How Microsoft Drives Success with its Most Strategic Partners.

Trent Burns is the Sr. Director for the Global SI and Advisory partners in the US One Commercial Partner team. Trent has 13 years at Microsoft and 20 years’ experience in the technology industry at companies like IBM, HP, and Vignette. His experiences include direct sales and sales management positions and alliance/channel management all focused on the largest system integrators.

Trent joined the podcast to share with our listeners how his team thinks about these large strategic relations, what makes great partnerships, how other partners can collaborate with his team and lessons from his career journey.

Trent Burns is the Sr. Director for the Global SI and Advisory partners in the US One Commercial Partner team. Trent has 13 years at Microsoft and 20 years’ experience in the technology industry at companies like IBM, HP, and Vignette. His experiences include direct sales and sales management positions and alliance/channel management all focused on the largest system integrators.

Trent joined the podcast to share with our listeners how his team thinks about these large strategic relations, what makes great partnerships, how other partners can collaborate with his team and lessons from his career journey.

Q: So, for our listeners can you spend a few minutes explaining your role in Microsoft's OCP organization?

Trent Burns: Absolutely. So, I run a team of folks focused on the "build with" side within one commercial partner. We manage our largest global system integrators and also we call them advisory firms and the high-value management consulting firms. So it's a portfolio of about 14 partners and these partners obviously would be well recognized brand names that you'd hear in the marketplace from kind of the traditional SIs all the way to some of the advisory firms that I discussed before, ENY, KPG, PWC as well as what we're calling now, high value management consulting firms. Companies like McKinsey and Bain and Boston Consulting Group and so forth.

Q: So how has that evolved since you started and where is the organization focused more on? Is it focused in on the large system integrators, is it on the influencers, how do you think through that?

Trent Burns: So we sort of grouped them into these three categories, right. I'll call the like, traditional, global SIs or commercial SIs. So these are the folks like Accenture, and IBM is in the portfolio, Capgemini is in that portfolio as well. We also have Dell, too, right. So a lot of people think of them as a traditional resell but with a large Microsoft consulting firm as well. So think about just kind of traditional SI work, which is that first group I just described.

And then if you moved to the next bucket of partners would be more what we call advisory firms. So this is the E&Y, PWCs, KPMGs of the world and it's really fascinating to watch the development of these partnerships. These are new for Microsoft and new for these partners too. As you think about our digital transformation story moving from really kind of IT and to getting into line of business and the whole digital transformation evolution that's taking place, these folks have relationships outside of IT where, quite frankly, Microsoft struggled. And so the partnership is very collaborative there and very fascinating. So those are taking off like wildfire. And just learning how to work with them because they're different in their approach in the work that they actually do for customers.

And then the last group, which is really brand new, which is kind of high value management consulting firms. So, these are the folks like McKinsey and Bain and Boston Consulting and ET Kiernan. And we're just learning like how to work with these folks. Like these folks have board level relationships, right and really are having strategic conversations around the future direction on a company. And so how do we build relationships and partnerships where technology becomes part of their consulting work or their recommendations to customers. And so those are the three groups and they're different and unique in their own way and just as valuable each uniquely that way too.

Q: So how do you set objectives and how do you measure success with these types of partners?

Trent Burns: We try to keep it simple. Obviously I think when you think about ... When you think about success, we gotta put the customer first, right. So are we building solutions that solve customer problems. And then just moving quickly though into the relationship itself. I think from a Microsoft and a partner perspective, it's gotta be a profitable business for each of us, right. And there's gotta be differentiated IP and market relevance. And so when I think about success, it's about profitable growth, it's about building a business that helps solve customer problems. And then also I think, you know at the end of the day when we look internally at Microsoft, it's our focus around growing our three clouds is really important. And so, you know from an internal perspective we will look at how this partner brings something unique that helps us build and grow, kind of those three cloud businesses and making sure that we obviously get our fair share of the pie as it relates to their heterogeneous practices because they're not obviously exclusive Microsoft partners.

Q: So you bring up a good point. So very large multinational organizations, heterogeneous practices. Where do you focus within these organizations? They're massive organizations. So how do you focus in and what are your points of contact within those groups?

Trent Burns: It's across the board. It starts, I think at the most senior levels. You know, Satya has relationships at the CEO level. We have the senior leadership team at Microsoft, the line to their senior leaders, so across the board. So I think it starts at the top, if you will. But then, you know, within the US and the business I manage in getting sort of more tactical around sales execution, we focus on well, I would call sort of a depth strategy, like let's focus on kind of fewer accounts, but go deep in those accounts. Especially accounts where the partner has a deep relationship and history with, right.

And then obviously we want to work with the partner around doing something very differentiated and almost Azure first or Microsoft first, if you will. And doing something unique and differentiated with us. Just because of the fact we know they have other practices. Let's do something where one plus one is ten and do it in an intentional and deliberate way. And so we call that the solution go to market with the partner. And so we'll focus on those areas. Sometimes you can be very niche around a specific industry. It could be a platform play. It just depends. But we try to do something that's intentional and unique and different and that the market obviously has demand for. And that it's lead with a kind of Azure/Microsoft first approach. And that seems to be working, especially when you start to get focused around a smaller set of accounts and not trying to boil the ocean around thousands of accounts, but doing this in a sort of top 30, top 50 kind of account list. You can actually start to execute quite fast.

Q: So will your team build the business plan at that point with the partner?

Trent Burns: Oh, yeah absolutely, yeah, yeah. Building out the business plan. I mean as you think about the things that make a successful partnership, at least in my mind, you know obviously market relevance is huge. But you gotta have commercial terms that are beneficial for both parties. You gotta have operational alignment. You gotta have tacticals. Wanna have sales execution and engagement. You gotta have cultural alignment, too and that includes things like trust. Then the strategic nature as a strategic for both companies. And that goes back to my kind of executive alignment statement earlier as well.

And then I think just technical enablement as well is really important. Like are they building out people and skills that they can deliver on the back end. Because we don't have a successful implementation with a customer, like all of this is for nothing as well.

Q: And they're technical teams, you access these technical teams, the group teams or do you have your own dedicated resources on the technical side?

Trent Burns: Yeah as part of the one commercial partner blueprint that we rolled out this year. So I'm on the "build with" team. There's a "go to market" team and then there's a "sell with team. And then yeah, there is a technical enablement team as well. And so we have partner technical sales engagement folks as well that my team will work with. That will work with the partner to make sure they build out their practice from a technical enablement architect and development standpoint. And so yeah, we have ... It's not just sort of my team. My team sort of is viewed as the quarterback, if you will, of the partnership. And then we tap into other resources as part of this one commercial partner blueprint that was rolled out.

Q: So once you've developed the business plan and you've helped them with their technology practice, you work across the other pieces of the one commercial partner team, right. So there's a go to market team and a sell with team. What does that look like for your organization working across?

Trent Burns: It's new for us. I'll just be honest. I'll say we're learning as we go. I'll say the blueprint is the correct blueprint that was rolled out. I think with anything new, though it'll never be perfect. But I love the fact that we built the blueprint. I think it makes sense. It makes sense for scale. It makes sense long-term. I like the pillars in which it was arranged, which is build with, go to market and sell with. And we work closely with each of those folks. I'll quickly walk you through kind of at a high level each, you know the build with team, which is what I'm on. They're sort of, they're aligned by partner. We own the partner relationship in building solutions with that partner.

And then we work closely with the go to market team and you think about capacity and you think about marketing and how do you leverage kind of a marketing engine along with the partners marketing engine to actually help drive sales execution that you built in the business plan. And then the sell with team, those are folks sitting in our field and they're aligned by our account teams. And so they're agnostic to partner and they're tied to specific account teams and ATU directors. And typically an EC would have anywhere from 125 to maybe 200 accounts where they're looking to bring in and engage a partner in every one of those.

And so we work across all three. It's certainly not perfect and we're learning along the way. It's kind of year one of this new blueprint. But I love the fact that they built it sort of for scale and for reach. I think the only feedback, I think that I would have and I've given this to our leadership team as well, is when you think about my portfolio, it's a very unique one, right. These are the biggest partnerships. And so my team actually does a lot of the work in each of the buckets I described, even though we have different groups that are responsible for that. As we're working through that, we better work together. And so my team actually gets engaged on some of the sell with's activities in the field, just because we know our partners so well and the enterprise channel managers on the sell with side are, you know, they're still ... They got a large customer base to cover and they can't, they can't be an expert and be deep on any one particular partner and so that's where my team helps.

Q: You know we talked about this organization and blueprint, and your organization came over last July, if I remember correctly. So what has that experience been for the new organization and how has it helped your mission?

Trent Burns: I felt like last year my team was probably, I think it was the only partner team reporting outside of the old organization now part of one commercial partner. Yeah, it's great. I think, you know, I reported last year at the end of the sales organization and had close alignment with all of the sellers. And that continues, by the way. Like, that didn't go away, and so our executive sponsorships from Phil Sorgen who is our Corporate Vice President for our commercial businesses, still the executive sponsor of many of our partnerships. So that still happens today. I think the thing that, the benefit of moving over though, was just the access to resources and to programs and to funding and then the different silos of folks that now I can sort of tap into. We didn't have that before and we kind of just begged, borrow and steal from just how to get things done and roll up our sleeves and made it happen ourselves. Now we have sort of an access to a bunch of people, money and programs to rely on. So from that perspective, it's been very helpful.

Q: I had Gavriella Schuster on just a couple weeks ago and I asked her this question I'm gonna ask it to you as well. But if you could go back and do anything differently, what would you have done differently when the business landed?

Trent Burns: I think, my only feedback there would be ... and I said it earlier. The blueprint is, I would of not changed the blueprint. I think if I'm building on a partner program the way they built out the blueprint was the correct way. I would just also be very cognizant of some unique partner types. Especially partner portfolios that have kind of the 80/20 rule, right. They're driving a massive amount of our actual overall impact and influence. And when we roll out things that scale, those programs don't always fit for those partners. And so keeping in mind we build out programs or incentives that we think about it in terms of from the other side, front the partner's side. Will this work for Accenture, for example, right. So you know, I think the way they build it, the way it scales the right way, because I think the opportunity to build the program and a blueprint, you have to look at the masses. But, in doing so that you're limiting opportunity for some of your large partners. And so that would be my feedback.

 Q: So, I talk to partners quite a bit about the partner to partner play and I work with a lot of organizations that would love, in fact, to understand how to work with your organization and the partners that you manage. Can you talk to our listeners a little bit about that? Is there a formal way for them to engage and work with you and your team?

Trent Burns: Yeah, there is ... I mean the formal way is to call me. Send me an email, which I'm sorry it's not programmatic and it probably doesn't scale. But it actually works. You know we work with a lot of ISVs and actually, it's funny you say it. Just that whole space is merging. You'll see a lot of my partners making acquisitions and a lot of those public, publicly known. Where they're actually going out and acquiring an IP. But building it themselves as well, so you're seeing this kind of merging of ISV and SI coming together, very, very quickly.

And so, I think there's just some inherent synergy there, right, where it just makes sense. So yeah, we work ... My team works closely with, you know, some of the large ISVs like Adobe and Sitecore and SAP. But there's other small ISVs that have some niche solutions too, that we were engaged with like Corent Technologies you probably haven't heard of. But I work closely with them in engaging with some of our SIs. They have a Azure migration solution and SAS-ification of products technology. That's just unique. It's different. It's very niche. But it actually works in ... And they've got some great use cases. And so where they can on in or be part of an overall kind of migration, cloud migration solution for an Accenture for example or a Cognizant. I'll introduce them to those partners. And we've done that..

And so I guess, you know to answer your question, yes absolutely. I can only scale as fast as one person can. But that's the best way to work because we have the personal relationships with the folks that are building these solutions at these partners and quickly get you engaged. So I would just say reach out to me and I can sort of see if it's a fit and then even recommend where to start.

Vince: Great and at the end I'll ask you for your contact information. We'll put it in the show notes. You might regret doing that when you get a lot of people from ... listen to this podcast all reaching out at the same time. But-Appreciate your willingness to do that.

Trent Burns: That's right.

Q:   So one theme that's been constant in all of my interviews has been just how fast this change is happening. This rapid state of transformation that's happening in our industry. It's happening faster than most of us expected it to happen. What are you seeing now that you didn't expect to see a year ago in terms of digital transformation?

Trent Burns: I'll just say I think what I'm seeing is customers are actually wanting a partnership from Microsoft for the first time ever. They're kind of, they're watching sort of our journey around digital transformation and I think they're ... It's bringing kind of a renewed energy and opportunity for us to have a conversation and help them. And by no means have we sort of declared victory there. It's a journey for sure. But we made a lot of progress ourselves internally. So they want to hear that story but is there any learnings they can take from that. And then they want a different kind of relationship with us. I think they are looking for a relationship less about kind of solving internal cost efficiencies and how you take money out of their internal systems, which was kind of the past to "Hey, how do we build something together that actually can be repeatable here? Can we build a new product? Can we build a new service offering that just happens to sit on the cloud of your technology?" That they can go offer to their customer base. So it's more about how we make money together in a true partnership, versus sort of kind of cost efficiencies, which was the past.

So that's been the biggest change in my mind around our conversations with customers. And then, if you think about my portfolio, we play a really important role in that conversation because my partner portfolio has relationships outside of IT and these conversations are taking place with line of business executives. So it's a perfect match.

Q: Is there anything from a point solution or technology perspective that you didn't expect to see as well?

Trent Burns: You know, I think people think these massive workloads like SAP for example, moving to the cloud. Like, that's real. It's happening. And it's sort of been shocking for me and it at first, and I saw that sort of evolve from like test step but to real production. Like fortune 500 companies moving their entire SAP environment to the cloud. Like-

Trent Burns: What would that have been 12 months ago or even 18 months ago, right? So it is happening. Like, it's real. It's moving fast. So, I mean that's just one workload. Like, people are taking mission-critical apps and moving them to the cloud for the efficiencies that it provides.

Q: So you're working with a lot of new organizations that didn't have traditional partnering relationships with Microsoft. Kind of a new world for them. Is there one thing that isn't taught but you believe is true to successfully partnering with Microsoft?

Trent Burns: Well, I think trust is huge. And you can't teach it, right. It's sort of, I mean the way I define trust is you think about consistently executing over a long period of time. That's my definition of trust. And sometimes, you know, in a partnership, especially where partners have heterogeneous solutions, we might not ... Microsoft might not be the answer, might not be the right solution. And so I think you gotta have some trust in our partnerships and the conversations with our senior executives all the way down to the account teams that we might not be the right fit.

And so I think having that upfront, but then knowing where we want to proactively engage and do it in a deliberate way. And being on each other's side all the way to the end. Sort of win and die together is really key. And you can't teach that. It just happens over time, right. And it happens through the personal relationships and the business relationship you build over time. It doesn't happen overnight. I think that's why I'm pleasantly surprised to see some of these newer partnerships actually take off so fast, because usually that trust takes time to build. But we're moving at light speed here. But, yeah, I think people can't overlook the value of trust and culture and then obviously the strategic alignment and executive alignment plays a part in that as well.

Q: Was there anything that comes to mind in terms of a situation where a partner wasn't getting it right and what would you have said to him now if you could?

Trent Burns: Wow, yeah I have some of those partners today. I'm just laughing out loud. They will remain nameless though, Vince.

Vince: Yeah, we won't call them out by name.

Trent Burns: Yeah, you know I think Microsoft is ... And you know this, you've been here and it's such a complicated place, right, in how to engage with our field. And so I think for partners that haven't had any success there, it takes a while. And I've given them coaching and some direction. I think some patience is key as well. And then you also have ... You gotta remember though, the partners that I'm working with sometimes and actually in most cases, they're much larger than Microsoft as well. And so we just need to be sensitive and patient with them as well around their organization complexity as well can even be more complicated. And so sometimes we're the small fish in the pond and we need to be respectful of that and patient.

But yeah, it takes time. It's two large organizations trying to get something done. I think we keep customer with, kind of as the North Star though. Eventually you get there. I think the sales execution at the field level, when you get those two account leads together in a room, the magic happens in my mind. And the relationship that those two people make or break will make or break the relationship in my mind long term.

Q: Do you bring the partner and the customer together with your organization for like EBC's (Executive Briefings)?

Trent Burns: Yeah, we do that all the time actually. Many of my partners, yeah they will do actual customer events. We'll do EBCs together. We'll jointly present. We'll have our sort of industry expertise there is in the room as well. We'll tackle big problems. We'll do white boarding sessions as well. We'll kind of roll up our sleeves and do those kinds of things at an EBC.

We've done a great event and went best practice some ... I'll do a plug here for ENY, they kind of deal with future of the finance. Like, what's the future of the CFO role within an organization and they actually helped our CFO, Amy Hood. And so we worked closely with Jack Ryder, he's our CFO for Microsoft North America do a joint customer event. Where we go out, we invite customers and we talk about what's the future of finance and what's the future of that role and how technology plays a role in providing more efficiencies and making that role be sort of less internal focused and more about actually making business decisions that help shareholders at the end of the day. It's a fascinating event. It's a five city road show that we're going on as well. And so we're trying to do more things like that with our partners.

 

Q: So, as you might know from listening to other episodes, I'm fascinated by how people got to this particular spot in their life and their career. And I wanted to focus on some questions about your professional journey. I know you have an interesting story, so can you take our listeners through it?

Trent Burns: So I started my career back, oh gosh, 20 years ago with IBM right out of school. I was in a partner management role, managing a bunch of software partners for IBM out of, in Dallas and then in San Francisco. Did that for about five years. I then worked for a start up company called Vignette, hopefully many of you recognize that name, based out of Austin. Followed a bunch of IBM friends of mine over to that company and managed to help build the center partnership and practice for Vignette in North America, which was a fun job.

And then a lot of folks that I knew migrated from IBM then over to Microsoft and obviously I've kept my network up to date, and they were looking for somebody to manage their Avanade partnership here at Microsoft. And so that's how I made my way here to Microsoft and then managed Avanade and managed our HP partnership for five years across North America. And then I went into a direct sales role. So I carried a bag and sold to T Mobile as the Microsoft Global Account Manager. And then it's fascinating, I actually left Microsoft in 2010. Went to work for Hewlett Packard, which was the partnership I managed. I was an account general manager focused on selling to Nike out of Portland, which was a fascinating experience and opportunity as well.

And then I came back to Microsoft managing our operator cloud business. So this was, the relationships we had with Verizon and T Mobile and Sprint and Comcast and had a team of folks building out our cloud services with those mobile operators back in 2012. And then for the last three years I've been in this role managing, manning our GSIs. On a personal note I'm married for 20 years to my high school sweetheart. Her name's Michelle. I've got two girls. They're a little older, actually, 19 and 17. So we're looking at colleges right now, which is really fun and doing that during Spring Break.

I'm a huge sports fan. I played tennis in college at division one school and got a scholarship. My wife did the same. We both worked at a summer camp for kids teaching tennis. So that's how we met when we were 18 and 17 years old. And so I take that competitiveness into the work place as well. And so, yeah I love all kinds of sports but just happened to fall in love with tennis when I was younger.

Vince: Yup, I know you're into fitness because we both share that passion.

Trent Burns:                   That's right. Yeah, exactly yeah.

Q: So was there one best piece of advice you received when you took this role?

Trent Burns:                   Break all the rules.

Vince:                              I like it.

Trent Burns:                   I know, I love that. I love that coaching from folks. And you know, Casey McGee who's our Vice President in this business, I think he encourages that actually. I think, you know we wanna kinda be ... We wanna be nimble. We wanna move fast. We wanna take big risks and actually operate like a start up. And so, you know I've taken a lot of that feedback from him. And then just over time it's just something that's just sort of near and dear to my heart as well. Actually, I push my team to do the same when we actually set our goals at the beginning of the year. It's about taking some large risks. And it's not about, I mean, yeah if we execute on them and they turn into something huge then certainly reward them. But the reward itself is actually going for it, right. So I love that mentality. I love the underdog mentality and so I try to keep that alive and well within the team as well. So, yeah.

Q: Nice. And I'm assuming you do mentoring. Most of the executive level people at Microsoft do. Is there any other piece of advice that you give or impart to others that you mentor?

Trent Burns:                   Yeah, you know, whenever I look back and I look back on an annual basis around kind of my last year within the job. There's sort of ... I try to keep things really simple. I ask myself three questions and any time I'm mentoring somebody I'll share this piece of advice with them and it helps me kinda stay true to the North Star, which is ... Especially when you're thinking about maybe a change, right. Whether it's a career change or a job change in our outside of the same company you're at. But I ask myself three questions, really simple questions. And by the way, if you hesitate for a second and you start to think maybe it's a no or a maybe, then you know there's probably an opportunity for you to do something different.

But here are the three questions. Number one, and they're simple. Are you having fun? Because if you're not having fun, like what the hell are you doing here? Like, don't waste my time, right. And I'm not meaning like having fun like having a margarita on the beach, because everybody would love to do that. But like having fun with the people you work with at work because you spend so much time here, right. So, you know is it a good group to work with. Are you having a good time.

And then the second question for me is, you know, do you feel proud about the last 12 months. Like did you ... and this is a really self reflective question. Like, do you really feel you made an impact on the work of business that you delivered to the company and for your partner. And only you can answer that question.

And then the third question is, are you still learning, like a passion for learning. And I, by the way, I've got folks on my team that have been Microsoft for 25 years and they answer yes to all those questions. So always kinda like renewing that energy around not knowing it all but having the ability to kind of learn it all or learn something new. And so those are the three questions.

Vince:                              I like it. 1. So you're having fun. 2. Did you really have an impact, not what you told your boss, and 3. are you still learning?

Trent Burns:                   That's right.

 

Q: So what advice would you give to your 25 year old self?

Trent Burns:                   I would go sell first. If I were to rewind it back, I mean I got into partner management. It was a fantastic job and learning experience and went right into managing some of the larger global SIs, which was fascinating. I think the one thing though that I learned is ... And I had been into direct sales and then back into partner management. If I could do it over again I would of jumped into carrying a bag sooner for a couple of reasons. One is, I think whenever you have a conversation directly with a customer, it's very humbling. There's a reality check there around like what's really happening. How they think of your company, right.

Trent Burns:                   And so there's nothing like getting feedback from, you know, a CTO or a CFO or a CIO at a customer around how they think about your company, right. And then how you help them long term. And so that's where the rubber hits the road. I think you bring some credibility into the partner management role, too, having sold. Like, a lot of folks on my team now, I look for that experience. A lot of them have been HQ managers or account execs as well and so they have credibility with the field, right. So, we've walked in their shoes. And so if I were to do one thing over again it would be pick up a bag and do that sooner.

Vince:                              Yeah, there's nothing like carrying a bag.

Trent Burns:                   Yes.

Vince:                              Most humbling experience in the world.

Trent Burns:                   That's right.

Q: So, if you had a personal billboard, and this is a metaphor by the way, but if you know, you had a billboard on, what is it, the 405 in Seattle? If you had a billboard on the 405, what message would you like to send out to the world? What would you share on it?

Trent Burns: Wow. Trying to think. I think for me, I mean, so there is ... I'm pulling a little bit from the sports theme, but there was a theme that we used when we were on the tennis team that's actually stuck with me since then. And I take it into business, which is attitude is everything. And it's actually it's a poem by Charles Swindoll, obviously I won't read it to you. But the title says everything, right. It's how you show up is more than half the battle, right. And so I'm a half glass full kind of guy and very optimistic and I think just having kind of that positive outlook and looking for the positive outcome for the partnership and for Microsoft and for our business just gets you half way across the line, right. And then it's just about execution and strategic direction from there. I mean having that kind of attitude sets you up for success. Gives you the better, the best opportunity to have the best possible outcome.

Vince: "Attitude is everything", I love it. And by the way, you exude that positivity out, even here on the podcast.

Trent Burns:                   Thank you.

Q: So any advice that we haven't covered for our listeners that wanna engage with you and your organization we're going to provide your information at the end of this podcast. But any other advice you have for our listeners and organizations that wanna partner with Microsoft?

Trent Burns: Yeah, I would say, I mean the things I think about ... I think you've gotta really if you're a partner, figure out what's your differentiated brand and creating that. And by the way, I've even had these conversations with partners. You think about Avanade for example, I mean they do everything. They are the Accenture consulting arm, if you will, for Microsoft. They known, partially by Microsoft. So it is the only solution and they do everything and they have a solution for everything. But even my feedback to them was, but let's brand yourself. Find what's the one thing you sort of want to be known for. And it's just a spearhead, by the way. So we're not sort of eliminating your portfolio or minimizing it. But brand yourself around one specific differentiated IP that is unique for you. And have, and be very clear about what that is. And be very clear what the field around that as well.

I think you want them to walk away with what that differentiated IP or solution is that you go to market with. And use that as sort of your wedge or your entry point into engaging with our field. I think that's really, really important. And so we're getting focused even with partners that have a very broad portfolio to really brand themselves. And so the ones that are doing that are actually out executing the others in my personal opinion. And then obviously I think, you know, the other things we talked about. The win-win scenario and the trust are huge too. But I think the differentiated IPs is a thing that's setting some partners apart from others.

Q: That's great advice for our partner listeners. So thank you for that Trent. And Trent, I wanna thank you. I know how precious your time is and how compressed your schedule is. So I want to thank you for taking time to be a guest. You've been an amazing guest. And for our listeners that wanna reach out, what is that email address you referenced earlier?

Trent Burns: Yeah, you bet, it's been an honor. Thank you for having me. So it's Trentb@microsoft.com. You can also reach me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trentburns/ and look me up, connect with me. I'm happy to help.

Vince: Great to have you Trent and thanks for being our guest.