New revenue opportunities amid cloud transformation

July 12, 2011 | 09:03
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The annual Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), a four-day event that celebrates the accomplishments of the company’s 640,000 global partners, kicks off July 11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Recurring themes throughout the week will be Microsoft public, private and hybrid cloud services and the ways Microsoft is helping partners succeed as they make the transition to the rapidly growing cloud market.

The cloud isn’t the only change partners are embracing. In 2009, the Microsoft Business Solutions group announced changes would be made to its partner network to encourage partners to take full advantage of a steady growth in demand for vertically specific enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions.

These changes included new, more robust requirements for partners to achieve Gold and Silver certification and updated Microsoft Dynamics-specific training focused on marketing, sales, project management and solution delivery, in addition to existing technical training. The training is offered through the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Academy and, since July 2010, more than 3,000 partners have been trained at Partner Development Centers located around the world, with an average satisfaction score of 8.02 out of 9.

These adjustments are designed to provide partners with a sustainable model for delivering repeatable solutions to specific industries by increasing their ability to scale and helping them to be more productive.

Partners have gathered to discuss business innovation and change and more precisely, the change that fuels progress including cloud computing.

While businesses consider the implications and benefits of the cloud, many partners, including value-added resellers and independent software vendors (ISVs), must evolve and transform their business models to thrive among this change.

Doug Kennedy, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics Partners said the dialogue at WPC is centering on these strategies and incentives, as well as on educating partners about what’s yet to be rolled out.

“By helping our partners’ transition to a model of delivering vertical solutions, we can help them drive more demand, be more profitable and, ultimately, grow their business,” said Kennedy.

American Airlines will soon update its application for Windows Phone, which will provide “the fastest delivery of flight information data on the planet,” according to an American Airlines spokesperson. The update will allow real-time flight status information, including gate changes and baggage claim areas, from American’s reservation system to be pushed to a cloud-based Windows Azure system, which can then push the flight status notifications directly to the application’s Windows Phone Live Tiles.

American Airlines customers who download the application and pin it to Start will have instant access to their most current travel information on the top-level user interface of their phone, eliminating the need for text message, email or phone-call updates. The application was developed in conjunction with Microsoft partner migration mobi of Austin, Texas.

By Trang Anh

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