Microsoft is Listening
This month The Microsoft ISV Networking Group has grown significantly, passing the 1,400 member mark. We have had quality discussions on cloud strategy, channel management, royalty programs, and even wearable technologies. I’m pleased to report that ISV stakeholders from Microsoft are actively engaged in the conversations.
Microsoft has evolved their ISV ecosystem thinking to include all forms of “app builders”. This includes B2C (e.g. mobile apps) and corporate IT development (for internal or customer use), in addition to the traditional ISV space (selling software to companies and public sector).
Microsoft provides a host of partner benefits as part of Microsoft Partner Network enrollment and are looking for ways to provide additional marketing value to ISVs. The initial group feedback has been centered on providing access to customer lists and joint webinars.
Microsoft has 2 planning cycles during the year. May-June is the annual cycle which defines fiscal year strategy (and budgets). Partners get exposed to these priorities at the Worldwide Partner Conference (held every July). A comprehensive mid-year review occurs each December, resulting in execution and budget adjustments in January.
Your input into the segmentation and marketing questions above could shift Microsoft priorities in 2015. Cloud remains Microsoft’s primary focus for the current fiscal year: ISV suggestions that perpetuate Azure consumption and Office365 sales will garner more attention and investment from Microsoft. See the Top Takeaways from Microsoft WPC 2014 for more detail on Microsoft FY15 priorities.
I invite you to join the cloud, mobile and channel strategy conversation yourself at the Microsoft ISV Networking Group.