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MPN: Making News Like It's WPC Week

Registration for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference doesn't even start until next week, but Microsoft partner executives were making news last week at such a fast clip that it felt like a WPC was in progress.

The sources for all the activity were Microsoft Partner Advisory Council (PAC) meetings in Redmond, Microsoft meetings with leaders of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners and, especially, a Web-based interactive forum between senior Microsoft channel executives and several hundred partners on Thursday.

News out of the forum and PACs included:

  • Commitments to develop and provide more detailed roadmaps for partners on both products and partner programs. (See story here.)

  • Plans to tweak the ISV competency to make the Microsoft Partner Network a better fit for vertically focused development shops. (See story here.)

  • Efforts to stabilize and standardize incentive programs around the world to move away from a focus on "ineffective" short-term server promotions. (See story here.)

  • A move to broaden pilot programs for providing up to 20 points on software for solution providers with gold competencies who drive sales, even if they don't transact the licenses. (See story here.)

  • New branding efforts around silver competency partners, emphasizing their exclusivity as representing only 5 percent of all Microsoft partners. (See story here.)

  • Momentum on the Pinpoint partner solution directory, with Microsoft well on the way to surpassing a goal for providing 700,000 leads to partners in FY '11 and sharing a goal to provide 1.25 million goals in FY '12, which starts in July. (See story here.)

  • Acknowledgement by Microsoft executives of the problems that formerly Microsoft Gold Certified Partners pose to partners that embrace the new silver competency, with related promises to police the expiring brand more aggressively. (See story here.)

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 16, 2011


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