oday at Microsoft Inspire we announced the new Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, the next generation of our partner program empowering every partner to deliver customer value by leveraging Microsoft AI and the Microsoft Cloud. In this post, I am providing more information on the benefits for our partners as well as the other key investments announced today, including new Solutions Partner designations, expanded ISV Success benefits, and investments in the commercial marketplace. 

Customers’ cloud adoption needs are rapidly evolving. AI is here now, and our partners are already driving innovation and transformation with customers across industries to help them realize the benefits of integrating AI capabilities into every level of their organizations. Through the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program, we’re providing partners with a comprehensive portfolio of investments for all partner business models at every stage of maturity, from startups to independent software vendors (ISVs), services to device partners. 

Understanding the AI opportunity 

Our customers are eager to experience the benefits of AI. In fact, 9 out of 10 leaders believe AI will give their organization a competitive edge. And employees are ready to embrace AI, with 70% saying they would delegate as much work as possible to AI to lessen their workloads. It’s no surprise that Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service is the fastest-growing service in Azure history, with more than 9,500 customers using the service.  In response, we have seen our partner ecosystem rise to meet this demand with 9,100 partners transacting on Azure AI, more than 2,300 of whom have transacted on the Azure OpenAI service. And the day we launched the new Build and Modernize AI Apps with Microsoft Azure specialization, more than 200 partners had already met the prerequisites for the specialization, enabling them to showcase their organization’s expertise to customers and Microsoft sellers. 

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