Partner Points

Readers Respond September 2005

Picking out must reads, partnering with others and award-winning tales.

Picking Out the 'Must-Reads'
I really enjoyed the premier issue of Redmond Channel Partner magazine. It's nice to have another resource dedicated to the people who build the solutions that drive Microsoft's sales. I read the issue cover to cover, and have already picked out a couple of sections that I think will be "must-reads" every month.

First, as a Registered partner, I imagine that I'm not alone in that I was first a techie who later decided to go into business for myself. As such, I know I need all the marketing help I can get. So after reading Mac McIntosh's column [Marketing Microsoft], I know it'll be one I turn to first. He does a great job with his webcasts and his writing is just as helpful.

Second, I was very interested in the articles about getting closer to Microsoft ["Getting Close to Microsoft," July 2005] and the Microsoft Across America trucks ["Truckin' for Microsoft," July 2005]. These opportunities will allow me to leverage the marketing resources of a multi-billion dollar corporation, so I hope to see more like them in the future.
Jason Leib
Microsoft Small Business Specialist
JML Consulting LLC
Lenexa, Kan

On Partnering with Others
You are providing a great service to the channel. One suggestion is to continue to focus on how partners can grow their businesses in partnership with Microsoft and how to partner with other Microsoft partners.

The way to find other Microsoft partners to help with customer projects is to continually work on developing relationships with partners and competitors. I have done this by setting appointments with partners and learning about their strengths; attending Microsoft conferences; attending Microsoft quarterly regional meetings; and attending Microsoft Tech Nights sponsored by the regional offices.

Ten years ago, I made a decision to enter the partner program with Microsoft. I am not disappointed in that decision. They have created an opportunity for me to earn a living and create jobs while helping customers grow their businesses.
Gregg A. Sinders
E-Procurement/Marketing Specialist
Wilson Education Center
Charlestown, Ind.

An Award-Winning Tale
I am the director and owner of the Computer Institute of the Rockies, the 2005 Small Business Solution Sales and Marketing Solution Provider of the Year. I wanted to share some thoughts about my own "partner to partner" experience at the Partner Program Awards ceremony during July's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

The event was starting, chairs were scarce and I couldn't find a seat. Many tables I stopped at refused to let me sit as they had reserved seats for others from their company. The last table in the very front of the event had a blinking button with the company name on it, but I still asked if a seat was available. These partners welcomed me with warmth and friendship, which shocked me beyond belief!

The table was populated by Citrix [Systems Inc.] employees who all introduced themselves, offered friendly conversation and even brought me beverages when they got theirs. The kindness they offered is a testament to them and a positive reflection on their company.

When Citrix was announced as the winner for its category, even I felt their win. We all jumped and cheered. It was great sitting with winners. My category was much later, and they all showed the same anticipation for me that they had shown for their own company.

Each winner's story was read before the name of the winner was announced, and soon I realized the next winner was going to be me. I was paralyzed with disbelief! The Citrix people helped fix my collar, straightened my lapel pins, fluffed my hair and pushed me onstage, all just what I needed because I was still in shock!

The event from that point on is mostly just flashes, but the main one is this table full of people who didn't know me from anybody and still welcomed me with such warmth. They were cheering and jumping for my win just as hard as they had for their own. They were truly glad to see me a winner. It was truly a partner helping another partner.

Many of those "reserved" chairs remained empty because they were only interested in their own business and not in helping another partner.

The lesson I learned from this is not all partners may have your best interest in mind and may only be interested in their own goals. You may have to look around to find one that understands that it's best when both partners win. It's OK to work with different sized partners because they may have skills that complement yours. When you find one that fits, it's a great experience for everyone involved.

I am sure the kindness and warmth shown by these Citrix employees to a total stranger will lead to another win for them next year.
Brad Smith, RN, MCNPS, CISSP
Director, Computer Institute of the Rockies
Helena, Mont.


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