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David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology.

This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology.

I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to sell solutions, what the licensing options truly mean, what extras you can add to a sale to add value for you and the customer. I'll even be discussing how online services are an opportunity for you, but more on this later.

On this note, is there more I should do to help you sell more, have more customers and make more money? If so, let me know what is needed, whether it is something from Microsoft or David. Comments are open on this one, so fire a comment onto the blog.

Expect to see a post on the work we are doing with the Technet team to get you even more technical resources and the process for access to all those nice betas, hosted services and where they fit as part of a solution and the options on licensing to make it easier for your customer to understand the value of technology and even buy earlier.



Posted Fri, Jul 21 2006 6:06 PM by David Overton


iQubed wrote re: David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)
on Fri, Jul 21 2006 8:47 PM

I've started adding the Open Value (Company Wide) license as a standard part of proposals now (especially with Vista and Office 2007 coming). I think I understand these options, but not sure I'm convincing prospective cusotmers as to the value of these, so perhaps some pointers on this would be useful. I like the site http://www.lessthancoffee.com but it's too American for the UK, but great idea. How do we get those "Early Adopters" to buy in to things like Vista and Office 2007?

Hosted services, this is definitely something I'd like to know a whole lot more about. I've started recommending (for businesses with less than 5 people and don't want the server h/w etc) hosted services such as Exchange Hosting and Sharepoint Services from providers such as OneAndOne. I'd like to know whether SBS can be provided as a hosted service?

One idea I have is having material that shows how a startup with 1 person can set up the essential IT services, initially with hosted services and as they grow to say 5 people transitioning to SBS 2003 onsite, then going multi-site with local Windows Servers, adding CRM, etc. It's a bit like a solution blueprint (one could be customer focused and one technically focused for partners). I think there is info like this but I really like the "Make IT Work for You" guides and customers like these as well.

Also, as partners we should be thinking what we could do together to present more solution focused events and not just relying on Microsoft all the time (back to the community thing!)



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