Microsoft Learning for Enterprise and Partners

Business Challenge

Microsoft works with key technology partners worldwide to take IT solutions based on new Microsoft technologies to market. A critical part of Microsoft’s agreements with these partners includes a requirement to rapidly ramp up staff skills in emerging technologies in order to meet revenue goals.

The core challenge for partners: training their Microsoft practice teams in a way that’s affordable and timely. The range of Microsoft training resources is vast, and sometimes difficult to navigate and translate into a coherent, technology training plan that meets business goals across an organization. Furthermore, each partner organization is complex and geographically diverse-with varying technology focus areas, training infrastructure and budget constraints.

To overcome these issues, a systematic approach was needed to ensure that partners are empowered to get product deployments underway as quickly as possible.


The Microsoft Enterprise and Partner Group engaged WrightRobbins’ team of veteran Learning Consultants to work directly with a core group of 24 strategic partners, to create and implement customized, metric-driven learning solutions. These learning solutions resulted in a targeted readiness plan for each partner, designed to empower their technical and sales teams with the right skill sets to develop and sell new technology solutions.

In each partner engagement, the WrightRobbins Learning Consultant contributed the key readiness capabilities required to address the relevant business goals: comprehensive knowledge of Microsoft learning programs and resources; a solid understanding of how to match training options to the partner’s business needs to create a substantive readiness plan; and program management skills and tools to drive employee participation in the partner’s training programs.

WrightRobbins’ Learning Consultants collaborated with both the partner practice teams and the Microsoft account teams to:

Measure capacity and identify strategic strengths of each partner organization to understand staff capabilities as they relate to business goals, and to capitalize on new revenue opportunities.

Assess current partner skills through detailed interviews with IT, business development and support teams, along with an analysis of current training solutions and technologies.

Develop partner-specific readiness roadmaps by applying a blend of online, classroom and other learning options to create the most time-efficient and cost-effective training plan, further personalizing the learning experience for technical, sales and other audiences. The plans incorporated existing training and certification benefits that were already included in Software Assurance plans wherever possible.

Establish milestones and success metrics that ensure measurable progress, and work with vendors to schedule IT training for partner staff per the readiness plan.

Provide ongoing, detailed reporting on the results of training and certification to stakeholders within each partner organization and the Microsoft partner account team.


To date, WrightRobbins has helped Microsoft and 24 of its strategic partners chart the most efficient path to the latest technology skills needed to achieve revenue goals. They have been able to maximize business results and deliver a rapid return on investment:

  • Saved Time and Money: Participating partners were able to maximize their training and readiness budgets through flexible options that reduced overall training costs by 40-50%, as well as time away from the office.
  • Expedited Time-to-Market: Working with a Learning Consultant enabled partners to spend less time on readiness planning and offered time-effective training programs-enabling them to quickly ramp up business activity and launch new customer solutions with speed and efficiency.
  • Gained New Insight into Capabilities: Partners were able to establish a highly-accurate baseline skill inventory of their workforces, and benefited from accurate reporting to help them track training compliance and certification achievement as their employees’ skill base grows.
  • Received Best-in-Class Learning Resources: The WR Learning Consultants tapped into the wealth of Microsoft technology training resources available-including benefits some partners already received as part of their Software Assurance or Volume Licensing Agreements-to build prescriptive, goal-focused readiness plans.

Achieved Consistent Results across the organization-locally, nationally, globally: With structured readiness plans and innovative web-based tools, the learning solutions were implemented effectively and consistently across the partner organizations, no matter where employees were located.


Partners were able to cut out-of-pocket training and travel costs by up to 75% over traditional instructor-led training by applying a blend of learning options including online courses and virtual instructor-led classes.

A global IT consultancy will save an estimated $1M in direct training costs and cut approximately $3.2M in travel expenses related to training over the course of an 18-month WrightRobbins readiness plan.

A technology solutions integrator reduced training time by one-third or more per student with a WrightRobbins learning solution, avoiding a loss of 23,000 billable hours and allowing them to bring new solutions to market more quickly.

All 24 participating enterprise partner organizations gained the ability to link readiness goals to business ROI, using a web-based system to track and measure their training progress.

See how our Learning Solutions are accelerating ROI for Enterprise Partners.