Microsoft is hoping its Channel Build programme, due to launch next month, will encourage its ISV and VAR partners to pair up to boost their business.
Mark Young, general manager ISV developer and platform evangelism at Microsoft, said the vendor had noticed an increasing number of partners were already joining forces, and had decided to launch an official programme to formalise the opportunity.
"Our ISV partners have discovered the ability to find channel partners that want to resell their products and increase their market coverage," he said.
Just last week the vendor announced it was merging its Microsoft Partner Programme (MSPP) and Microsoft Business Solution (MBS) programme to encourage closer working partnerships between resellers. It has now turned its attention to the ISV community.
"Channel partners have realised they need to sell solutions. Simply selling Microsoft products is not enough any more, and as a result they are hooking up with ISVs to present tailored solutions to customers," Young said.
He added that Microsoft will be working with ISV partners on a number of different platforms over the next 12 months, including Windows Server 2003, Sequel Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005.
The firm also will be encouraging its ISVs to develop more web services and help it to produce next-generation business offerings, combining CRM and ERP capabilities on the Longhorn framework.
"The positive thing is that our VARs can benefit from this new technology by working closely with our ISVs," Young said.
"Our partner system has taken 27 years to build. It is a huge asset to us across markets of all sizes, and we want to make the most of the opportunities out there."
Richard Bessant, marketing manager at VAR Blue Chip Data Systems, welcomed the move. "Microsoft's decision to encourage strong partnerships between existing VAR partners and ISVs can only strengthen the offering of both channels," he said.
"The ability to cater for specific niche or vertical markets with targeted solutions will give resellers and ISVs the ability to broaden their client bases."
Graham Jackson, director of ISV TAH, said: "This should definitely work. Microsoft's channel is vast and it is a good idea to pair partners together. It is about time something like this was done."
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