In mid-November, Microsoft's new channel chief Phil Sorgen e-mailed partners with a surprise delay in many of the planned updates to the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). A host of changes to Microsoft's core partner program had been scheduled to go into effect in January.
Now many of the changes are being delayed until February and more are being held back until an unspecified date in the third calendar quarter of 2014. After Sorgen's e-mail, MPN General Manager Julie Bennani revealed in a blog post that Microsoft had rethought its plans to create cloud tracks for many of the competencies.
Posted by Scott Bekker on December 02, 2013 at 10:31 AM0 comments
Microsoft is putting the brakes on a number of substantial changes to its partner program that had been set to take effect early next year.
"Following compelling partner feedback and a thorough review of our planned roadmap, we've decided to prioritize the timing of certain program updates communicated at the Worldwide Partner Conference in July 2013," wrote Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, in an e-mail sent to partners Thursday night.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 22, 2013 at 10:32 AM0 comments
Migration project automation startup SkyKick on Tuesday released an update of the SkyKick Automation Suite to bring support for Microsoft Exchange Public Folder migrations into Office 365 and deliver a more robust dashboard for partners.
Earlier this year, Microsoft expanded Office 365 to support migration of Exchange Public Folders into its cloud productivity suite.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 19, 2013 at 10:41 AM0 comments
The executive most closely associated with Dell's current channel approach is moving on.
Greg Davis was the public face of Dell's partner program, helping to launch Dell PartnerDirect in December 2007, to sell the program to a skeptical channel and to advocate for it for the ensuing six years.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM0 comments
Steve Ballmer granted a series of interviews to The Wall Street Journal that resulted in an article over the weekend on how he decided to retire.
Ballmer's story, corroborated for the WSJ's Monica Langley by Microsoft board member John Thompson, is that he came to a realization on a London street in May that Microsoft might undergo its necessary transformations without him and all the old-guard Microsoft baggage he carries.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 18, 2013 at 12:02 PM0 comments
The channel will play a more central role for Symantec Corp. under a program rolling out next year.
Symantec telegraphed some of the changes on Wednesday at its Symantec Partner Engage event in Scottsdale, Ariz.
In a pre-briefing, Garrett Jones, a Symantec veteran who became vice president for global channel operations this spring, said the changes stemmed from Symantec 4.0, the new strategy under CEO Steve Bennett, who is the company's fourth CEO (thus 4.0). The strategy developed out of Bennett's review of the company after taking over as CEO in 2012.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM0 comments
One partner's view from the trenches is that mergers and acquisitions are a powerful driver for midmarket customers to move to the Microsoft cloud.
Matt Scherocman is president of Interlink Cloud Advisors Inc. in Cincinnati. A longtime Microsoft channel player, Scherocman and some business partners spun up an Office 365-focused consultancy a couple of years ago. He blogs occasionally, and this week provided some interesting insights about M&A.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 04, 2013 at 5:33 AM0 comments
Big U.S. tech companies are setting their rivalries aside to unite against a common problem -- the ongoing damage revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency are doing to their reputation for keeping customers' cloud data private and secure.
On Thursday, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo co-signed a letter to the sponsors of the USA Freedom Act calling for greater government transparency about legal demands for the companies' customer and user information and greater accountability for government surveillance.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 04, 2013 at 5:33 AM0 comments
It was starting to look like the world was getting serious about migrating away from Windows XP in time for the operating system's April 8, 2014 support deadline.
The end-of-life date for Windows XP has been a major focus for Microsoft, with annual reminders to partners at the Worldwide Partner Conference for each of the last three years and tools like countdown clock gadgets.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 01, 2013 at 11:49 AM0 comments
In advance of its 10th anniversary as a company in December, StorageCraft Technology Corp. is bolstering its international presence.
Draper, Utah-based StorageCraft is opening a new international headquarters in Cork, Ireland. The disaster recovery, system migration and data protection vendor that is a mainstay in the managed services provider market is currently hiring for IT support, marketing and human resources positions for the Cork office.
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 01, 2013 at 12:09 PM0 comments
Now that Microsoft is buying Nokia's phone business, the Finnish company's financial results are less important to the Microsoft ecosystem. Nokia was Microsoft's most strategic partner in CEO Steve Ballmer's long game to become a player in smartphones. One major reason to pay attention to Nokia's financials was to determine if the company would survive its former CEO Stephen Elop's plan to transition to the Windows Phone platform.
The other major reason to pay attention was to see how many Lumias, the flagship brand for Windows Phone, Nokia had sold in the preceding three months. With Nokia Lumia devices accounting for 80 percent or more of Windows Phone shipments in recent quarters, Lumia sales were a good indicator of the Windows Phone platform's overall health.
Posted by Scott Bekker on October 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM0 comments
Microsoft's earnings report last week brought a sharp bounce in the stock price. Here are five notes for the Microsoft channel from Microsoft's earnings release, press release, investor call and 10Q statement:
- Surprisingly strong overall performance. After last quarter's poor performance, this quarterly earnings statement was a loud cry from Microsoft that rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated. The company beat analysts' expectations with revenues of $18.53 billion, net income of $5.24 billion and earnings per share of $0.62. The results even caught Microsoft off guard. "Total revenue was up 7%, to $18.6 billion, and came in about $700 million better than our expectations," said Chris Suh, general manager of investor relations, on the investor call.
Meanwhile, the new reporting structure that divides Microsoft up into different reporting units seems, for now, less opaque than it at first appeared. Several financial analysts on the investor call thanked Microsoft for providing more detail.
Posted by Scott Bekker on October 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM0 comments