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Roskill: 'We're Growing a Google Partner Program Every Week Here'

Microsoft's channel chief Jon Roskill has contended for more than two years that Microsoft and its partners are grossly underestimated when it comes to cloud computing.

Roskill's latest version of the argument is that a company with more than $1 billion in annual revenue run rates each for Office 365, Azure and Service Provider License Agreements (SPLAs) is hard to classify as anything but a cloud leader.

In an interview for RCP's July cover story previewing the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Roskill provided an update on the size of Microsoft's Cloud Essentials program. Partners who sign up for the free Cloud Essentials get access to Internal Use Rights for seats of Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud products, as well as sales and marketing resources.

A change to Microsoft's back-end systems late last year put the sign-up option for Cloud Essentials right in the middle of the partner enrollment and re-enrollment process.

As of mid-June, Roskill said Microsoft currently has 140,000 partners signed up for Cloud Essentials.

"Our ramp rate right now is we're having weeks that are over 5,000 partners a week joining," Roskill said. "Just to put that in perspective, if you look at our competitors' partner programs, we believe that the bigger ones -- Google, Amazon, Salesforce -- their entire program is less than 5,000. We're growing a Google partner program every week here."

We'll have more of Roskill's interview in our July cover story both in print and online. Nevertheless, Roskill's comments indicate that he, CEO Steve Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner will be every bit as pugnacious as ever when their WPC keynotes roll around July 8-10.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 19, 2013