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Jon Roskill's Coded Message on BPOS

Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, put up an innocuous-looking entry on his "Partner Perspective" blog yesterday.

In it, Roskill sings the praises of listening to partner feedback, which of course every vendor says they value but few really do effectively. Roskill writes, "Some of you already know that I think Town Hall style meetings are great forums for us to meet in person and have  meaningful discussions."

At first glance, there doesn't seem to be much of substance to the post. But then Roskill references the recent Town Hall meeting in the Microsoft Store in Bellevue. He highlights his exchange with Jamison West of JWCS as an example of the kind of "meaningful discussions" that can take place in town halls.

You have to start the video and move it ahead to 21:45 (a time stamp Roskill helpfully includes) to see the exchange. What is it? It's the part that we highlighted in RCP magazine here and here about how partners are unhappy with Microsoft's direct-billing on Business Productivity Online Services and where Roskill says Microsoft is working to find a way to allow partners to bill their own BPOS customers.

With this subtle reference in this blog entry, I think Roskill's signaling that the effort to get partner billing fixed remains a high priority for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group. I read it as a coded message that Microsoft isn't ready to announce anything yet, but that Roskill wants partners who may be considering other options to give Microsoft a little more time to get its internal ducks in order. What do you think?

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 13, 2011 at 9:03 AM


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