Starting last week we made significant changes to the Partner Support Community.
So why did we make the changes:
1) To access the old partner forums for the first time Partners were required to go through an authentication process that could take up to 24 hours. We could see from the data and many Partners told us that they often gave up during the process. The new Partner Support Community fixes this with pretty much instant access.
2) We had repeated Partner feedback that search on the old forums was extremely poor and often unreliable. As a result we saw many Partners drop out of the community and search elsewhere. The new Partner Support Community search provides answers from the Partner forums, MSDN, TechNet, Microsoft Support kb and Dynamics forums.
3) Forums are great for open discussion but generally they are not good for private conversations. We had many threads in the past that we had to answer with either "call us" or "submit an incident". The new Partner Support Community has a private thread capability. So if our support professional needs to know more or perhaps see a screenshot that includes personal or customer information that thread can be moved to a secure private discussion.
4) As well as private threads we now have a capability to launch private forums. We often have requests from Partners for private forums within the Partner forum. For example, let's say a private forum for all Partner architects worldwide to share information and questions that they do not want shared with the wider community.
5) Me Too! Some Partners like this some definitely do not. The reason there is a Me Too button is that it allows us to gauge the amount of Partner support for a particular question. We have internal triggers that mean where we see spikes on a thread we take the content so that thread back to the relevant team in Microsoft to drive change.
6) Community expansion. Over the next two months we will be launching MPN program support communities across 10 additional languages. We needed a platform that could support that expansion and enable us to engage directly with Partners worldwide.
What do you think? I know we didn't bring all the functionality over from the old site, for example, the nntp bridge so let me know your other feedback.
Microsoft Partner Services