David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

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  • Must attend UK event - filling up fast - Wembley 7th October - Microsoft Partner Network

    [updated with correct URL] I saw this and thought I should pass it on. Microsoft Partner Network 2009 will explore strategies that enable you to continue to meet customers' needs and exploit new opportunities. Designed for Partner executives and sales leads, this event follows on from the Worldwide Partner Conference in July and provides more details of our UK execution plans. Join us for: - Insights from Microsoft executives as they share the Microsoft vision and strategies together with business growth opportunities and product innovation - A range of Partner-to-Partner online and offline networking opportunities, plus strategic and practical guidance on how to collaborate successfully with other Microsoft Partners - Market insights and guidance on developing customer opportunities - Useful resources to help you sell, market and deploy Microsoft technology, particularly when you find yourself in competitive technology situations - A glimpse into future industry trends and innovation, with exciting demonstrations...
  • Can't find the WSS (Windows SharePoint Services) sales and marketing toolkit for SBS 2003 - here it was

    I've had someone ask me about the WSS toolkit that was referenced at How to Sell, Deploy, and Build Business with Microsoft Windows Sharepoint Services 3.0 and SBS 2003 R2 . The download location has moved to http://www.partnersalesresources.com/Pages/sbskit.aspx# . ttfn David Technorati Tags: Windows SharePoint Services , WSS v3 , SBS , SBS 2003 R2 , Microsoft , Partners
  • Microsoft wants to know what you want for the UK SBS 2008 Launch? Time to stop saying you want it better and time to start saying what you actually want and would use!!

    One thing I have never been accused of is holding back my opinion and on the Yahoo Groups recently there has been some discussions around what Microsoft has done for partners. As part of the discussion this blog post from Sonal, the UK Product Manager for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, came up with a question around what do partners want to see in a UK launch. I thought people who read this blog might like to pop over to Sonal's blog and give a voice to their wants. I've seen suggestions from free beer, which was a Joke I was later told, to license pricing, features and benefits, how to up-sell/cross-sell. The problem with the later items is that they are simply personal to the business doing the selling - why have an upsell to mobile devices if your business can't facilitate it? What do you want to see at the UK SBS 2008 Launch? In May 2006 we had a server event for guys (and gals) who sell server - specifically Small Business Server. We split the event into two - the morning event was for those who were...
  • Proof that SBSC partners can grow from 1-man businesses into Microsoft Certified Partners – and still be good for small business – congrats Richard Tubb

    I remember the name Richard Tubb being mentioned a few times over the last 2 year and remember him on some of the Live Meetings I delivered and then he launched his blog. One thing that was apparent from his questions, contacts and especially his blog is that this is a man that “got it”. Now there are a few others that I believe live and breathe this attitude and to name some and miss others would be bad, so I wont name any (if you want to know if your on my “I love you man” list, drop me an e-mail, but I’ve probably told you or made time for you, which is a good hint), but one thing about living your life by certain principles is that you still have to live your life. By got it, I mean: is solution, not product oriented Is value sensitive, not price sensitive Believes in the value of the community Is prepared to stand up and be counted for his opinion – which is his, not others Will tell you when he things you are talking… erm… rubbish!! Believes in good processes (eg service plans, documentation etc) If you...
  • Want to legally download Microsoft Software (Vista, Office, Works, Maths and Expression) - go to the www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk (UK & Germany for now)

    I would have put money on this not happening this year, but finally there is a legal place for people to download full copies of Microsoft products. Go to http://www.MicrosoftStore.co.uk and you can buy software and download it there and then. At the moment this is limited to the UK and Germany, but I would personally expect it to go broader like all Microsoft ventures! I suspect the list of products will also expand. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Windows Vista , Office 2007 , Works 9 , Expression , Buy , Download , Shop
  • Where will your customers be looking for solutions – will they stick to on premise, or will they move towards a S+S or SaaS solution not from you?

    I know the table above is really, really simple, but I wanted to start the ball rolling – I have been thinking about this for ages!! Let me explain the diagram. The horizontal axis signifies how much of a solution is hosted. An example of this might be Office Live or Hotmail, where almost all of the solution is hosted. We then have the “on premise” or on-site IT going vertically. For most people, this is solutions like SBS 2003. A typical S+S solution might be MS CRM Online which has online components, but also enables you to go off-web and use Outlook or one of the mobile clients when on the road. While many thought on-line would be the next best thing even the king of on-line, Google, have recently admitted that it would not always be the answer in the posting they made on April 1st. Steve Clayton did the leg work and checked this was not form of April fool too!! Even the NY Times is talking about it, which to me says it really is going mainstream - http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_002570DE00740E180025742400363509...
  • I know I shouldn’t, but the EU is beginning to make me wonder what they are playing at .. is it personal and how is it better for the people in the EU?

    It is strange that I have come to accept that we live and work in a global economy quicker, it appears to me, than the EU. I accept that we can’t be the best at everything in the EU and we have to work out what our value is to others – true for every business. However, the EU seems to have an anti-non-EU feel to it. It also seems to want to create competition, even when no-one wants to compete – just to stimulate the industries, rather than because “punters are asking for alternatives”. This week I’ve seen two things that I wanted to share that raise concerns in my mind. Oh, in case you weren’t sure – this is a personal rant – nothing to do with anyone else but my own opinion! First was the Intel vs AMD piece which talks about requiring Intel to raise prices to avoid being nabbed for anti-competitive practices - disco-tech | Discovery Institute's Technology Blog: EU vs. Intel : Since Intel can't possibly know what AMD's cost of production is, we either have to accept collusion or accept that Intel...
  • ISVs can learn about Microsoft’s strategy and products and how they fit into selling solutions – come to the events in TVP and Manchester on the 10th and 24th April

    One of the biggest criticisms of Microsoft by our ISV partners is that they don’t know where we are going… well this even should help solve that – see you there perhaps: Introduction 09.30 - 10.00 Registration & coffee 10.00 – 10.15 Welcome & Introduction Deliver Innovative Solutions 10.15 – 10.45 Microsoft strategy direction 10.45 – 11.30 Microsoft technology roadmap 11.30 – 11.50 Coffee break Increase your opportunities 11.50 – 12.15 Marketing & sales initiatives Close more sales 12.15 – 12.30 Services & licensing for sales acceleration Support your Customers 12.30 – 12.45 Technical support resources 12.45 – 13.00 Wrap up with Q&A 13.00 – 14.00 Lunch & networking 10 th Apr, Chicago 1, TVP Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373283&Culture=en-GB 24 th Apr, The Lowry, Manchester Registration url: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/EventDetail.aspx?EventID=1032373286&Culture=en-GB Enjoy the event! ttfn David Technorati Tags: ISV , Microsoft...
  • Understand Microsoft adCenter from the new Blogs & Forums that include the UK!!!

    I spoke to Mel a few months back about how he can engage with the communities out there and he explained about the great facilities that he was helping with to enable people to understand more about advertising and the Microsoft solutions. He also pointed out to me the importance of getting the right ad in the right place and said that we are twice as good at that versus the competition (but then he is biased). Today the details of new blogs and information was released and finally you can ask all those "nasty" and "searching" questions that you always wanted to know the answers too. New Microsoft adCenter Blogs & Forums Are Live! Very excited to say our new site for the adCenter Blogs & Forums is now live at www.adCenterCommunity.com There you’ll find all the latest news, views, tips, tricks and best practices and forms including: adCenter Advertiser Blog adCenter Analytics Blog adCenter Api Blog Let me know how you get on ... I hope to switch to this as soon as it becomes available...
  • Manchester SBS Group (Kick Off Meeting) - 27th March 2008 - be there to see how it all starts again - with Chris Parkes, Ceri Thomas and me

    Ceri Thomas is planning a new group in Manchester and Chris Parkes will be there to host things with him for the 1st meeting. I will also be there slightly later in the evening. Below is the mail sent out by Danny Ovens to SBSC members in the area, but all are welcome. Dear Partner New: Manchester SBS Groups (Kick Off Meeting) What is the purpose of the SBS User Group....? SBS User Groups are partner meetings, run by partner, for partners. They are an independent forum that enable partners to meet one another, share best practice, learn how to better engage with IT Vendors and also hear directly from Microsoft about our products and strategies. · Partner to partner networking – how can collaborating, learning what successes others have had, sharing problems and concerns or working as a group help your business · Connect with Vendors – The group can invite Microsoft and others to attend and present to your agenda...be heard! · Plugged in to Manchester Northwest activities – We’re increasing our engagement with...
  • More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

    [updated 4th March] Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign. Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns. Today I found the click and go site to get them all ( http://www.campaigns.arvato-services.com/ ). You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required. The campaigns covered include: Business Productivity Customer Acquisition and Retention Security and Reliability Small Business PC Mr Busy This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here ), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!! ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Marketing , Campaigns , Business Productivity , Customer Acquisition and Retention , Security and Reliability , Small Business PC , Mr Busy , Partner , SME , Small Business Server...
  • Microsoft Online Services - beta in US, international .. not for a while yet, but you get to see where Microsoft is going!

    What is it? I know Vlad is not going to like this, but even he will admit that this has been on the cards for a while. Software plus services is coming to town in a bigger and bigger way. At the moment there is a limited beta in the US and (just like Google), it has the beta tag on it . So what have we seen today, well we have seen Microsoft stand up and be counted in it's commitment to the software-plus-services strategy. We have seen existing "on premise" solutions of Exchange and SharePoint be offered as a S+S (software-plus-services) alternative for those customers who don't wish to run these themselves. There is no "must switch" or "dropping" of the existing, very successful products, just more options for people. As a customer you would consider whether you get better value running these in-house yourself, or with a partner delivering them for you in-house, or completely outsources to another partner or Microsoft. As a partner you have to consider how you deliver in...
  • Microsoft and Yahoo merger with Google cartoons

    I saw these and laughed lots: Pavel Constantin, Romania Daryl Cagle, MSNBC.com Enjoy :-) Please do not copy the images as they are (c) the artists and I have paid a royalty to share them. If you like them, please point people to this post ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Yahoo , Google
  • Official Google Blog on Microsoft and Yahoo and David Overton's thoughts on it

    This is a personal rant. If you want to read on, please do so, if not, thanks for getting this far. Oh I love how people wave flags "for the greater good" when they really mean "for my own good". Today I saw something that just made me have to comment. Unless you have been in a bunker, you should be aware that Microsoft have made a bid for Yahoo. Google, who obviously care greatly about Yahoo decided to have a pop at it: Yahoo! and the future of the Internet The openness of the Internet is what made Google -- and Yahoo! -- possible. A good idea that users find useful spreads quickly. Businesses can be created around the idea. Users benefit from constant innovation. It's what makes the Internet such an exciting place. So Microsoft's hostile bid for Yahoo! raises troubling questions. This is about more than simply a financial transaction, one company taking over another. It's about preserving the underlying principles of the Internet: openness and innovation. Could Microsoft now attempt...
  • 2008 Pre-Launch event with Bill Gates - Scott Dodds and why Partners are important

    Technorati Tags: Events , Windows Server 2008 , SQL Server 2008 , Visual Studio 2008 , Launch , Scott Dodds I will try to publish information from each presenter as I noted it from the audience and then my scribbled notes. I can't guarantee 100% accuracy, but the virtual even should show more of this information and the Partner Portal will have the presentations on them in a weeks time. So... here goes: Microsoft rarely does a launch even for it's partners 2 months before the "big event". It is normally the night before. Scott re-iterated that partners are "extremely important" to Microsoft as they are the feet on the ground talking to customers. If partners have not seen / heard all the messages, technology, plans then how can they participate and recommend to customers? It is also worth noting that we do not have a "Bill Gates" for the customer events - his insight was reserved for our partners! Scott kicked off the day by suggesting that there were 4 areas we were concentrating...
  • Do you have a good story to tell about you, your customer and the use of Microsoft technology? If so, get your name up in lights (well, the web) and get Microsoft to tell everyone about it

    Microsoft is currently looking for Small Business case studies about how customers use Microsoft products. These case studies include the name of the partner used to install the solution and so are a great way of generating completely free publicity. Case studies are mainly targeted at a customer audience and will be used on our customer website's, in newsletters, in collateral and sometimes in the press. If you would like to nominate any of your customers please go to www.articulatemarketing.com/partner.html and fill in the short form with their details. After you have submitted their details no further work is required from you as we will contact the customer directly for a short interview. Both yourselves and the customer will then be able to review any case studies before they are used. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Microsoft , Small Business , Case Studies
  • Video for Bill's last day

    I've seen this mentioned in so many places that I had to share: ttfn David Technorati Tags: Bill Gates , CES , last day
  • Ballmer Talks Cloud, Advertising, SAAS and what is Microsoft doing about it

    Software as a Service, Software plus Services etc, etc is a hot topic, but the reality for most of us is that for today we need to deliver traditional software while planning for the future. Steve Ballmer discusses this and more at the Gartner ITxpo 2007 event. I have snipped a few words that I thought were interesting, but please read the rest of the article for more info. For a video of Steve on Microsoft in the online world, have a look at Steve's blog at Steve Ballmer video - The Online Opportunity Ballmer addressed what appeared to be recurring questions among attendees: What is Microsoft's strategy around SAAS (software as a service), and what is Microsoft's answer to Google? Ballmer made it clear during the session that seeing any similarities between Microsoft and Google would be a mistake. "We don't look alike at all," he said. There is a "world of search and advertising, where Google is the leader; we're number three, working to be number two and then working to be...
  • Replying to Vijay's "Who understands Microsoft Licensing?" blog - why I think he is right and wrong

    Nothing like a blog entry on licensing to stir the people into action. Vijay posted a "small" post - Who understands Microsoft Licensing? . I'm now going to respond to both the main blog post and also some of the comments. I highly recommend you read the entry, the comments (some are included below, also for comment) and the linked blogs, especially the entry by Adam at Sorting out the complexity of Microsoft Volume Licensing as well as the others My conclusion to this question is that hardly anyone understands Microsoft Licensing. I’ve been to quite a few Microsoft Partner events and when the above question above is asked there is usually a very low number of businesses who say they understand it. This feedback is given time and time again but nothing really changes. The solution isn’t explaining it over and over again or writing Licensing Reseller Handbooks. If you can't explain something to a customer in a very succint way, then it’s just a waste of time and if as an organisation you have...
  • Licensing with Microsoft could be easier, but the need for everyone to make money and provide options is also key

    I saw Vijay's posting on MS licensing and I have to admit I was quite amazed. 1st off it was a huge rant, it seemed to fail to understand the basics of how businesses make money and finally there was not a good suggestion on how to make it better, except to remove the ways to pay. I will do a reply to the blog later, but first I thought I would offer some insight on licensing. Why does Microsoft sell licenses Microsoft uses licensing to get paid for our products. Customers buy the license if they see the value in the products. If the customer does not see the value, they would not buy. People who say Microsoft should give it away or reduce the price seem to not understand the basic economics of supply and demand - every business, while it may have many goals, ultimately has a responsibility to the investors and this is nearly always to make money. Even when I was treasurer for a charity we needed to make money - it was probably the biggest problem we had, followed by how we deliver the services the charity...
  • UK ISV Blog and more importantly, the ISV Partner Kick-off on September 13th

    I don't think I ever gave Steve Morrow the plug I promised for the UK ISV blog , however since he is now my Boss, I read it more often. I saw this and thought I had better get it out pronto. If you develop software in the UK and sell this in a semi/fully packaged form to your customers, then this is for you. However, even if you can't make the event, subscribe to the blog to see what is happening and when. ISV Partner FY08 Annual Kick-off - Sept 13th TVP, Reading In my haste to get out of the office today to enjoy the great British summer...I forgot to make a quick mention of the ISV Partner Kick-off Event we have planned for Thursday September 13th at Thames Valley Park, Reading. Many of you will already have seen this in either the email we sent out or the Partner New Letter. I think we're got some really interesting initiative to share with you for the year ahead: We'll be telling you about a number of new business development tools and initiative that we'll be launching and running over...
  • Microsoft, web services, new business models and small business

    In the IT market the term "change is the only constant" has been around for years (well, certainly since I left ICL where change was not constant, but that was due to the contract that dictated that everything did not change, so fell behind). Note, this post is purely the ramblings from my mind, not a statement from Microsoft in an Official or Unofficial capacity We've seen big iron, then smaller systems, the rise of SMP, the reduction in IT hardware and software costs for solutions, the rise of Microsoft servers, client server, 3-tier, clustered computing, multi-core and now internet enabled computing. There is much more, of course, to come, but how we deliver IT to customers has changed too. Of course, this is all generalised and some people have always been at one end or the other, but general acceptance is always shifting - remember the ASP business model of the late 90's - dead, yet here it is again with Software as / plus service. The pricing of some services even appears to be £0, yet...
  • How to use Office Outlook 2007 with any internet connection and how to access Outlook Web Access from any web browser - all in a Video presented with Silverlight

    The Video I have delivered a number of Vista and Office demos over my time, so I decided to record a number of them for others to borrow, use, learn from or anything else they choose. This video covers the following subjects in enough detail for people to hopefully understand what they need to know on how to use Outlook via a web browser and via an internet connection: Outlook Web Access with recent browser (IE5 or above) Outlook Web Access basic or lite edition for low speed internet connections Configure Outlook to use RPC over HTTP To see the video played using Silverlight (just try it) click here *. I am hoping that in the near future that the WMV file will be available at new bCentral - the UK Small Business Center on MS.com. At the moment it is not available there, but a copy can be found here * it will take a few moments to open if you have Silverlight installed and require you to download Silverlight if you don't, but it is a 1MB download How I made it I simply ran through part of my normal demo talking...
  • Its a shame when plans don't work out - another side of the story (When Linux drives you to Windows)

    The e-week article Windows Server Woos Linux Customers has some very interest facts. Not all of them are pro-Microsoft, but it does show that some of the marketing fluff out there is not quite right yet either. The migrations come after a quarter in which Windows Server revenue grew faster than Linux revenue—the first time that has happened since research company IDC started tracking Linux server spending in 1998. Recent Linux-to-Windows converts include consumer products manufacturer Unilever, online retailer Overstock.com, French sports yacht Areva Challenge (the French entry for the 32nd America's Cup yacht race), and California candy maker Jelly Belly. Windows is particularly gaining ground against Unix and Linux on the supercomputing front, a space that Microsoft did not play in until 2006, when it released its Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 product. <snip> Candy maker Jelly Belly, of Fairfield, Calif., had a challenge of a different kind: Its Linux-based VPN software, which it declined to...
  • bCentral Moved - now the Microsoft Small Business Centre AND a new blog too

    I blogged about this a week or so ago, but the new site is now up and running and looks pretty fabulous. Click the Image to get to the new site. You can see that it is split into two sections, for those starting a business and those growing a business. Have an explore to find out what is there that you or your customers can use. Remember that bCentral was able to draw over 1/4 million UNIQUE visitors in a month, so your customers might well be on the list. The new blog can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/smallbusiness/default.aspx - it already has some excellent entries which I will be referring to soon. ttfn David Technorati Tags: bCentral , Microsoft , Small Business

(c)David Overton 2006-18