At its Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver this week, Microsoft officials are trying to walk the tightrope when it comes to explaining Microsoft’s plan to get into the managed services business in a major way.
Microsoft officials have made no bones about the fact that Microsoft is planning to offer a Microsoft-hosted version of services around all of its major products. Already, it’s out there selling desktop-management, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM Live and other managed services.
At its gathering of 12,000 partners, company officials are attempting to assuage fears that Microsoft will simply steamroll partners who already are selling hosted Microsoft services.
Microsoft’s message: Partners need to change. (The unwritten part: Or get the heck out of the way.)
At least in its official Partner Conference press releases, Microsoft is sugar-coating this message as best it can. In a July 10 Q&A on its Web site, Allison Watson, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, explains:
“With software plus services, Microsoft will be pointing its partners in a new direction. At the conference, we will outline a framework for how partners can participate and make money with this new opportunity, framing the monetization approach for how partners participate financially within the new software plus services model. As more products become available in the software plus services area, we will continue define the partner revenue possibilities for each….
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