End User Licensing Tool Debuts
A new tool Microsoft introduced this week could dramatically change
your customer engagements when it comes to licensing. Microsoft
calls the tool the Microsoft Product Licensing Advisor. The idea
is to let IT end users compare licensing programs, get licensing
guidance, go through a training wizard and perform basic product
selection. That's in the 1.0 version. Eventually, Microsoft intends
to add intelligence into the software and have it guide customers
from business problem to complete solution. Meanwhile, the company
is staffing up call centers to take customers' questions.
The output of the tool -- showing prices, etc. -- is something
customers can take directly to partners. Microsoft says the tool
will simplify licensing, elevate the discussion between customers
and partners and potentially provide additional business opportunities
for partners. Get the full story here.
Partner Program Enhancements
Remember all those enhancements to the Microsoft Partner Program
that Microsoft outlined in July? Microsoft gave them a soft launch
this week. While many of the enhancements don't go into effect officially
until January, you can start signing up for new competencies, check
out the simplified Partner Points Program and get details about
new benefits now. We've got a full
article on RCPmag.com that outlines the benefits and the new
competencies. See if the new competencies include a place for you.
Meanwhile, I'm working on an article about one of the new competencies
-- Licensing Solutions. If you're thinking about pursuing the competency,
I'd love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Supercomputing for Partners?
Microsoft raised its profile in the supercomputing world when Bill
Gates gave a keynote at Supercomputing 2005 this week. Microsoft's
chairman and chief software architect announced
the Beta 2 release of Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition
and talked about the future of supercomputing. At first blush it
wouldn't seem that there would be much opportunity for resellers
and partners in a form of computing that's currently confined primarily
to massive installations at government agencies and university laboratories.
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
But Microsoft actually hopes to promote personal or departmental
supercomputing at businesses and branch offices of all sizes. The
idea is to use clusters from a couple of nodes to about a dozen
nodes for serious, but not monumental, computational jobs.
We're wrapping up another print issue of Redmond Channel Partner,
and we need letters to the editor. Write us one, and there's a great
chance it'll get published. Come on, let us know what you like and
don't like in the latest issue of the magazine, or just wax poetic
about the state of the Microsoft Partner community. Send your feedback
Posted by Scott Bekker on November 16, 2005 at 11:53 AM