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A Little Less Octane

There's been a lot of buzz over the last few months about "Octane." It's the code-name for the unspecified changes coming to the Microsoft Partner Program (MSPP). And we've all been expecting those changes to be announced, presumably, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which is happening this week.

It made sense; the MSPP has had very few structural changes since the current framework was set up in 2004. Then there were the Microsoft executives and spokespeople repeatedly saying over the last few months that they weren't ready to talk about Octane. Later the message changed: Microsoft probably wouldn't be ready to talk about Octane at the partner conference. All of that mystery reinforced the idea that Octane might be a big deal.

Well, maybe not. I talked to Julie Bennani, new general manager of the Microsoft Partner Program, here at the WPC in Denver. According to Bennani, Octane is just a code-name for MSPP enhancements; it's not some massive overhaul of the program.

"I think people came under the impression that Octane was a point in time," Bennani said. Instead, she said, it's more routine, ongoing enhancements taking place now and into the next year. Major elements of Octane include evolving the initiatives to help Microsoft partners get more profitable, making an effort to collect customer satisfaction data on partners, and working to improve skills development and bridge current gaps.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2007


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