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Reorg Marries Partner, Small Business Units

It’s the second major Microsoft reorg in as many months, and this one hits lots closer to home for partners. Microsoft announced on Monday that, in addition to being responsible for the Microsoft Partner Program, Allison Watson will head up the Worldwide Small Business Group. The thinking is that there’s lots of synergy between small business customers and partners, because lots of partner companies are themselves small businesses and deal with other small businesses as customers. While you can certainly make that argument, you can also make the argument that adding an entire new business unit to Watson’s plate isn’t going to help her deal more effectively with the Partner Program. That may be especially true since the general manager of the Partner Program, Kevin Wueste, is leaving that position. He is being replaced by Sherle Webb-Robins, who comes to Microsoft from Sun Microsystems. Check out our story for the full scoop and drop a note to pdesmond@rcpmag.com to let me know what you think of the moves.

Getting More for Your Certs
Changes are also afoot between the Microsoft Learning group and the Partner Program. There's talk of "new integration" that will enable partners to apply Microsoft Certified Professional certifications to multiple Microsoft Competencies. Currently, each certification can be applied to only a single Microsoft Competency. Details are sketchy, but allowing a single cert to apply to even two competencies would certainly be good news for partners.

Longhorn Server To Offer Flexible Footprint
In a recent blog post, a Microsoft executive confirmed the company is taking steps to give customers something they’ve long been screaming for: a reduced footprint for its operating systems. Longhorn Server will be "composeable" at three different levels to meet varying roles or requirements, according to an Oct. 14 post to the Windows Server Division blog by Mark Aggar, senior product planner for Windows Server. For example, Longhorn Server will allow for installations that don’t require a GUI, removing all the bits required to run it. Smaller footprints should mean reduced maintenance requirements, better security and reliability, and potentially improved performance, Aggar says. Sounds like another selling point for Longhorn.

Intel Stays on Track
I do OK with the Microsoft code names, but I don’t even try to keep track of Intel’s. Maybe it’s because they sound like something out of a daytime soap opera: the conniving Dr. Dempsey and his manipulative mistress Ms. Blackford meeting in seamy motels in the Tulsa suburbs of Paxville and Twincastle. Contributing writer Stuart Johnston has it all sorted out, however, in his report from a recent Intel event where the company offered a status report on the roadmap it unveiled just over a year ago. The overall gist is that things are on track, with the first Intel dual-core, Hyper-Threaded Xeon processor due out in August.

Microsoft, Siebel Offer Development Tool
Microsoft and Siebel Systems Inc. on Monday announced the Siebel Component Assembly for Microsoft .NET, which is intended to help organizations more easily build custom CRM applications. Based on the .NET Framework, it offers native integration with Microsoft Office 2003 applications, Outlook 2003, SharePoint and Exchange.

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Another Not So Subtle Plea for Letters
We’re putting the November issue of Redmond Channel Partner to bed but, as with our last issue, we still have room for some of your thoughts. In other words: We want more letters! We have a page to fill! Please write!

A few sentences, that’s all we ask. Read a story, give us your thoughts -- rants, raves, questions, answers, musings, recipes, whatever. Drop me a line at pdesmond@rcpmag.com or use our online form.

Need a prompt? OK, have a stab at answering this question: What’s your take on the concept of "solution selling?"

Posted by Paul Desmond on October 19, 2005 at 11:53 AM