Software giant, Microsoft, has revealed what's in store for partners in 2011, reassuring its commitment to its channel community.
At the Microsoft Australian Partner Conference (APC) on the Gold Coast, local partner director, George Stavrakakis, said the investments it planned to make in 2011, was all about the channel.
"Our channel is not forgotten. Your success is dependent on our success and it's really about engaging more effectively in the coming year," Stavrakakis said. " We really focus ourselves on key pillars that allows us to put our muscle and resources, and the investment behind our channel."
He also highlighted the software giant's $9.6 billion investment in research and development funds.
"It's more than any other vendor in the industry. The reason why we do that is when you're sitting in front of customers, working with customers, whether you're trying to provide an on-premise solution, Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and so on, we want to be your partner of choice," he said.
He said there would be some major changes occuring to its partner program in October and it was deliberately aimed at raising the competency and capability of partners.
It aims to improve channel rewards that are currently in place along with accelerate sales leads and connections being made through Microsoft PinPoint, which is also coming out next month.
"We want to exceed and delight you in our partnership,"he said.
Talk about cloud and opportunities for partners in the market was high on the agenda.
Stavrakakis said the cloud represented a $700 million market opportunity for partners.
Microsoft Australia managing director, Tracey Fellows, indicated the year ahead was all about the cloud.
"Our industry is changing," Fellows said. "We are absolutely pinning our future success in the cloud. It changes how we work, how we operate and what our customers expect."
Fellows acknowledged the concept of the cloud wasn't anything new, but it opens up more develpment and innovation opportunities in a far more cost effective manner for the industry.
"The biggest thing that strikes me about the cloud is the innovation that is possible, because a big part of what of what the cloud is giving all of us, is a low cost of entry," she said. " It is now about those great ideas that a developer once had can now be taken to market at such a low cost that wasn't possible before. Those great ideas can now be tested in the market place."
Not only does cloud computing open up innovation, but also new business models and new ways of reaching customers, Fellows said.
For the global overview of Microsoft's strategy, find ARN's coverage of July's World Partner Conference 2010 here. Julia Talevski attended the Microsoft Partner Conference as a guest of Microsoft .