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Reader Feedback: Microsoft Partner Opportunities in the Cloud

We've been wondering aloud here for a while just how significant the opportunities are for Microsoft partners to profit from Redmond's cloud efforts. Microsoft's recent cloud-heavy win in New York City -- accomplished directly, sans channel involvement -- had us pondering that issue again recently. But reader Al offers a thoughtful perspective as to why Microsoft had to go solo in Gotham and why partners can still succeed with Microsoft in the cloud:

"Realistically no partner could have pulled this off except for MSFT themselves. Most partners are not even up to speed on MSFT's latest technologies and have the practice of waiting until the 'first service pack' before even delving into a new technology. No matter how promising it is. The details, promises, guarantees, specifications, support and security concerns are all for MSFT and only MSFT to answer. It's that simple. Bottom line -- ONLY Microsoft could have done 'this' deal. I congratulate them. Very often MSFT stands by the sidelines and watches the teams lose.

This is an opportunity for partners. MSFT will be a 'platform provider.' Now the platform will be there and the smart partners with strong cloud offerings will have opportunities. That part of the deal is not really Microsoft's business model and presents opportunity for the MSFT partner community. That is, for the few, truly progressive MSFT partners.

The cloud is the future. There is no question about it. Government and corporate have done a near-miserable job of deploying and maintaining infrastructure, keeping it fresh and keeping it secure. There is no doubt about this whatsoever. I know for a fact NYC is a litany of disparate technologies, solutions and even platforms. In simple terms, it is a mess and it is dysfunctional. This is an opportunity for the city to reinvent itself and gravitate to the new normal, while providing its citizens with better services than ever. All this while making available interfaces that vendor communities could use for excellent information and saving huge bucks.

This is BIG!"

Al, we're totally with you on the notion that the cloud is the future, and you make a very good point about Microsoft being ahead of most partners in this area. Our main concern is that Microsoft had made no secret of the fact that it intends to actually compete with partners on cloud deals. That, combined with what appears to be in Redmond a movement toward favoring larger partners, still leaves us wondering how many channel players will have a real shot at making money in the cloud with Microsoft. There's no question, though, that the NYC deal is huge and that it's a move in the direction in which Microsoft and IT must go. Partners need to go in that direction, too -- to the greatest extent that they can. As you said, for the progressive Microsoft channel players out there, the cloud should rain opportunities.

Have anything to add to any of the discussions you've seen on RCPU lately? Add it at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on November 04, 2010 at 11:56 AM


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