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Partners Say Apps Are Key to Windows 8 Sales

Apps are a key to selling customers on Windows 8, according to a panel of partners gathered by Microsoft.

Danny Burlage, CTO at Wortell; Scott Gosling, Microsoft practice manager at Data#3; and Carl Mazzanti, CEO of eMazzanti Technologies joined Microsoft executives on Tuesday for a webcast session of MPN [Microsoft Partner Network] Live about Windows 8 sales.

Mazzanti said his Hoboken, N.J.-based company had just closed a major deal involving Windows 8 seats at an architectural firm. Key to the sale was a killer Windows 8 app.

"They're going to be able to take their tablet into a building and move [the device] around to see what the building looks like for 3-D rendering," Mazzanti said. The right apps, leveraging portability of the new form factors and touch, can lead to "lightbulbs going on" for customers, Mazzanti said.

For Netherlands-based Wortell, Burlage said a program investment by Microsoft to support partner app development is extremely helpful.

Microsoft calls the program Windows Accelerate. In addition to proof-of-concept and production pilots for Windows 8 deployments, the program includes help for designing and piloting custom apps.

"We're engaged in about 20 of those projects," Burlage said. "Building an app really accelerates the customer going into Windows 8 at all. We built an app for a municipality and they right now decided to move over to Windows 8."

An added advantage, Burlage said, is owning the intellectual property of the app at the end of the process, enabling reuse of the code to support apps for other customers with similar needs. Burlage also said some of Wortell's apps are driving additional Azure and Office 365 business by using those cloud platforms on the back end.

Data#3 in Australia is seeing a fairly robust business in Windows 8, including a massive education deployment currently underway, Gosling said. While apps help attract new deployment customers, Gosling noted two other ways that partners are using apps in Windows 8. One is to use the Microsoft Store to take a partner's IP public and make additional money on some good code. The other is to use the Sideloading capabilities in Windows 8 to distribute custom apps to customer devices.

Erwin Visser, general manager of Windows Commercial Marketing for Microsoft, said partners who are achieving the best results with Windows 8 are sending their sales reps to meetings ready to "show customers Windows 8, Windows 8 devices and a prototype app."

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 26, 2013


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