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The Changing Channel


In Nadella's Microsoft, Uncertainty About Where Partners Fit

The new CEO's mantra of "mobile- and cloud-first" has some uncomfortable implications for partners -- one of them being the possibility of competition from Microsoft itself.

What Will Be the Straw that Breaks the Microsoft Channel's Back?

The next few months could prove to be the most trying for all but the largest of Microsoft's partners.

Partners: Keep Pace with Microsoft in 2014 with These Course Corrections

Microsoft has a history of changing tacks in its partner strategy, for good and sometimes for ill. Its partners should take care not to get left behind.

One-on-One with Microsoft's New U.S. SMS&P Chief

Meet David Willis, who in the wake of the recent partner executive reshuffling now runs Microsoft's U.S. Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners organization.

IT Services and the Lie of 'Customer Satisfaction'

How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? If the answer is your "commitment to customer satisfaction," you'd better examine how truthful that is.

Who Is the 'One Great Salesperson'?

The new channel business model has little room for salespeople who are not also technology pros.

Why the IAMCP Is Critical to Future Success in the Channel

The International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners has always been a useful resource, but it became invaluable after Microsoft flipped the switch on the Microsoft Partner Network. Howard explains how.

Dispatch from ChannelCon: ChannelCon-fused

As Howard finds at this year's CompTIA partner convention, yes, there's still a channel. But there's also something else.

Below the Surface: Ignoring the Danger of Ignoring the Channel

In which Howard draws a link between a series of unfortunate Microsoft Surface-related events.

Parsing Through the WPC 2013 Rumors (UPDATED)

Are PAMs going away? Is a major partner executive leaving? As usual, there were plenty of rumors floating around this year's Worldwide Partner Conference floor -- some more well-founded than others. Howard separates fact from fiction.

Surviving WPC: The Secret's in the Planning

Navigating the Worldwide Partner Conference can be a major undertaking. Microsoft offers its WPC Connect tool as a way to manage meetings and keep track of sessions. Problem: Navigating the WPC Connect tool can also be a major undertaking.

The 'Hybrid Everything' Problem

Step aside, "cloud." "Hybrid" is the latest tech buzzword to lack a clear definition -- and in today's BYOD era, that's an issue.

WPC 2013: What's the Real Opportunity?

The only way to provide quality services across the Microsoft stack would be to partner with other Microsoft partners.

Microsoft Partners Cannot Live by Fees Alone

Selling cloud service subscriptions isn't a bad strategy -- as long as you use them to set the stage for sales of your own suite of services.

Figuring Out Which IT Community Is Right for You

For channel partners, joining a community is essential to making their voices heard by the larger organizations they are partners with. But given the wide variety of communities in the channel, it can be a challenge for partners to know which ones suit them best.

Yes, Partners: There Is Still a Channel

As the recent ConnectWise conference demonstrated, the channel hasn't been made obsolete -- it's just gotten more evolved.

Microsoft's 'Cloud OS' Era Means a Return to License Land

Microsoft threw another wrench in the effort to define cloud computing when it ushered in its Cloud OS era with Windows Server 2012. But for partners, the new definition means that for once, they won't have to change as much as they thought.

Why Is Microsoft Putting the Squeeze on Partner Support?

In reducing its ranks of partner-facing support personnel, Microsoft may be taking some pointers from the president of Howard's old company: "If you've got enough people to do the job, you have too many people."

Don't Worry, the Cloud Won't Kill the Channel -- Just Change It

Doomsayers are blaming cloud computing for the theoretical demise of the channel, but from Howard's point of view, it's all FUD.

Microsoft: Still Crazy After All These Years

Some people might look at the "new" Microsoft and say it's less personal, more corporate. Those people would be wrong.