Specific business areas highlighted as sales targets

Specific business areas highlighted as sales targets

Microsoft is emphasising areas of its business where it needs to catch up to competitors by tying partner field team compensation to specific product deployments. Field leaders for Microsoft partner teams worldwide would be compensated more this year for making customer wins in key product areas, chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, said.

In addition to enterprise search design wins - particularly against Google - the vendor would pay more compensation in other product areas where Microsoft was late to market against entrenched competitors, such as the Microsoft Dynamics business applications and Forefront Security product suite, he said.

Other product deployments worth compensation are: Office Sharepoint Server licencing and growth; SQL Server revenue growth, in particular competitive wins against Oracle and IBM; Windows Server license and revenue growth; and unified communications using Office Communications Server 2007, which will be available later this year.

Turner said Microsoft was making fundamental improvements to help its 600,000 business partners worldwide make more money.

In September, it would roll out an online dashboard that let partners measure themselves against similar companies on sales, profitability and other performance indicators, he said.

But, he said, partners need to be willing to adapt, especially to the software-as-a-service model.

As an example, Turner touted Microsoft's Office Live offerings, which he said were being used by more than 400,000 small businesses, as a growing opportunity for partners.

"I fully believe that in 2-3 years, Office Live will be one of the top three or four deployed products by Microsoft," he said.

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