize Finance & Operations and was a finalist in the category Connected Field Service. A great honour and an even greater compliment to the more than 1,000 HSO employees.”

Do you want to know more about the Microsoft Inner Circle? Contact HSO.