Microsoft senior management were keen to stress that the vendor giant has been listening to its partners when building its aggressive growth strategy for FY 2013.
On day three of the firm’s mammoth global partners conference in Toronto, the vendor’s global channel chief revealed that it will be ploughing even more funds into incentives for partners – an extra $200m (£129m) in the coming year, bringing its total incentive budget to $4.2bn.
Jon Roskill, corporate vice president worldwide partner group, told partners to get aggressive, reiterating Steve Ballmer’s words that the vendor was entering a "new era".
“Other companies will tell you that they are partner driven, but the proof is in the pudding. Over 95 per cent of our revenue goes through our partners. It is not the same with the other guys. The numbers tell a different story than they may say they do,” he said.
“We have listened to you. All of Microsoft has been listening. Partners asked for three things: good products, a strong relationship with Microsoft field teams and showing them the path to profit in the cloud,” Roskill added.
“We know we need to provide you with the very best of these three components.” He claimed the firm’s product pipeline was in "great shape" with Windows 8, Server 2012 and Office 2015 set for release this year.
To beef up local support, Roskill said the firm is upskilling its partner account managers and it is adding hundreds of telesales reps to drive the sales pipeline. In a new move it is also adding extra telesales specialists across the regions to help close pipelines.
“We know we are not going to hit the big bucks unless partners hit their numbers too,” he said. “It is time to make the move [to the cloud] together. We have what it takes now. It is all right there standing in front of us. It is time to go get it. Don’t hold back in FY13. It is time to go big and bold. We have everything we need to win.”
Chief operating officer Kevin Turner was equally bullish, taking a swipe at rivals Google, VMware and Apple during his keynote.
He spoke of eight technological trends that the vendor is working towards: cloud, data growth, social computing, natural interaction with technology, an ecosystem of computers, consumerisation of IT, connectivity and the machine army.
And he revealed that the vendor is investing a huge amount of R&D to ensure it is ahead in these areas.
“Almost every company in the world has held back on R&D and innovation. This year we spent $9.4bn on R&D – that is $3bn more than the next closest technology company,” he said. “For the first time, every single product in our portfolio is getting refreshed and relaunched in the same cycle – it is the largest release cycle in our history and the energy and momentum behind that is unbelievable.”
He ended with a rousing call to arms for partners.
“Get aggressive. I want to bite, scratch and claw to get after every single piece of [market] share we can."
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