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MPN Cloud Gold Competencies To Come with Guarantee

The addition of the first three cloud competencies to the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) on Sept. 29 will come with a twist.

"When a customer achieves the gold competency level, we will provide them with account management. We've never made that commitment before," Gavriella Schuster, general manager of worldwide partner marketing and programs at Microsoft, said in an interview with RCP. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 25, 2014 at 10:27 AM0 comments

Introducing the 2014 RCP/Rocket Award Winners

For the second year, Redmond Channel Partner magazine has teamed with Revenue Rocket Consulting Group to award IT services companies with unique business strategies that are resulting in sustained growth.

Today we're pleased to announce the three winners of our second annual award: Concurrency Inc., a multi-competency Microsoft infrastructure solution provider based in Milwaukee, Wis.; HMB Inc., a business technology services firm in Columbus, Ohio; and PowerObjects, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM specialist based in Minneapolis, Minn. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM0 comments

Four Quotes on Partners from the Nadella Memo

We'll be watching Satya Nadella closely next week in his first Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) keynote as CEO of the company, but he surely previewed some of his themes in the major employee memo released to the public Thursday.

In addition to redefining Microsoft's mission statement and telegraphing upcoming organizational and engineering changes, Nadella also made a few comments about where partners fit in the new Microsoft in the 3,000-plus-word memo. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM0 comments

Nadella Demotes 'Devices' in Microsoft Vision Statement

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a massive public memo this morning outlining a refined vision for the company he took over five months ago.

The 3,000-plus-word memo, titled "Starting FY15 -- Bold Ambition & Our Core," hones the redefinition of Microsoft started by his predecessor Steve Ballmer, who in an Oct. 9, 2012 letter told shareholders that "we see ourselves -- as a devices and services company." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM0 comments

Organizational Changes Coming to Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says major organizational and engineering changes will be coming to Microsoft over the next month.

"Over the course of July, the Senior Leadership Team and I will share more on the engineering and organization changes we believe are needed," Nadella wrote today in a massive open company memo titled "Starting FY15 -- Bold Ambition & Our Core." More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 10, 2014 at 12:44 PM0 comments

Three Months After Support Deadline, Windows XP Still No. 2

A full three months after Microsoft cut support for Windows XP, the operating system remains the second most popular operating system throughout most of the world.

If current trendlines continue, Windows XP will hold the No. 2 position for a few more months and could remain a major presence on the Internet for years, according to Internet browsing data kept by the two leading OS share tracking outfits, StatCounter and Net Applications. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 07, 2014 at 11:07 AM0 comments

Okta Overhauls Partner Program

One year after launching a partner program, cloud-based identity and access management specialist Okta on Thursday is rolling out a more mature program for systems integrators and resellers.

Okta, founded by a former Salesforce.com executive in 2011 and backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital, initially developed the Okta Solution Providers (OSP) Program to separate systems integrators and resellers from ISVs. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 26, 2014 at 9:17 AM0 comments

OneDrive Boosts Make Microsoft the Deal To Beat in Cloud

This is more of a consumer play than a business one, but these days the two are intimately related. Microsoft on Monday unveiled plans to double the free storage in the OneDrive cloud storage platform, to ratchet the OneDrive storage for consumer versions of Office 365 by 50x, and to drastically cut the price for purchasing additional storage for those who might need it.

By the numbers, OneDrive will come with 15GB of storage, more than double the previous limit of 7GB. The thinking behind the new limit has to do with Microsoft's consumer research. The new limit for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions, meanwhile, bounces way up to 1TB, from a previous limit of 20GB. Buying additional storage will cost $1.99 for 100GB, a 73 percent price cut, and $3.99 for 200GB, a 65 percent price drop. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM0 comments

Anatomy of the Microsoft-L.A. County Office 365 Deal

Microsoft unveiled a mega-deal with the county of Los Angeles this week that covers Office 365 seats for 100,000 employees of the most populous county in the United States. Here are some key channel takeaways from this five-year deal worth $72 million.

MCS Out Front: Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) is a source of controversy for the channel. Partners who represent Microsoft products in the enterprise often come up against MCS in deals and sometimes complain that Microsoft swoops in on projects that its partners could credibly deliver. While there is a partner on this deal, the partner is on the licensing side. MCS will do the deployment. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 19, 2014 at 11:36 AM0 comments

Asigra's Next Attempt To Upend Backup and Recovery Pricing

Asigra Inc. is seeking to cut expensive, proprietary secondary storage arrays from the backup-and-recovery equation.

At the backup and recovery specialist's partner conference this week, the company introduced Asigra Software-Defined Data Protection, defined as an architecture to turn commodity infrastructure into scalable cloud backup storage. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM0 comments

Q&A with ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini

Days after its professional services automation rival Autotask announced its acquisition by a private equity firm, ConnectWise came out swinging with a statement to the market that it intends to remain a significant player.

The big question is whether privately held ConnectWise will be able to keep up. The investment by Vista Equity Partners in Autotask is aimed, according to Autotask CEO Mark Cattini, at investing in innovation and growth. Serious money has also recently been flowing into the adjacent remote monitoring and management market -- with new owners promising or demonstrating investments in product development at Kaseya, Continuum, N-Able Technologies and Level Platforms Inc. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 16, 2014 at 9:47 AM0 comments

Broader Channel Availability for Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Cloud-to-cloud backup of major SaaS services will soon be available to a broader base of MSPs due to the acquisition this week of Swedish startup Cloudfinder by Atlanta-based eFolder.

Founded in 2012, Cloudfinder identifies itself among only a handful of companies working on the problem of backing up data from online SaaS platforms like Google Apps, making it possible for customers to restore their data if something happens to it, either at the provider level or through inadvertent problems like users accidentally deleting e-mail. Beyond backup and restoration, Cloudfinder allows full-text search and includes reporting functionality. More

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 12, 2014 at 10:03 AM0 comments