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Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 – Fireside Chat with Heartland Technology Solutions

For those of you who missed some of the actions and announcements at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference regarding key technologies and tools including SoftGrid, Windows Partner Solutions, Windows Vista Hardware Assessment and Windows Business Value Assessment Tool, read on…

Interview with Heartland Technology Solutions at WPC 2007

On Day 3 of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 (WPC)  in Denver, I caught up with IT veterans from the Heartland Technology Solutions (HTS) in Harlan, Iowa – CEO, Arlin Sorensen and Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Larry Hedin.  Here’s what they have to say about what’s they’ve seen at WPC.

Baldwin: “Arlin, it’s good seeing you and Larry again.  A few months ago, I met you and a few peer group members of the Heartland Technology Group (HTG) during a series of product and technology review meetings on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus.  Can you tell us a bit more about the Heartland Technology Group (HTG), how it started and what the charter is?”

Arlin: “Sure. Back in 2001, I recognized that there was a general lack of peer groups for Microsoft partners that serve the SMB space in the United States and Canada.  As technology continued to morph and change, we knew that we couldn’t figure out everything on our own, so I decided to launch the first HTG peer group that same year.  The HTG peer group is an open community where technology leaders would share their own daily real world experience with those having the same challenges.  Better yet, they are all coming from non-competing markets so there are no worries and concerns about competition.  Through sharing of best practices in business and technologies implementation, we are able to stay ahead of the rapidly changing industry.  That’s how we are able to grow and grow – we are now at close to 100 company members.”

Baldwin: “Very interesting.  You certainly have a great group of technology leaders.  I always enjoy meeting them and tapping their insights.”

Baldwin: “Larry, as part of the Worldwide Partner Conference partner panel, what was your impression about the solutions and technologies that Microsoft has rolled out at this conference?  What impressed you the most?”

Larry: “Baldwin, there are two things that are very impressive – SoftGrid and Windows Partner Solutions.  SoftGrid application virtualization has really become affordable for my customers.  As part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), SoftGrid really helps reducing deployment time down to a minimum.  It takes care of tough apps – apps that conflict with other line-of-business apps previously without SoftGrid.  It is really awesome to see how energized my sales force are when they discuss SoftGrid and MDOP with our customer base.  These technologies give partners like us greater leverage and help remove deployment roadblocks for Windows Vista.”

Larry: “I am also very impressed with the assessment tools rolled out this week as part of the Windows Partner Solutions program.  The Windows Vista Hardware Assessment tool is a great tool that helps my sales force quickly assess the existing PCs of my customer base and determine if they are ready for Windows Vista and Office 2007 migration. It is easy to learn and use and, most importantly, it helps accelerate my business!  Another great tool is the Windows Vista Business Value Assessment Tool (may require partners log-in).  It enables partners like us to sell the business value of Windows Vista.  Without the data-centric intelligence provided by this tool, it’s much harder to sell.  This tool is straightforward and the customization to specific market and company size is a great addition.  We can now build our sales process around the use of these assessment tools and the results they generate.  Partners should definitely download these free tools and see how they can help accelerate their sales.

Microsoft, WPC, WPC 2007, Worldwide Partner Conference 2007, Fireside Chat, Heartland, HTC, HTG, Conference, Events

Source:→ Windows Vista Team Blog

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