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It's Shakeup Time for Microsoft Partner Program

There's an old expression that people use in lots of different parts of the U.S., although the people who use it always think that it only applies to where they live: "If you don't like the weather here, wait a few minutes and it'll change." (Incidentally, we have not at all found that expression to hold true in New England in February or March, when it's pretty much cold and gray all of the time -- but we digress. And, on a sunny, 80-degree day in May, we won't complain.)

Anyway, such is the nature of Microsoft, a monster company constantly in the process of restructuring its various groups and divisions. Nothing stays the same for long in Redmond -- other than the Windows market share, maybe. Last month's org chart often has about as much value as last week's newspaper (that is to say, not much value). So, if you work for Microsoft and don't like your boss, wait a few months and you'll have a new one. And, more to the point for the folks reading this, if you're a Microsoft partner and you're less than thrilled with your current contacts in Redmond, hang on for a while -- they'll all change, too.

Of course, Microsoft goes to great lengths to keep its partners happy. Still, Partner Program leadership gets refreshed like personnel at other Microsoft divisions. And it turns out that another such leadership shuffle is "in the cards" (sorry) for this summer. Plus, Microsoft is planning to restructure the Partner Program itself and add some new initiatives. RCP Editor in Chief Scott Bekker has more -- lots more -- here.

To get the details about the reorganization, you'll have to click on the link above to Scott's story (and here it is again, for good measure), but we'll give you a few hints here from Scott himself as to what's going on:

  • There's a new general manager of the Microsoft Partner Program
  • Sherle Webb-Robins and Kati Hvidtfeldt will move out of the Worldwide Partner Group
  • Partners will fall into one of three "engines": solution providers, ISVs and transactional partners
  • A few executives will have explicit responsibility for Software Plus Services
  • The new Worldwide Partner Leadership Team will aim to give Microsoft consistency across the channel

This also gives us a good opportunity to solicit your feedback on the Partner Program, something we're interested in hearing whether there's a reorg on or not. What do you think of changes in the program's leadership? How often do you deal with Redmond proper (as opposed to a field office), and how do leadership changes in the program affect you? And what do you think of Microsoft's policy of changing the makeup of its various groups and programs fairly frequently?

Talk to me about these things at lpender@rcpmag.com. We'll take your responses through next week and publish the best of them here next Friday. And if you want to talk amongst yourselves, don't forget the blog site -- where a new, updated, much better photo is coming soon!

Posted by Lee Pender on 05/31/2007 at 1:20 PM


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