Microsoft: Opportunities Abound for Office Partners

In his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote Friday, VP Jeff Raikes will highlight the opportunities Office represents to Microsoft partners.

NEW ORLEANS—When Jeff Raikes, Microsoft Corp.s group vice president of productivity and business services, takes the stage here on Friday morning to deliver his keynote address at the Worldwide Partner Conference, he will highlight the opportunities the Office System family of products represents to Microsofts partners.

Raikes will stress that there is a great number of opportunities available to the several thousand attendees, especially now that Office is no longer just a desktop productivity system but a far wider solution.

In an attempt to raise enthusiasm in the upcoming Office System 2003 solution, which will be released globally at an event in New York later this month, Raikes will tell the partners that analysts predict the services opportunities offered them by all the markets Office plays into, including process management, collaboration and business intelligence, could be as much as $117 billion by 2006.

Dan Leach, group product manager for Office, told eWEEK here on Thursday that Raikes will also talk about the increase in the number of partner solutions being developed for Office 2003.

"At the launch of Office XP we had 120 solution partners who were providing deployment solutions. We already have some 700 partner solutions for the upcoming product, which shows the enormous interest they have in the product," he said.

Another statistic that Raikes will use in his keynote to indicate customer interest in the product will be the demand the software titan saw for Beta 2 copies of the product.

Originally Microsoft produced 500,000 copies, double that for Office XP, yet has had to produce another 150,000 to meet demand, he said.

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