A project we've called Partnering for the Future (PFTF) has been bubbling under at our Reading offices for about 6 months now and finally we lifted the lid on it this week resulting in lots of press coverage after Claire and Karl hosted a press roundtable. Here's some of the coverage to date:
We were slightly overwhelmed with the interest level but nonetheless very happy.
In a nutshell, PFTF is all about the next wave of partnerships for Microsoft. With the wide adoption of broadband in the UK, the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS) and the emergence of Web 2.0 and associated new business models around search and advertising there's a whole raft of new opportunity for Microsoft's current partners (35,000 in the UK) and a potential set of new partners. What does that mean? Here are a few examples:
This hopefully helps to illustrate where there is significant new opportunity for existing partners and also where we expect new partners to engage with Microsoft. We don't expect them to come beating a path to our door hence we're taking more of a Web 2.0 approach to this with blogs from our team covering most of these areas. You'll also see us out in the community much more - I'm always at The Girl Geek Dinners, recently at Chinwag's Wobble 2.0 and if you attended DesignerTopia or FOWA you will hopefully have seen Microsoft people. I hope people are keen to get us more involved in these kinds of events and if you want to see us there, just ask. There is a list below of related blogs from our UK team and they're only too keen to help.
To summarize what is probably my longest blog post ever - this is a VERY interesting time for Microsoft. As the world moves more and more online it presents threats and opportunities for everyone in this game - including Microsoft. Our Partnering for the Future initiative is built on this premise - that the world is changing and we firmly believe we can play a big role in this but our partners can play an even bigger role. Come on in...the water is warming up :)
Blogs o' Help
You are totally right about SaaS. Our latest product is SaaS enabled, but only to the first level of maturity (multi-instance, single tenancy). Our challenge over the coming versions will be to reach level 4 of the maturity model (single instance, multiple tenancy), good to know MS will be around to help.
We're a small Microsoft partner based near Bristol. We've been working a lot with Microsoft based Web 2.0 solutions both with Community Server and SharePoint. We'd love to get involved, what is the best way for a company like ours to raise our hand?
This is a whitepaper we put together a while ago, we're very excited about the impact of Web 2.0.
More PFTF coverage - this time from CRN - who I think captured the essence of this project very well.
Andy - love the paper and will be in touch soon!
We've seen quite a bit of press coverage since we announced Partnering for the Future on 21st Feb - Steve