It was a really fantastic experience being involved in the launch of CSP in April 2008, and has been a hectic year trying to keep up with it! Over the last few months we have been working on our technical strategy as we move into 2009.
The most significant and visible part of our strategy is going to be the widening of the range of assets that we are producing; these can be divided into four main categories:
Product and Architecture Guidance – We are looking at writing and bringing together whitepapers and documents to help partners successfully deliver the CSP vision into customers. These papers will be on a variety of topics and at different technical depths; we will cover some of the major questions in the industry today, like Cloud Computing and Identity. We will also address how best to use our products and platforms together in the LRG market and give guidance on addressing specific pain points like interoperability, localization and identity.
Solution Accelerators – We are repurposing the templates to act as Solution Accelerators. This brings us in line with other industry groups and product groups within Microsoft and will provide us with a clearer definition and value proposition for customers. These Solution Accelerators are installable components showing how to tackle common problems and issues. They are hosted on Codeplex and will have high standards of code quality, and demonstrate how specific issues can be addressed; however, they are not meant to be deployed ‘as is’ into a production environment as they do not have the functional richness or manageability of a full product. Accelerators can be quickly set up as a POC, allowing architects and IT Pros to get up to speed on the related concepts and technology, or to showcase capabilities to IT or business executives. Together with the Product and Architecture Guidance above, we are better able to address the issues of both design and implementation.
Technical Readiness – Microsoft produces a significant array of readiness material and working with the Microsoft Partner Programme we will create Learning Paths so that partners gain the confidence to deliver solutions within the CSP Capabilities.
Demonstration Platform – The www.microsoftpsdemos.com site is an online resource for the CSP team to host demos on, and by bringing together the best of our solutions we can create demonstrations showing how both citizens and civil servants can benefit in their working and home lives. We can also show how innovative partners are delivering a wide choice of solutions based on Microsoft Platforms to government organizations across the world. By building on the CSP demo we can give partners a platform to show customers what they can deliver.
We are currently working on a set of whitepapers in collaboration with a number of our Partners and should be releasing those out to you over the coming months. If there are any partners who want to work with us on whitepapers then please speak to your local MS lead.
The other big changes that have happened are with our demo site at www.microsoftpsdemos.com. There have been some changes to the site itself. You can log in with a LiveID and the UI has been improved. The big change for CSP on the site is that we have uploaded a new image with a new and greatly improved look and feel. A big thanks to our partner Spenta who did the work for us.
Another big change (and requested feature) is that you can now download the CSP VPC to run locally by going to the download tab on www.microsoftpsdemos.com.
Looking forward to a successful 2009!