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Vendors Say Microsoft’s Partner Program Overhaul Remains a Work in Progress: Page 2 of 2

According to Rackspace, BitTitan, Arcserve, and others Microsoft is making progress toward the sweeping changes it introduced a year ago, but has yet to turn most of its intentions into reality. By Rich Freeman

Microsoft, for its part, understandably chose this week to emphasize what it has accomplished on the road to its revamped partner and sales strategy to date over what it hasn’t. The company sent 1 million sales leads to its partners during the fiscal year that ended in June, for example, and helped partners pocket $5 billion in revenue through co-selling.

“We have seen some tremendous success,” said Gavriella Schuster, the corporate vice president who runs OCP, during a virtual press briefing last week.

Scott Paul, senior director of the Microsoft alliance at cloud distributor AppRiver LLC, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., gives Microsoft credit for its achievements in the last year as well. In the past, he notes, getting more than cursory assistance from Microsoft with sales or technical roadblocks was often challenging.

“Our experience has been that OCP has swept aside a lot of that difficulty,” Paul says.

Scott Walker, meanwhile, applauds Microsoft for making its new rules and requirements clear and easy to understand.

“Compared to other public cloud providers and their partner programs, Microsoft has a very mature and very well thought out partner program and a path to co-selling with their salespeople,” says Walker, who is vice president of global strategic alliances at Minneapolis-based data protection vendor Arcserve LLC. “Many public cloud providers don’t provide that.”

For Walker and others like him in Microsoft’s channel, that’s reason enough for some patience as Microsoft strives to bring its ambitious new sales and partnering plans to life.

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