Colligo NewsBack to School – Microsoft Partner MS101 Course

As part of my new role at Colligo managing our Microsoft partnership and the company’s strong support for Microsoft and their vibrant ecosystem, I recently attended the very popular Microsoft Partner MS101 course at Microsoft’s head office in Redmond, WA.

Microsoft has made an unbelievable commitment to partner success, and this is not simply to resell the Microsoft stack, but to support the entire ecosystem of ISV’s, consultants, system integrators, etc.  After three solid days of presentations and PowerPoint slide decks reviewing organization charts, partner resources, product lines and competitors, it became readily apparent that Microsoft takes their partners’ success very seriously. For example, each and every presenter thanked the partners for their commitment to Microsoft. It was a small but thoughtful gesture and one that resonated with all the attendees.

First, here are some facts lifted from Jon Roskill’s (Corporate VP World Wide Partner Group) presentation that illustrated the incredible success of Microsoft partners. In the technology sector, according to the following media:

  • INC Magazine: 48% of the 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies are Microsoft partners
  • Fortune Magazine: 52% of 100 Fastest Growing Companies are Microsoft partners
  • Forbes Magazine:  80% of the 100 Best Mid Cap Stocks are Microsoft partners

Essentially, Microsoft is making many companies in the ecosystem very successful. Colligo is happy to be a boat in rising waters and we want to thank Microsoft for creating the flood!

Other tidbits from the course that I found interesting:

  • NEWS ALERT: Microsoft is very focused on the cloud and in winning the great cloud battle.
  • The partner program has been revamped in fiscal 2011 (for Microsoft) to be more metric oriented.  Partners need to clearly delineate how you can and are helping Microsoft move product or secure seats.  The expectation is that Microsoft will just be tweaking and fine tuning the program in fiscal 2012 to let the changes settle in.
  • The public perception in the media is that Microsoft is in a heated battle with Apple and Google and this is certainly true. The mobile market, slate devices, and other consumer oriented devices often make the news and have built up a certain competitive landscape in many people’s minds.  But it’s important to remember that Microsoft has a very broad offering and that Oracle is a massive Microsoft competitor.  Every 1% gain in market share versus Oracle is worth about $100M. That translates into a lot of iPads.
  • Lync, the re-branded Office Communicator, is an amazing market opportunity for system integrators.  The cost savings relative to legacy systems is tremendous and it really helps enable firms to more fully leverage the Microsoft stack. Expect to hear a lot more about Lync in the future.

Microsoft Partner MS101 was an excellent experience and I’d recommend the course to anyone who wants to learn more about the inner workings of Microsoft and to gain some additional insight into their products and strategy, as it relates to the partner eco-system.

Special thanks to Rodney Miller and his team for putting on a great event.

Tagged as: cloud, Colligo Contributor, Lync, microsoft partner, MS101, SharePoint 2010

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