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Solution Workspace tutorial

You have the what, but you need the how. As a solution creator, you don't have time to search for answers or wait for advice. Solution Workspace provides a place for Microsoft to meet you—wherever you are—to take your solution from idea to market with curated resources, go-to-market offers and rewards, and actionable steps to move your idea forward in the sales lifecycle—from Build, to Go to Market, to Sell. Now, you can realize the potential of your solution at your own pace, all in one place.

Learn about the solution lifecycle stages

The solution lifecycle provides a structure for you to follow while you develop your solution. The Build stage is the foundation, during which you focus on planning, developing, testing, and finally building your solution. The Go to Market stage will help you glean recommended practices, define the unique value of your app or solution, and plan your customer wins. Here, you can use go-to-market resources, offers, and rewards to accelerate your solution to market. The Sell stage will help expand your market presence and optimize your efforts. For more information on the stages in the lifecycle, please select each tab on this page.

Solution Workspace tutorial

This tutorial will take you through the steps to navigate Solution Workspace and to complete the steps and tasks on your personalized checklist.

Getting started

To see a current solution or enter the details of a new solution, you’ll have to sign in by using your work account. Your organization will have to be part of Microsoft Partner Network for you to continue. If you need registration assistance, please visit the Partner Center Help page. Sign in by selecting the Sign in link at the upper-right corner of any page and going to the My Solutions page.

If you have an existing solution, it will appear here.

If your solution was shared with you by your partner development manager (PDM), please visit the “Working with a PDM on your solution” section.

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Accessing your solutions

Keeping track of your solutions on Solution Workspace is as simple as going to the My Solutions page and signing in by using your work account. On this page, you’ll be able to create solutions and track their progress. You can enter the details for a new solution, see all your current solutions, and view the progress tracker for at-a-glance status of all your solutions through the lifecycle.

Each solution has the descriptive title that you (or the solution creator) gave it when it was created. When you find the solution that you would like to work with, select View solution to step into its detail page. At each stage of the solution lifecycle, you can track the steps and tasks that you’ve completed in the checklists.

If you don’t see your solution(s), visit the Solution Workspace FAQ to explore common questions about signing in and permissions.

If you want to publish your solution directly and skip the digital self-serve guidance, you can create a commercial marketplace offer for your solution in Partner Center. For details on how to create a commercial marketplace offer, view the commercial marketplace documentation.

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Entering solution details

You can create a new solution from the My Solutions page. To access this functionality, sign in by using your work account. If you already have solutions, you’ll see an option to enter your solution details near the top of the page and your existing solutions after the My solutions header. If you don’t have current solutions, you’ll see two options: one to watch a demo, and one to enter your solution details. In each instance, select the option to enter your solution details to get started.

On the solution creation page, you’ll have to answer a few questions to get started. Don’t worry; you can update this information later. If you’re not sure of some details because of your role, you can invite teammates later to edit the information. This information is visible only to Microsoft and the contacts on your solution. The Solution basics section asks you to name your solution, identify what type of solution you’ll be building, and estimate when your solution will be in market. In the Description section, you can give a summary of your solution’s features, target audience, pain points that it should solve, what your solution’s differentiators in market are, and possible ROI.

Image of the solution basics section of solution details

The Solution areas section asks you to orient your solution in the Microsoft Partner ecosystem.

Image of the solution areas section of solution details

The Products section asks you what product you’ll be building on or for.

Image of the solution areas section of solution details

These selections will generate customized steps and tasks in your solution lifecycle content.

After you’ve completed this information, select the Submit and create button to launch the appropriate checklist for your app or service. You’ll see the information you just entered at the top of the checklist in the Solution details section. Please note that you can edit this information at any time by selecting the appropriate pencil icon or calendar icon near the information you would like to update. If you’re working with a PDM, the pencil icon won’t appear. If these details change, reach out to your PDM to discuss them.

Editing a solution that has an offer in the commercial marketplace won’t autopopulate these edits in your marketing material in the commercial marketplace offer; you can make edits to your commercial marketplace offer via Partner Center only.

The information about your solution will be saved, as will your progress in the checklist. To access your solution easily, go to the My Solutions page, where your solution will appear under the My solutions header.

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Viewing information on the solution details page

By selecting a solution from the My Solutions page, you and your team will be able to take a closer look at all the information, steps, and tasks for each stage of your app or service. On each detail page, you can see your solution at a glance. In the Solution details section, you can view information on where the solution fits in the ecosystem for solution area, products, its description, and its estimated availability date.

Image of the solution details section of the page

As you move through the page, you can start working through the checklist, based on the lifecycle stages, or pick up where you left off completing actions. The checklists will suggest steps that you can take to propel your solution from idea all the way to success in the market. You’ll gain access to the information you need, resources to assist your progress, and actionable steps to build, market, and sell your solution to the right customers in the right marketplace.

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Navigating the lifecycle stages, steps, and tasks

A typical solution features three stages to development: Build, Go to Market, and Sell. Within each stage, you’ll take steps, completing tasks along the way, to create a fully developed app or service. To assist your progress, checklists give you prescribed steps and tasks. You can use these steps as a benchmark to move through the development of your solution.

Go to the checklist. The first step that you haven’t completed in your current stage will be open automatically. Each step has a check box that indicates a status of either Complete or Incomplete, and it’s up to you when to mark the step complete.

Image of the first incomplete step in a checklist

Read through the steps and tasks. Select the pertinent links within tasks. Some links will lead you to valuable resources or tested advice, or will guide you to actions to better prepare you for the rest of your work in that stage of the solution.

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Performing the included activities in each step or task

At times, a step will be a single task. At other times, you’ll have multiple resources, suggestions, and actions as tasks to complete before moving on to the next step. Each solution is different, so each step can take a different amount of time to complete. You might want to spend a day on a technical resource, or you might spend a month.

Some steps and tasks will suggest taking action outside the Solution Workspace. For instance, some tasks will point you to resources in Microsoft Partner Network, while others will prompt you to speak to a business partner, and still others will define a process that includes building the entire solution. So, no step has an expiration date; you can take as little or as much time as you need on each step.

Each step is self-paced. While you should mark a step as complete when you’re satisfied that you’ve progressed through it, you can open and perform a step again, depending on your needs for each solution. If the step isn’t relevant or you’ve completed it at another time, select its check box to mark it complete.

No solution is the same, even if it’s about the same topic or was created by the same person. So, the steps and tasks in each checklist are meant to guide you through the Build stage all the way through the Sell stage. However, you might find that you don’t go through each step in the given order.

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Completing the steps and tasks in a different order

Even the best ideas require rework, so moving linearly isn’t always the fastest way from idea to sale. When moving through the checklist, you can access resources in an order that’s different from how they’re presented, and you control when you’re done. You don’t have to move through the steps in order, and you don’t have to complete each step to move through the process. You might find that you have steps that are incomplete and then steps that are complete.

Image of completed steps after an incomplete step

While these checklists might not be one-size-fits-all, they’re a helpful guide to point you to the portfolio of resources that fill in knowledge gaps or help you gain the right experience. You can also reopen steps if you want to go back. As the owner of your solution, you know best whether you need reinforcement or would like to revisit information.

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Closing a step

As you navigate through the steps, you’re the best judge to know when a step is complete. Although we recommend that you use all the resources presented, you might have already completed these activities, or you might decide that they’re not necessary for you at this time. When you’re satisfied that you’ve completed the step, select its check box, then select the title of the next step to open it. You can always return to a step if you have to access the resources in it.

Moving to the next stage

When you reach the last step in a stage, indicate that you’re complete with the stage by selecting the Mark [Stage] complete check box. After you’ve selected this check box, perform the activities in the next stage as you did in previous stages. If you don’t select the Mark [Stage] complete check box, it will open as the first incomplete stage when you return to the solution details page.

Working with a PDM on your solution

If you’re working with a PDM on your solution, some of the steps in this tutorial will be different.

Creating your solution: your PDM will set up your solution within Solution Workspace and share an invitation to you and your designated colleagues. After you select that link and sign in, you’ll see your solution and be able to progress through solution guidance in Solution Workspace. 

Updating solution attributes: your personalized checklist of tasks is determined by the product and solution area attributes in the Solution details section of your solution. Contact your PDM to change any of these attributes.

Working on your solution: as you progress through the solution, you might encounter a shaded step that is marked “Managed by your PDM.” In this case, reach out to your partner team to discuss moving forward; some steps should be taken together with your PDM. Marking a stage complete is controlled by your PDM.

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Accessing your go-to-market offers and rewards

Partners with a Microsoft competency, ISV partners with a co-sell ready solution, ISV Connect partners, and partners with a published solution in the Microsoft commercial marketplace will have access to start working on Go-To-Market Offers and Marketplace Rewards. To access your go-to-market offers and rewards, you can go to the My Solutions landing page and sign in. Here, you’ll find your solutions and applicable go-to-market offers and rewards. If you have more than four Go-To-Market Offers or Marketplace Rewards, you can view them by selecting the View all option to go to a gallery.

My solution page image

Your offers and rewards will be listed in the gallery in the following order:

  • In progress:
    • Action required
    • Most recent
  • Available
  • Completed
  • Expired

You can search for offers or rewards in a few ways. Use the Filter option on the left side to search by the status of offers or rewards. Use the search bar to enter key terms to look for a particular offer or reward by either title or name. You can also use the Sort by drop-down list on the right side to arrange the offers and rewards by either status or latest.

When you find the offer or reward that you’re looking for, select it to view the details of that page.

Learning about offers and rewards available to you

The Go-To-Market Offers and Marketplace Rewards that appear on the page are those that are available to your company. To learn more details of an offer or reward and the value that it can bring to your solution or company, select its card.

Selecting the card will take you to a page with the details of the Go-To-Market Offer or Marketplace Reward. You can learn about the main benefits of using this offer or reward on the Details tab. Some offers and rewards have an example of what you would receive if you were to enact it. If an offer or reward has this example, a thumbnail of it will appear. To view a full example, select the Download example option to download an example that you can open and review.

The main features of the offer or reward will appear in the Summary section of its Details page.

Starting your go-to-market offers and rewards

When you select a card, whether to learn more about the offer or reward or to start acting on it, you’ll land on its Details page. If you’re ready to start acting on your offer or reward, select the Start now button, after which you’ll land on the Workflow section of the page.

Image of Start now page

Here, you’ll find a progress bar, Get started instructions, a Work area section, and a Latest activity section.

Image of progress bar

The progress bar will show you, at a glance, where your offer or reward is in the process. As you move through the steps to act on the offer or reward, your position on the progress bar will also move.

The Get started section can have templates or helpful resources to provide a guide for your information or give you more context about what you have to provide. This section will always provide the steps for you to progress through the offer or reward.

In the Work area section, you can complete fields, upload files, or add a comment to your Partner Engagement Manager or Marketplace Rewards Engagement Manager. The fields can change, based on your current stage. Comments that you enter in the Comment section will go to your Engagement Manager. Upon submission, upload fields will change to read-only. You’ll always be able to enter comments.

After you complete an activity in the Work area section, it will appear in the Latest activity section of the page. When you’re first starting, you’ll see the text “No activity yet” in this section. You’ll also find comments from your Engagement Manager in the Latest activity section.

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Keeping track of your progress with go-to-market offers and rewards

You can track your progress through Go-To-Market Offers and Marketplace Rewards in several ways in Solution Workspace. The first way is the colored status found on the card itself. You can find this indicator on the card, either on the My Solutions landing page or in the gallery. It has a few states:

  • In progress
  • Available
  • Completed
  • Expired

When an offer or reward is in progress, the step that the offer or reward is in will appear under the status itself. This step is similar to the status on the progress bar that appears in the Workflow section.

Image of track on workflow progress bar

Also, if you’re interested in the details about the progress of an individual offer or reward, go to the page by selecting the card and going to the Workflow section. Here, you’ll find the progress bar and the Latest activity section.

If you have questions, you can use the Comment section or send a message to the email address that is listed on an offer or reward.

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Adding contacts to your offers and rewards

Any individual at your company can view, start, or take action on a Go-To-Market Offer or Marketplace Reward. However, you might want to call attention to one or more offers or rewards to specific individuals at your company. If you want a particular person to view a Go-To-Market Offer or Marketplace Reward, you can invite them.

To invite a teammate, go to the Contacts section of the offer or reward, enter their email address, and select the +Invite button. This action will open a dialog box to confirm that you want to add your teammate. After you select the Add and send invite option, your default email application will open with a prepopulated email. After you send the email, and the recipient has accepted the invitation by selecting the access link within it, your teammate will appear in the Contacts table.

Adding a teammate will list them as a contact in the Contacts section, or, if that person is an individual outside your company, it will give them access to the Go-To-Market Offer or Marketplace Reward within Solution Workspace. Contacts who are added here are granted permission only to that Go-To-Market Offer or Marketplace Reward.

Need help? Visit the FAQ page.

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