A small core of Microsoft resellers has jumped into online services “with their feet first” but the software giant urges others to get on board.
Outgoing managing director Kevin Ackhurst says of the vendor’s 3600 local partners, about 60 are proactively associating themselves with cloud services. Ten of these are already making money out of the differentiating opportunity” the cloud provides, he says.
According to Ackhurst, some partners may think the shift to online services is just a phase for Microsoft and that it will change at some particular point in time, but he says this is not the case.
He reiterates the announcement made at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference by chief operating officer Kevin Turner that, by this time next year, 90 percent of Microsoft’s estimated 40,000 developers will be working on products specifically associated with online services.
At the moment the figure is 70 percent of developers, which Turner says indicates where Microsoft is putting its bets.
Microsoft’s cloud strategy will not succeed without mutual commitment between Microsoft and its business partners, Ackhurst says.
“In order for that to happen, it has to require collaboration between business partners that perhaps has not been seen before. It is about together taking on the risk and taking on the opportunity to provide the services to the customers we have in New Zealand.
“In New Zealand and in every subsidiary Microsoft operates, headcounts are specifically allotted for those dedicated to the way Microsoft works with partners in online services.”
He says investments will be made in both the field sales force and product development. “It reinforces what is important for Microsoft going forward.”
He encourages channel partners to work with their partner account managers, and anyone in Microsoft who will help them understand the messages around the shift to online services.
Likewise, he calls on partners to send staff to relevant Microsoft conferences, such as the Partner Conference in Australia, and to TechEd if they are in technical roles.
Ackhurst says these events are an opportunity to collaborate with partners that are already operating in the cloud services space.
Divina Paredes attended Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference as a guest of Microsoft.