Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

So what’s with the plates and where’s SMLL BIZ?

Ok, let’s address the plates questions…  For those of you that are friends of mine on my Facebook page, you may have seen this past weekend I posted up some pictures from “A day at the park” showing the kids enjoying a day at the park, including playing, laughing and a few sitting in the car, giving the thumbs up to the sun and warmth shining down on them. Since then, I have received a few emails from some of you (and some smack from Vlad) asking, “What’s the meaning behind the license plates and where did the other ones go?” Some of you know the story behind my license plates over the years and many probably don’t, so I thought I would clear up the mystery.

Back in 2004 when I started the Microsoft Small Business Channel Community in our Midwest Area in the US, part of the goal was to drive awareness and participation in the Community and in the Small Business segment itself. Because of this, the MSSMALLBIZ and Small Business tags and branding began to be a part of everything we did back then. So when people asked, “What drives you?” it quickly became apparent the opportunity to make it clear. That’s when the original plates came onboard:


From then on, everyone could literally see what I was “driven” by and what “drove” me every single day. Even when I made the move from Illinois to Washington, the plates followed me. Then in 2007 the time came when a switch had to be made. The end of the SMLL BIZ era was upon us and the focus had also grown beyond just Small Business awareness to now driving strong sales success through the entire SMB Channel Community, focused on our business licensing programs. So, in continuing the tradition, the plates also switched to once again show what “drove” me and what I was “driven” by:


It was about helping Partners “Drive Open” License (Open Business, Open Value, etc.) sales through their businesses and be successful in doing so. In fact, for those of you who attended SMB Nation that year, you may even recall this being a part of the opening keynote presentation I gave, talking about my team’s commitments for the year.

Then back in October of 2008, I made the announcement that it was once again time to make a change. This time from the U.S. to a worldwide focus and from focusing on just driving additional sales and community to focusing on driving Partner satisfaction all-up, which includes those other components. Helping Partners get the most from their experience with Microsoft and helping Microsoft understand better from our Partners how we can do that. And in keeping with the tradition, with the change in focus, so too the change in plates. Again, making it clear what “drives” me every day and what I am “driven” by. It is all about “driving” our Partner satisfaction:


So that’s the story behind the plates and why they are what they are. So if you are in Washington driving around and see the plates above at an event, at a building here on our Redmond campus, or driving down the street, be sure to give a honk and wave.  It’s always a pleasure to get to see and say, “Hi,” to you, our Partners.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman – Follow me on image image
Global Partner Experience Lead
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights

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