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Microsoft Plans To Pump Up Partner Relations by Phone

The new year may be less than two weeks old, but it’s already been a busy time for Microsoft, with news stories literally popping up all over the map.

  • In Redmond, the company announced programs to better serve partners and to lure independent software vendors away from non-Microsoft platforms.
  • In San Francisco, officials unveiled a new five-year collaborative agreement with Apple Computer.
  • In Las Vegas, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates described new products and technologies to support what he calls the evolving “digital lifestyle.”
  • And here in Massachusetts, an IDC competitive analysis of software companies’ channel programs gave the Microsoft Partner Program high marks, while a local high-tech giant snapped up the Microsoft Gold Certified Partner we profiled in Redmond Channel Partner’s current issue.

That’s plenty of news to catch up on, so I’ll stop talking and let you get to it. As always, we welcome your thoughts, suggestions, story ideas, news tips and insights. Send them to astuart@rcpmag.com.

Redmond Calling: Microsoft Plans To Pump Up Partner Relations by Phone
Microsoft hopes to strengthen its relationships with its Certified and Gold Certified partners this year, in large part by relying on “telePAMs,” Partner Account Managers assigned to reach out and touch those top-tier partners by telephone. According to industry analysts (see next item), Microsoft hopes more frequent contact and greater help with lead generation will boost the ranks of both partner categories.

IDC Study Praises Microsoft Partner Program
In a recent competitive analysis of vendor channel programs, IDC researchers gave the Microsoft Partner Program top marks for leadership. In that study, Microsoft’s partner initiatives outranked those of IBM, Progress, Oracle, CA, Novell, BEA and Sun.

Microsoft@Macworld: Company Commits To Continuing Apple Collaboration
There’s more than pure MacBusiness on the agenda at this week’s massive Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit announced a five-year agreement to continue developing Microsoft Office software for Mac machines.

In addition, Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off the first iMacs based on Intel CPUs -- including two models available for shipping right now.

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Microsoft Takes Aim at Linux and Unix
Microsoft is offering an array of incentives and resources designed to entice independent software vendors (ISVs) away from non-Windows solutions. NXT, a pilot program to be delivered through partners, is designed to help ISVs quickly move their applications from Linux and Unix to Windows and from other vendors’ databases to Microsoft’s SQL Server. Microsoft estimates the value of its incentives for ISVs to switch at $100,000.

A New Dance Partner: EMC Acquires Internosis
The current issue of Redmond Channel Partner introduces readers to Internosis, an IT services provider and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner based in Greenbelt, Md. This week, EMC Corp., the giant Hopkinton, Mass.-based information-storage company, announced that it had acquired Internosis to spearhead a Microsoft Practice division in EMC’s professional services group.

Bill Gates Describes ‘Digital Lifestyle’ and Forthcoming Products
In his 10th annual keynote address before the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates described his company’s vision of a digital lifestyle in which services, devices and applications work together seamlessly. Gates touched on technologies ranging from the Xbox 360 to Windows Vista to Windows Live Messenger.

Posted by Anne Stuart on January 11, 2006 at 11:53 AM