I’m in New Orleans for our annual Worldwide Partner Conference. It’s always a great time to connect with partners and one of the things I’ll be talking about while I’m here is the immense opportunity we see even in what’s turned out to be a remarkably challenging year.
We’ve got a wave of unprecedented innovation from our business – all great products with features that will drive out costs and increase agility for customers. I’ll also be sharing an update on the new ways we’re trying to drive opportunities for partners, expand their knowledge and make it even easier to succeed.
We’ve all seen challenges this year with slowing customer spend, new prospects and closing deals harder to complete than ever before. During this partner conference, I encourage all partners whether you are here in New Orleans or not, to think about adding to your practices. This coming year we’ve made it even easier to get trained and skilled in new competency areas and we’ve got the data that shows how this can benefit your business.
Here are the highlights of my presentation. I look forward to meeting many of you while I’m here:
New Virtualization Solutions Competency
The economic benefits of virtualization are so compelling and customer interest is so high, many partners are building successful businesses around virtualization. During my conversations with partners, they keep telling me they want to learn more about the benefits of virtualization technology and how they could better share that knowledge with their customers. As a result, today we are announcing the availability of a new virtualization competency. Partners have a great opportunity to become virtualization experts and provide their customers with new knowledge about this innovation.
More Resources to Help Keep Partners Ahead
Microsoft provides a wealth of partner-oriented tools and programs to support Core Infrastructure sales and deployments. These resources include training, sales tools, channel incentives, technical support, and go-to-market assistance.
Opportunities in FY10 include:
·*New* Core Infra Practice Builder Online – Building a Core Infra practice around a set of solutions that solve customers’ business challenges is key to developing more profitable, long-term business. Whether you are growing an existing practice or building a new one, the Core Infra Practice Builder web site, www.infrastructurepracticebuilder.com, provides you with guidance and resources to help you ramp more quickly and efficiently.
·*New* MAP Solution Accelerators (MAP 4.0) – New Windows Server Solution Accelerators – Use these trusted tools and planning guidance to accelerate Windows Server 2008 R2 and virtualization projects. Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit 4.0, Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides and Microsoft Deployment Toolkit are new tools to help partners assess customer’s needs, complete proposals and designs, and deploy optimized core infrastructure.
·*New* Partner Web Widgets –To help partners cost-effectively reach out to more potential customers and improve their online customer experience, we have developed a series of Microsoft Partner Website Widgets.
·*New* Enrollment for Core Infrastructure License – For customers seeking a well-managed and secure core infrastructure, the Enrollment for Core Infrastructure is a new way to license Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, and Microsoft Forefront Client Security. Available in October, partners can be sure that the licenses for the solutions they sell and implement will be easy to manage as the solutions grow over time.
On the Horizon
This is going to be a busy year, as Microsoft has a number of new products coming out. As we all know, Windows 7 will be launching later this year and with that another very important product is Windows Server 2008 R2. R2 will provide customers with enhanced capabilities in virtualization, web and management, along with features that improve scalability and reliability, and deliver a strong business value when combined with Windows 7.
There’s a lot of excitement at WPC and I’m really glad to have the opportunity to share what we have coming up from Core Infrastructure.