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Look Who's Tweeting: Microsoft's Channel Chief

Microsoft channel chief Allison Watson last week joined the Twitterati and has launched a new blog called Redmond View.

Watson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group, has invited partners to follow her on Twiiter @Allison_Watson or on Facebook "so I can get your feedback and chat with you about what's going on in the marketplace and in your business," she wrote in her inaugural blog post.

Getting right down to business, Watson focuses on a subject near and dear to partners and Microsoft: the Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Pointing to over 1 million BPOS seats, Watson calls on partners to go deeper.

"It's important that you internalize our offerings in your unique business requirements, and then give us feedback about what you need to capture the opportunity," she said. "A lot of partners are asking me, 'How do I make money in this deal?' It depends on whether you're a reseller partner, an ISV partner, or an integrated partner. Based on all the deals we've done to date, we're hearing that the average partner opportunity is about $167 a seat. That includes partner referral fees, the initial setup and migration fees, as well as factoring in some of your managed service fees. That's a pretty big opportunity."

Watson points to four tools Microsoft is offering: the profitability modeling tool, a partner link tool that lets partners embed direct quoting, a tool that allows co-branded billing and a commerce dashboard to help understand the success of sales trials.

Watson's call to action comes as some Microsoft partners are voicing frustration over its pricing moves, and as Google appears to be gaining momentum in the enterprise with its own Google Apps offering (Google this week said it has nearly 1,000 partners in its Google Apps Authorized Reseller program).

What's your take on Microsoft's tools and Google's momentum?. Are you looking at Google Apps as an alternative to BPOS, or perhaps an adjunct? Drop me a line at And you can follow me @JeffreySchwartz on Twitter, as well, for other short updates.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/24/2010 at 1:14 PM


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