Biz Apps Partner Podcast: Microsoft’s Howard Swerdloff on Industry Credibility, Technology Value

Welcome to the “Biz Apps Partner Podcast,” a weekly video series designed to decentralize intelligence about how partners can scale their Microsoft practice by having short, to the point discussions with Microsoft leaders in product, engineering, marketing, partner management, programs, and more.

In episode 3, Joe Corigliano, Executive Vice President, Ciellos, welcomes Howard Swerdloff, Director, Technology Specialist Management, Microsoft. The two discuss how partners and customers can best engage with Microsoft, ecosystem trends that are top-of-mind for customers, and the importance of industry credibility.

Register for the Biz Apps Partner Summit, running July 24-25 in Bellevue, Washington, where attendees will make the right connections, gain insights into Microsoft’s FY 2025 priorities, and learn how to scale their Microsoft Business Applications practice at the 24-hour event.  


01:11 — Howard works alongside a team of technology specialists in the Microsoft Business Applications space. The team supports the Sales and Accounts teams in their go-to-market strategies and selling business applications, with a primary focus on Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.

“Our role is primarily going in, helping with customer discovery, working with partners to help solution and then working along with partners to present the demonstration and ultimately, you know, help to close the sale.”

02:47 — Howard will be attending the Biz Apps Partner Summit in Bellevue, Washington on July 24-25. He expresses that if you’re in the business applications space, he’d love to talk to you. The goal, he notes, is to understand how you can best work together.

“A lot of that means coming to me with a perspective on [an] industry that you’re in, geography that you’re in, where you won some opportunities, where you’ve had some successful go-lives with customers.”

04:15 — Howard explains that when engaging with a customer, it’s important to work alongside a partner who can “speak the same language” and understand the industry — and the pain points — of that customer.

“So credibility within the industry, [and] showing the value of the solution are both really key things that we’re going to look for when we work together.”

06:13 — Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are critical in delivering industry-specific solutions that complement Microsoft’s more generic products, explains Howard. Furthermore, there is seamless integration between Microsoft and ISVs, which offers a single solution to meet industry-specific requirements. He notes the significance of understanding the preferences and expertise of System Integrators (SIs) in relation to ISVs, ensuring that the right partnerships are formed to present a unified and expert solution to the customer.

08:38 — Howard will be leading a session, “Working with Microsoft Enterprise Field Sales to Co-Create and Co-Sell,” on July 24th at the Biz Apps Partner Summit.

Stream the audio version of this episode here:

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