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Marching Orders 2013: Get Up to Speed

As part of Redmond Channel Partner's annual "Marching Orders" feature, we asked several channel luminaries to give their best advice to help Microsoft partners succeed in the coming year. Here are some tips from Jenni Flinders, U.S. Partner Strategy and Programs, Microsoft.

In this new exciting era with the product launch wave -- the biggest in our company's history -- it's imperative that our partners educate themselves and their customers on the benefits of these product offerings.

I want our partners to be able to approach sales opportunities with a high degree of comfort, fluency and credibility to take full advantage of revenue potential. As such, Microsoft needs to provide its partners with a roadmap, allowing each of these organizations to forge ahead and blaze a trail of individualized success.

A few areas each partner needs to look at, and ensure are part of their business model, include:

  • Cloud computing: For our partners to evolve and grow, success hinges on our ability to lead the channel through a new way of doing business with the advent of cloud computing. Partners can truly understand the power of the cloud through resources available to them, such as the Microsoft white paper, "Cloud Computing: What IT Professionals Need to Know" (.DOC)

  • Certifications: New sales and services models are emerging, which also means we have to retrain our existing staff and hire new talent. This is critical to ensure our partners have the capacity, capability, and commitment to deploy and deliver the right solutions for customers and help them move to the cloud on their terms. This is a great opportunity for our partners to refresh their existing talent through training and certifications.

  • Diversity: Diversity isn't only about race or gender anymore -- it's about acknowledging the differences that make people unique. This allows companies to have fresh perspectives to innovate and solve problems. Today, successful businesses require an accepting environment where the best and brightest minds -- employees with varied perspectives, skills and experiences -- work together to deliver solutions that work across multiple devices.

I will continue to encourage our partners to engage closely with us as we embrace the opportunity with the new products in the market; think deeply about sales and technical capabilities by building a strong employee pipeline; and actively recruit and hire top talent from diverse backgrounds.

Together we will create the positive change needed for the channel to continue to evolve and grow.

Posted on January 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM


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