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By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-10-17 Print this article Print

The International ISV Assistance Program was established as a result of customer requests for such a service and applies to all of Microsofts ISV partners, including those already global in nature. "All companies tend to set up their sales force by geographies or by accounts," Watson said. "Crossing the geographic boundaries for customers who are not one of the biggest accounts often poses a real challenge. So we have leveraged the assets of our partner and sales network to get the right ISVs with vertical or horizontal applications into another geography. We will put a Microsoft employee who knows everything about the specific offerings for increasing sales opportunities and closure in that geography, and they will service those receiving ISVs."
There is a process for an ISV to be nominated and designated as a "receiving ISV," she said, adding that so far there are 100 ISVs enrolled in the program—which only launched in October—who are "truly volume cross-border companies. The more deeply vertical the customer is, the more this program matters."
Read more here about how Microsoft believes opportunities abound for partners. The program is also open to Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, who have to apply to get into it, and the cost is also borne by Microsoft. "We are looking for people who are going to build channels downstream," Watson said, adding that the benefit to Microsoft of these new services and programs is greater sales of its products. "There is an unprecedented market opportunity with the upcoming release of Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007, and ISVs are betting on Microsoft like never before," she said. "These new assets that we have been in pilot with and are now launching and making broadly available is proving that there is a real profitable business opportunity to being a Microsoft partner." "They get twice as fast customer growth, a faster sales cycle and twice as fast implementation with us versus our competitors," she added. Vendors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle tend to take either a vertical or deep horizontal approach with their partners, steering them from application builds through the sales and marketing process, for periods of time, she said. "Ill give my competitors credit, and maybe Im taking a page out of their book and then putting Microsoft scale behind it, because we will go across verticals, across horizontals, across all, and then put scalable resources into the model. And thats the difference, and competitors like IBM dont pull it all together," Watson said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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