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Allison Watson's Marching Orders for 2010

Every year, we've counted on Allison Watson, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, to provide our readers with some solid advice in an entry for our "Marching Orders" piece. She came through again this time with some guidance on Microsoft's 2010 launch wave:

"The last 12 months have been quite a ride. But in spite of the economy, Microsoft partners are seeing great results due to the tremendous opportunity to take share in every market. Customers are demanding low-cost, high-value solutions that drive innovation and help them save money. In this environment, salesmanship remains a key differentiator, and the power of the MPN helps enable powerful partner selling motions. And, most importantly, it remains true that visionary organizations excel in challenging times -- and to show our commitment to you in this regard, Microsoft is bringing out the greatest innovation lineup in the company's history this year.

"So what is your call to action? Get out there and start using this groundbreaking technology. Microsoft's most successful partners embrace our innovative new technologies in their own businesses and as a result become enthusiastic evangelists. That expertise is critical because Microsoft partners play such an important role in helping customers identify, purchase and deploy the right technology solutions.

"Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010, in combination with the recently launched Exchange Server 2010 and Windows 7, provide a robust platform and tools to enable partners to build innovative solutions for customers. Partners should deploy these products internally, as well as visit the Web sites to learn more about how embracing them can help you create profitable business opportunities.

"Now is also the time to transform to Software plus Services. We're seeing exciting momentum around the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), with more than 7,000 Microsoft partners helping businesses take advantage of the platform, and more than 100 partners joining the community each week. Partners are taking advantage of our special BPOS partner licensing and pricing benefits, including up to 250 internal-use seats. There are opportunities for partners of every type on the recently launched Windows Azure platform, whether you're an ISV building new Software as a Service offerings, a systems integrator migrating existing applications, or a VAR packaging cloud-based offerings to sell to customers. Partners should download the Windows Azure Partner Resource Guide to learn more.

"The MPN is an important resource enabling partners to transform their businesses around all these new opportunities. The network can help you to expand your sales and marketing skills, deepen your business and technical expertise, and build meaningful connections with Microsoft and other partners -- and with new customers as well.

"Your formula for success is to provide in your offering a value proposition combining elements that save customers money and drive customer innovation, all balanced with the right mix of on-premises and in-the-cloud solutions."

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 04, 2010 at 11:58 AM