MICROSOFT’s partner group manager Steve Haddock has said that if partners do not attend events he will cut back support.
“I am going to get really hardcore on certified partners — they have to go — if they do not attend the events, then they are not visible to me and I do not know what they need to grow their business,” he says.
This statement reflects just how serious the vendor is about getting certified partners to key events. And with its regional partner conference looming, Haddock is using the experience of the 33 local partners who attended the vendor’s global partner conference in Toronto last month as an example for other partners to attend upcoming events, such as the ANZ conference in Australia later this month.
While Haddock is pleased with the number of partners that visited Toronto, he aims to increase this number to between 80 and 100 partners next year, saying Tier One service integrators and independent software vendors need to attend high-level events such as the global partner conference.
“We have to get more people over — I will be very disappointed with less that 50. It is a great networking opportunity and they get to see what Microsoft’s future strategy is from the highest level,” he says.
Haddock adds the ANZ conference is ideal for mid-tier partners who were unable to attend the global event, as Microsoft’s regional teams will present material based on the main messages from Toronto, while the New Zealand partner event in October will focus on how Microsoft’s direction impacts on partners in their everyday work locally.
Haddock is threatening to go as far as cutting dedicated account management support from those certified partners that regularly abstain from attending partner events.
The ANZ partner conference takes place on the Gold Coast from August 23 to 25.