It has been a about 18 months that Microsoft has shifted its talking points to the cloud and maybe longer. At least one prominent partner is putting the EX in Exchange and leading the way away from Microsoft.
During the same time frame I have been hearing from partners and while looking into the cloud they have not been doing so because their clients have been driving them that way. They are not doing it because there is a good business model. This has really been a vendor driven buzz and not a market driven buzz. The question is, does Microsoft’s singular message around the cloud, which is completely different than the way you built a company, have a negative affect on partner loyalty?
In my own view I see the long term advantages of the cloud in a device driven world. And devices are getting more powerful day by day. What I don’t see is the wholesale switch that Microsoft gives the impression is happening. What I would have expected would be a gradual adoption of an increasing number of technologies which leverage solutions intuitively. Instead we are seeing product cancellations and redirected investment in products of the future. We are also seeing partners choose products which reflect their customers best interests and they appear to be recommending other vendors.
I don’t believe partners are hearing what they want to from Microsoft. I don’t believe they are hearing the continued investment in on premise solutions. If you ask, Microsoft employees will footnote that they are still in the on premise market. The top leadership at Microsoft is putting the pressure on for everyone to myopically present the cloud story. Partner loyalty is changing. I hope Microsoft improves its messaging and focuses on the business they built as well as the business they are building.