Microsoft Partner Dashboard Consolidates Hundreds of Pages in a Single ToolBy David Strom | Print
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Partners will be able to compare their progress against program metrics and other partners.
DenverMicrosoft unveiled at its Worldwide Partner Conference here July 10 a partner dashboard that promises to consolidate information from across hundreds of pages on various Microsoft corporate and partner Web sites and provide partners a single source to measure stats against the partner pack.
The tool gathers information on partners' certifications, customer engagements and other up-to-the-moment statistics currently spread across the portal, providing a single glance at overall metrics and monthly progress of partner activity.
"We hear loud and clear from our partners that they wanted a more transparent and consistent means of conversation with us," said Todd Weatherby, the general manager of partner systems for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft's partner sales and marketing group. "So we are putting together something that looks like a bank statement to summarize their engagements and resources in a single place."
The dashboard is accessible via a Web browser through Microsoft's partner portal Web site.
One part of the summary will display the status of items such as sales opportunities received from and submitted to Microsoft (see sample screen shot), win rates and deals submitted. The dashboard will also show percentages or certain percentile targets to indicate how partners are performing with their peers. "This way both the partner and the partner's account manager at Microsoft can look at the same information and use it to make better business decisions and build a better ongoing relationship with us," said Weatherby. He also mentioned that the dashboard will show the progress that a partner has made toward qualifying for the next highest certification level, such as gold level.
The idea for the dashboard started earlier this year at Microsoft's Partner Advisory Council meetings and is being refined here at the partner show with a series of additional focus groups. The goal is to do a pilot project in September with a "substantial number of gold and certified partners," Weatherby said, and to roll it out to that entire universe of gold and certified partners by mid-2008.