Todd Weatherby, general manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group, is among that rare breed of vendor exec who really understands what resellers need help with. He’s proving that here at WPC by showing off some spiffy additions to the Velocity platform aimed squarely at demand gen and sales management.

Already serving a million reseller visitors a month in 16 languages, Weatherby’s WPG is beefing up VAR sales support with an updated version of the Pinpoint partner catalog, a new Demo Showcase, and a robust and surprisingly attractive Infrastructure Optimization tool that assesses customer IT maturity and builds ROI cases around bringing that user toward what Microsoft calls Dynamic IT. Most of the new tools are in North American beta now and should be available worldwide next quarter.

As for innovation, WPG is adding significant new labs capabilities to the Partner Portal, letting resellers document and register complete solution sets, test capabilities and comment on the work of peers. The portal is also being augmented with a digital forum where partners can post, edit and share video case studies in a YouTube-like format, according to Weatherby.

New unified search capabilities will make more partner content from areas such as MSPP, MSDN and TechNet available in one place as well.

“We’ve always been very good with the technology side,” says Weatherby. “Partners are now consistently asking us for help around creating demand and selling. That’s our focus here.”

Amen to that.