Microsoft Partner Program Named the Leader in IDC Study

The Microsoft Partner Program got high marks from industry analysts at IDC in a recent survey comparing the channel programs of 25 top software vendors.

The report, "Worldwide Software Channel Program 2005 Vendor Profiles," was published by Framingham, Mass.-based IDC in December and posted on Microsoft's Web site this week. In the study, IDC places Microsoft in the best spot of its "leadership grid" for software partner programs.

IBM's partnering program graphs close behind Microsoft's. Other vendors in the coveted upper right square of IDC's grid include Progress, Oracle, CA, Novell, BEA and Sun.

"Microsoft continues to deliver on the phased rollout of its completely reengineered Partner Program that was launched in January 2004," the IDC competitive analysis report states. "Additional investment is being put toward improving partner infrastructure, including extending and infusing more value into engagement and business planning capabilities."

IDC analyst Paul Edwards said Microsoft held a market-leading position in the 2004 version of the study as well. "They've made some enhancements since that time that have allowed them to maintain that position, and other vendors have not done as much," said Edwards, who is IDC's research director for software channel strategy.

Steve Graham, group vice president of global software business strategies at IDC, says the analyst firm's methodology recognized Microsoft for the Microsoft Partner Program's structure, especially the competency framework; the scope of partner relationships; and Microsoft's ability to deliver on promises.

Sherle Webb-Robins, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Program, called the IDC report "a very strong validation of all the hard work that Microsoft has been putting into making sure that we are [providing] the right benefits for the partners to realize their potential in the marketplace with their customers."

Microsoft made the full IDC report available online this week at

For an in-depth look at IDC's analysis of the direction of Microsoft's Partner Program, click here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.


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