Former Praxa stalwart Brian Walshe has landed at new Microsoft-Accenture joint venture Avanade, a company that once had him worried about the future of Microsoft's enterprise channel.
After 10 years at Microsoft-centric service provider Praxa, Walshe quit to find new opportunities at the end of July this year. By the end of August, a few friends in Redmond were suggesting to Avanade Australia managing director Mark Chrimes that Walshe was on the market. Within weeks he was appointed as practice director for delivery management at Avanade.
Originally concerned about the bias Microsoft might show Avanade over existing partners, Walshe watched as the new company poached several peers at both Praxa and other competitors, such as Aspect Computing and CSC. But after being formally introduced to Avanade, Walshe has quickly come to appreciate what it offers the market.
"I have been implementing Microsoft solutions for the last nine years," Walshe said. "And Avanade is heaven on a stick if you're into Microsoft. The structure -- everything they do here -- is as good as it gets in this space."
Walshe now sees Avanade's role not as a threat to the Microsoft channel, but as an enabler for the future. "To grow the market for everyone, Microsoft has to grow at the enterprise level," he said. "Avanade has the clout to deal with the top 100 companies in the country. It will champion Microsoft in those organisations and there will be a flow-through effect to other partners."
Walshe said he remains the MSDN regional director despite the change in roles, and has also been appointed to Microsoft's .Net partner advisory council.
Photograph: Avanade's Brian Walshe