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New role–Enablement Partner strategy

I thought I would share some details of my new role at Microsoft, which is still as a Partner Account Manager, but also responsible for the Enablement Partner strategy.  Obviously this is my day job with my author and blogging work still being a personal project for the evenings and weekends.

So what are Enablement Partners you may ask?  Well they are partners who provide technology or services that help a customer (or another partner) deploy their chosen Microsoft technology, but do not deliver the project itself.  This may sound complex, so let me give you some examples:

  • AppSense provide a host of technology, but it is around managing the user so they have a great experience no matter which device they log into and their profile flows between these devices, regardless of which version of Windows they are using (XP, Vista, 7, Server, 64-bit, 32-bit).  The direction is forwards and backwards.  They also offer many other benefits such as locking down licenses to specific devices which is frequently an issue for Project and Visio in an RDS environment.  Customers use this before, during and after upgrades to Windows 7, where a user can still use and update their profile on XP, for example.
  • ChangeBase help customers ready their applications for migration, enabling remediation, packaging and certainty to an often complex area.  App-DNA provide an overlap of capabilities and both partners offering unique differences and benefits to customers and partners – I’m not going to try to differentiate either here. Both and excellent partners and both can easily explain their uniqueness and why you should use them without my help.  Customers often need to do this work before embarking on a migration to Windows 7 or a new version of
  • Quest enable customers to manage, consolidate and migrate from non-Microsoft and legacy communication and collaboration systems to modern Exchange or Office 365.  This can be delivered with Microsoft tools, but frequently Quest simplify this process.  Again Quest have other capabilities including Desktop Virtualisation and I have to also mention Citrix here who I work with who also play very much in the same space (and I personally manage Citrix)

There are obviously others in the portfolio of partners, some I manage (AppSense, Citrix, NetApp) and many I do not.  The partners included in the strategy are below, but I hope you can see that each of these partners is a step along the journey, not the whole journey and this does not fit well in the traditionally Microsoft partner management pigeon holes.  I’m helping to define some new ones and this is the start. 

To get started there are 3 areas I’m focused on from the strategy (with some Microsoft speak included):

  1. Modernising the Desktop – getting to Windows 7, removing all the barriers and making a potentially complex project simple, predictable and low risk.
  2. Realising the future of Productivity – Enabling customers to adopt Exchange 2010, Office 365, SharePoint 2010 and Lync with simplicity
  3. Moving to Cloud (Azure) – ensuring that the next generation of applications that require a cloud based foundation

So, that is my new role, although I am about to continue with my personal focus on SMEs and Windows Intune today!

The partners that deliver excellent capabilities and are currently part of the strategy are all below.  Some partners sit in more than one of the areas above and more partners will be added as I get time to work out how they play and the current status of partner management inside Microsoft UK:













Posted Sat, Oct 8 2011 12:26 PM by David Overton

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