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Microsoft reveals major investment in australian channel team

Microsoft is increasing the headcount of its Australian channel team to both help existing partners diversify as well as enlist partners from competitors such as Amazon Web Services, Oracle and Cisco.

The cloud and software vendor is establishing a 'practice development unit' (PDU), as part of a global program. The team, reporting into Microsoft Australia director of partner business Phil Goldie, will comprise practice development professionals and cloud solution architects.

These people, some of whom will be hired externally and others cross-recruited from within Microsoft, will be tasked with upskilling existing partners and also sniffing out new ones to fill gaps in the Microsoft channel across five categories: data and analytics; cloud infrastructure; security and mobility; cloud application development; and enterprise voice.

The recruitment drive will see the total number of partner-focused staff at Microsoft Australia grow by 17 heads to more than 100 people; over 10 percent of the Australian business will now work within the channel team.

The practice development unit will be "a group of people within each subsidiary who are focused on advanced workloads and on helping partners to build practices around those advanced workloads", said Microsoft's global channel chief, Gavriella Schuster. "It frees up the traditional partner sales executives to go to market and co-sell with our partners.