Microsoft has just kicked off its Inspire conference in Washington DC, inviting its partner community to discover all the latest innovations and solutions they can deliver to customers. The first big announcement of the day is a big expansion of the HoloLens Agency Readiness Program, which recently welcomed six new Europe-focused partners earlier this year.
Citing “growing demand from partners and customers,” Microsoft is launching today the Mixed Reality Partner Program, which expands the preexisting agency readiness program to systems integrators (SIs) and digital agencies:
We’ve learned that successful mixed reality solutions are built on great experiences — and those experiences require both a creative design component and a strong competency in application and infrastructure integration and deployment. SIs around the world already know how to build, support, integrate, and extend Microsoft technologies to meet their customers’ business and IT goals. As members of the Mixed Reality Partner Program, these SIs, and digital/creative agencies will play a critical role in building 3D and mixed reality experiences for enterprise commercial customers.
According to Microsoft, all the existing HoloLens Agency Readiness Partners (there are already more than 30) will be grandfathered into the Mixed Reality Partner Program. Companies looking to join the new initiative will have to follow a multi-week readiness program with “in-depth technical training on mixed reality solutions and sales and marketing readiness.” It’s been a little more than a year since Microsoft started shipping its HoloLens headset to developers and companies, and this latest announcement shows the company is still very serious about making mixed reality the next big platform.