Today's edition of the Redmond Channel Partner newsletter links to a piece titled Minding Your Microsoft Manners, which is an interview with some companies who advise Microsoft partners on how to work with Microsoft. As I was reading it, I thought it was written as a piece of satire. Unfortunately, it's dated July 1st, not April 1st.
Yes. Don't run Lotus Notes as your e-mail client. Don't talk about the music you listened to on your iPod on the trip to Redmond or to a field office. Don't schedule online meetings on WebEx or call people from Microsoft on Skype. And, above all, don't "Google."
"Mention Vista," he continues, referring to the operating system that Microsoft released earlier this year. "Say [you're] running it and what a productivity boost it is." Harvath notes that bad feedback about Vista has filtered back to Microsoft through corporate accounts and the channel, so a positive review of it from a partner could be a key to making a good impression.
In my new role, I meet with partners more frequently than I have in the past. If you meet with me, please don't follow the guidance offered in response to the first question (Are there any gaffes that I should absolutely avoid when meeting with people from Microsoft?) and to the last question (Are there any other little tips I should know before I go into my meeting?).
Please don't hide that you use a competitor's product. Worse still, please don't heap false praise on a Microsoft product to gain some kind of advantage.
Etiquette Rule #1: Don't be a sycophant. It's not a good foundation for a business relationship.
If you use a competing product, I'd rather understand what our gaffe was that made it the more attractive choice. What could we do better to earn your business next time?
If you think one of our products sucks, please tell me why. What can we do to keep your business?