Monday, March 17, 2008

Hello from Redmond

I am in Seattle this week for some meetings with the IPAC (infrastructure partner advisory council). We spent the day talking about identity management, virtualization, system management and the future of the partner program. I continue to be amazed at all the opportunity that lies ahead for us in 2008 around the Microsoft stack. A total refresh filled with lots of service options. It is a great year to be a partner. Change is in the air also in the partner program. Things need to change there, and the team at MS understands that and is working hard to make it more valuable to everyone involved. Sometimes as partners we lose track of what the program is really about. It isn't about us. Not really - it is about serving customers. We lose sight of that some days. It is also not about Microsoft. Everything has to revolve around the customer. Microsoft needs to drive more understanding of the program among end users, but we need to do that too. They don't owe it to us. We have to educate those we serve. We expect Microsoft to hand things to us on a platter. That is not how it works. I want to draw your attention to a recent blog posting by Vlad - a well known and outspoken champion of small business IT. Vlad shares some strong views about SMB partners and in a nutshell it comes down to execution and the "sense of entitlement" that exists today. Microsoft owes us nothing folks. None of our vendors do. I preach all the time about how to create strong vendor relationships. It actually is pretty simple - you treat them the way you would like to be treated. Far too many of us believe we are entitled to things from our vendor partners. That is a bunch of balony. We have to be partners to be treated like one. Get off dead center and make things happen for them. Vlad nailed this one. Read Vlad's posting here -

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