MICROSOFT New Zealand is next week hosting the first of only two partner briefings this year.
The events will be held under its Partner Programme banner in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday respectively and are aimed at much smaller audiences than past partner briefings.
Partner group manager Steve Haddock says Microsoft New Zealand is focusing on delivering specific messages to targeted audiences this year.
“Delivering a targeted message makes events more valuable. We held five events last year and that was too much.”
Haddock’s approach carries the approval of his Singapore-based regional boss — John Ball, partner director for Asia Pacific and Greater China, which covers Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Ball was in New Zealand this month to track the progress of the implementation of the recently introduced Microsoft Partner Programme, and says one of the vendor’s priorities this year will be to present tangible benefits to partners through the programme.
A number of streams at the briefings next week will concentrate on explaining the structures and benefits of the new programme as some local partners still grapple to understand the complexities around the scheme.
But Ball says that this situation is not unique to New Zealand as partners in other countries also face similar challenges, but says partner account managers are being trained to articulate clearly the key business benefits of the programme.
The programme creates a common framework for the disparate channel infrastructures Microsoft operated around many of its offerings, such as the Microsoft Business Solutions suite, which will be integrated into the new programme next month.
“MBS partners may have felt disconnected from the larger partner group in the past, but integrating them under one structure will create a sense of community,” says Ball.