Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

Thanks to all of the partners for joining the Interactive Leadership Forum today!

Basic CMYKWow, what a GREAT way to start a day! Interacting with hundreds of partners from across the world about Microsoft Partner Network as host and moderator of the Interactive Leadership Forum with Jon Roskill, Julie Bennani, Ross Brown, and Karl Noakes. It was fantastic to see the high level of interest and participation as well as the live questions being asked virtually as well as verbally on the phone.

Coming out of the session, there are a few questions I wanted to cover off quickly for not only those that did participate in the session, but also for those of you that were unable to attend:

  1. “I wasn’t able to attend today. Will I be able to watch it on replay?”
    • Absolutely! We have recorded the session and the replay should be available online in about 48 hours or so. I’ll post the information here on the blog for you to see where you can view it.
  2. “I wasn’t able to attend and am wondering what questions you discussed today. What did I miss?”
    • Sure! Here are the main questions we addressed up front (and then there were many more that we covered off on in the live Q&A session):
    • Overview and design principles of Microsoft Partner Network
    • “The new Microsoft Partner Network is designed for large partners only and forgets about small partners.”
    • “With the new competency alignment in Microsoft Partner Network, we are being ‘downgraded’ from Gold to Silver, which makes us look bad to our customers. Everyone knows silver is ‘2nd best.’”
    • “Cost of attaining a silver competency has increased but I don’t see additional benefits to make it worth it vs. an Action Pack subscription.”
    • “The cost of attaining a gold competency has doubled, but I don’t see any additional benefits at the gold level to make it worth it.”
    • “How is Microsoft going to communicate to customers about the transition to competencies so it means something to them when we market ourselves? Plus, how and when is Microsoft going to use this to generate leads for their partners?”
    • “Continual changes to Microsoft Partner Network requirements makes it impossible for us to know when you are really done changing things and when the requirements you have listed are correct.”
    • Revenue Requirements in Microsoft Partner Network
    • “As a partner, we hear you are ‘All In’ with the cloud, but there is no clear roadmap on how cloud fits into Microsoft Partner Network and the competencies, nor a clear profitability roadmap for cloud as partners.”
    • “We are a Gold Certified Partner and you told us we can use our logo and software until October, 2011, so why should we worry about getting our competencies right now?”
    • “The actual process to renew a competency through your partner site is complex and not easy to follow, which costs me time. Why can’t you make it easier for us so we don’t have to waste so much time with your tools?”
  3. “Will you be making recordings of individual questions available if we are interested in a handful of them but not necessarily all of them?”
    • Yes, I’ll be posting here on the blog how to view some individual components as well as how to view the entire session. I would highly recommend viewing the full replay though since I think many partners will hear and learn things they were not aware of or did not know from this session.
  4. “Hey, my question didn’t get answered today before time was up. Now what?”
    • First, thank you for submitting your question. It was fantastic to see the number of partners that were actively participating in the session. As I mentioned in the session, given the time we had, we were unfortunately unable to answer every question during the session; however, that does not mean your question is lost. I will be posting here on the blog where we will be addressing the additional questions we received but were unable to answer during the time we had available today.
  5. “Will you be doing this again?”
    • Feedback we received during the session said that the partners are very interested in having these types of opportunities in the future. We are actively discussing this across the team right now on what we’ll be doing with this moving forward (how often, who’s presenting, which topics, etc.) and I will be posting here on the blog what those future opportunities will be. One thing I think is clear, we are looking into doing more interactive sessions moving forward, we just need to work out the details around what that looks like. Have thoughts or input to share? Let me know in the comments below!
  6. “I saw there was a social media tag and aspects included with this session. How do I get involved in that?”
    • Yes, at the beginning of this session we announced the #mpnVIP Twitter hashtag that we used for not only conversations around this session, but that we will be using in Leadership Team/Executive Microsoft Partner Network sessions moving forward. Be sure to keep an eye on the #mpnVIP hashtag moving forward, search for it to see the conversations today, and join the conversations in future events by including it in your tweets.

That’s just a few of the questions, but they are really good ones about the session itself and I wanted to make sure you had these answers and knew that I will be bringing the information to you here on the blog on how and where you can access the various information from today’s session, as well as a lot more, whether you were able to attend or not. Thanks again to everyone that joined us today, we really appreciate it!

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as: my Facebook page, my Twitter account, my LinkedIn account, and my blog.

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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and RSS and see “What I’m thinking
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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