Better enabling partners around solution sets and new areas of opportunity, such as software-as-a-service, remains key for Microsoft in the face of the economic downturn, according to its partner director.
The vendor recently promoted George Stavrakakis to solution partner director to assist its ISVs, consultant and influencer partners to take a more solutions-oriented approach. He was previously group manager of partner portfolio and development.
Microsoft director small and medium business and partner group, Paul Voges, said Watson’s directive was to get all types of partners up to speed on solutions still in demand and which would help customers save money such as collaboration, on-demand applications and unified communications.
The upcoming Australian Microsoft partner conference would also focus on skilling up partners not just on technology platforms, but also softer business skills such as sales and business planning, Voges said.
“At our partner summit this year, the focus is to get on the front foot with the channel by focusing on the solution sets that are important to customers,” he said. “The good thing is our channel is getting around that value proposition.”
Voges highlighted public sector including healthcare, and software-as-a-service, as areas of opportunity. He also claimed Microsoft’s business software offerings, such as Dynamics CRM, continued to sell well.
“Public sector continues to be a focus for our channel, and people investing in that area are doing well,” he said. “We saw double-digit growth year-on-year across the systems integrators, resellers and ISVs.”
On the software plus services side, Microsoft was investing in additional partner portal tools and resources. Last year, the software giant appointed its first director of platform strategy, Peter Watson, to drive its software-as-a-service business and initiatives.
“Our SPLA licensing is one of the fastest growing areas of business,” Voges added.