IAMCP Advocates for change – Silver Partners get 25 SBS User CALs

This morning I received word back from the Microsoft Server and Cloud group that they will be increasing the number of Client Access Licenses given to Silver Partners to 25. Here is my initial case on behalf of partners: ~ Hello SBS team, As an advocate for the partner community I would like to point out a silly mistake in the partner benefits and elaborate a case for change. Keeping this short, it is better if partners install on SBS since it gets them up and running with a pile of MS technologies all at once in a best practices … Continue reading IAMCP Advocates for change – Silver Partners get 25 SBS User CALs

Exchange Server 2010 SP1 VHD Demo Download

Microsoft has published the Exchange 2010 SP1 Virtual Server for Download on a 60 trial activation. This gives administrators the ability to test drive the functionality before implementing the changes in a production environment. See the Download page here: Exchange 2010 SP1 VHD Program Details The evaluation period for this virtual machine image ends 180 days after the image has been activated. After the 180 days, the evaluation period is over and the image should be discarded.  For complete use-rights, please refer to the EULA contained within this evaluation package. · Do not redistribute this image. · Do not put … Continue reading Exchange Server 2010 SP1 VHD Demo Download

Birger Steen moves to Parallels

You may not have known Birger Steen. I first met him last year at WPC in New Orleans. We touched base a number of times through out the year as he adopted his role as the VP of SMB and Distribution at Microsoft. At WPC this year Birger and I sat down for an hour and hashed out the challenges Microsoft faces in its strategies for addressing the SMB space. The most important challenge was complexity of acquiring a solution based on their products and the second was the need for Microsoft to build in profitability in its SMB offerings. … Continue reading Birger Steen moves to Parallels

can Microsoft’s BPOS sell in the SMB space against free competition without a partner having the conversation on value?

The Cloud message makes sense. It takes time to listen and it takes time to explain it. Partners who engage in the activity of having this type of conversation with their clients are not really doing anything new however their ability to make the associated revenue is greatly diminished from previous business models. Microsoft believes Partners need to change the paradigm and refocus on a model which drives less revenue. In exchange they offer marginal commissions for brokering an understanding of the value of Microsoft’s services in a space ripe with free competition. The question is can Microsoft’s BPOS sell … Continue reading can Microsoft’s BPOS sell in the SMB space against free competition without a partner having the conversation on value?

Cloud Myopia – Is it affecting the way partners view Microsoft?

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 … Continue reading Cloud Myopia – Is it affecting the way partners view Microsoft?

Microsoft Partner Network – Is there value in being a Microsoft Partner?

Hi Everyone, This is a topic that I have always felt passionate about and I have never really known how to address it. I am hoping to take a discussion oriented approach and I hope that readers will post comments. I am on the board of the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners and the goal of that association is to look out for existing and future partners. The association strives to help partners progress, cooperate and collaborate. I would like examples of what you think Microsoft could do better. Has being a partner has been good for you. What do … Continue reading Microsoft Partner Network – Is there value in being a Microsoft Partner?

Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Branch offices come with a whole set of considerations and not the least of which is they generally are less secure than the main office. This is a critical concern for putting a domain controller in each office. The primary issue in almost every branch office is managing bandwidth across the wide area network. If you lose authentication request because of network outages the office can be rendered unproductive and so having a domain controller in the branch can effectively relieve the need to authenticate back to the main office. RODCs are designed to be deployed in locations that have … Continue reading Branch Office: Creating a Read Only Domain Controller

Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

In my last post I talked about Visio 2010 and how we are seeing tools which can drive a lot of business value by representing data in intuitive ways through SharePoint. I raised the concern about once you see the data the next question is how does technology empower action. The answer involves several aspects and perhaps the most important one of which is role based security. The question comes down to this, if I want to share information with my boss and co-worker and give them the ability to perform different actions, how is this done using SharePoint? It appears … Continue reading Sharepoint 2010 – Role Based Security – Still a thing of the future?

Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses

A few years ago Microsoft started talking about ‘Model Based Programming’ which would bring software development skills to the masses by making it easier to conceptualize program flows, decision paths and layout key functional areas while intuitively reflecting business processes. Visio 2010 is shining light on this important avant-garde vision. And it is doing it in a manner that seems so intuitive to regular folks that it is hard not to see the value. Software developers and network admins were not the only users of Visio and as the Visio team looked at the other Personas, one can’t help but deduce that … Continue reading Visio 2010 – One of Microsoft’s Key Strategies – Model based programming for the masses

Industry Statistics: 2000 IT Pro Survey about using Service Providers

Microsoft recently worked with  MarketTools’s Zoom Panel Tech to conduct a 2000 IT Pro survey on the subject of how and why they use solution providers (IT consultants, resellers, system integrators and hosted service providers). Here are the highlights: Over 70% of IT pros surveyed use some sort of solution provider (consultant, reseller, system integrator or hosted service provider.) Consultants were indicated by IT decision makers as the most commonly used solution provider (57%) vs. resellers (43%), solution integrators (38%), and hosted service providers (36%) 42% of IT decision makers view solution providers as “highly” or “extremely” influential in the direction of … Continue reading Industry Statistics: 2000 IT Pro Survey about using Service Providers