Results in the Real World

Results, woman crossing the finish line. Photo from Kaia F.I.T. Sacramento

Results – crossing the finish line

It’s all about results.

That’s what I taught my kids – it’s not about effort or good intentions, what matters in the end is results.

In this post I hold myself accountable for results.

Previously I’ve encouraged you to do some things, but what results have I delivered?

It’s been 2.5 years since I joined Fusion-io, and 9 months since SanDisk acquired Fusion – what real world results with Microsoft have I delivered to my company? Continue reading

Change is the only Constant in Life

(Tap, tap, does this thing still work?) It’s been 18 months since my last post?! Note to self – blog more.

A lot’s happened since my last post. Evolving responsibilities, exciting deliverables, bowling with a tech legend, Steve Wozniak, and recently the news that Fusion-io will be acquired by SanDisk.

I’ve learned a lot about how Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) like Fusion interact with Microsoft. Some things are different, like getting device drivers “Certified for Windows Server” and working with the Microsoft Technology Centers (MTCs), others are similar-but-different like using Windows Error Reporting, taking advantage of the amazing array of services available through Microsoft Premier Support for Developers, working with the Windows Server Partner and Customer Ecosystem (PaCE) team, getting Fusion’s enterprise sales teams engaged with their local EPG Application Platform (App Plat) counterparts, etc. Continue reading

My First Post on the Fusion-io Blog

A quick note – my first post on the Fusion-io blog! “VSL Gets Certified for Windows Server 2012“.

The Virtual Storage Layer is software (device drivers) that implements many of the features that differentiate Fusion-io’s ioDrive products from other Flash memory solutions, and getting VSL Certified for Windows Server 2012 is important both in its own right, but also is important to Fusion-io’s OEM partners including HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, and SuperMicro.

It’s been a fascinating learning experience, burrowing into the details of the IHV programs and processes, and comparing those to the ISV programs and processes I’m familiar with. Always something new to learn about working with Microsoft!

To Be Continued…

Fusion-io logoI’ve started a new job with Fusion-io where I’ll be applying the same techniques I’ve described here. I suspect my blogging will take a back seat for a while as I get up to speed in the new job. I’ll also be learning some new wrinkles since Fusion-io is a hardware company whose primary software deliverable is device drivers, rather than a “pure” software product.

So, for now, this blog is … To Be Continued.

ISV Paths to Success – Early Adopter Programs

Break away from the pack

Early adopter programs (EAPs) deliver several valuable opportunities that make EAPs an important ISV path to success with Microsoft. You can use EAP participation to:

  • Create and maintain technical and market leadership
  • Drive innovation by building on/exploiting new MS features and technologies
  • Gain visibility with customers, investors, etc. by tapping MS’ marketing machine
  • Gain influence over future MS product releases, APIs, etc.
  • Drive revenue by engaging MS field sales to help sell your product

EAPs are invitation-only and you’re competing with other ISVs for a limited number of slots, sometimes just a couple dozen, so it’s helpful to understand MS’ motivation – why they bother with EAPs in the first place, and what they expect from the ISV partners that participate in EAPs. Continue reading

ISV Paths to Success with Microsoft

I’ve found ISVs follow two mains paths to success with Microsoft, which path is right for you depends on what your goals are for your relationship with MS. In this post I’ll provide an overview of the two paths, the results each path is best suited to deliver, and the goals those results typically fulfill for ISVs.

Early Adopter Programs (EAP)

Most MS product releases involve ISV partners throughout the release cycle.

Two Paths To Success

The signs of this are most easily seen at product launch, when ISV partner companies are included in the “partner logo slide”, their executives are quoted in the MS launch press release, etc. You’ll see a smaller, earlier version of these same signs when the beta or Community Preview release happens. These are some of the visible benefits MS offers to induce ISVs to make early investments to support new MS product releases.

The real value of EAPs to ISVs comes from less visible activities – things like early access to product builds, and direct interaction with the MS product team. Continue reading

Technical Evangelist – An ISV’s Best Friend, and How To Find Yours

One rock climber helping another

Your Technical Evangelist Helps You Get Where You’re Going

Do you know which Microsoft Technical Evangelist your team is working with? If not, or if you aren’t working with a MS evangelist – perish the thought! – you’re missing out on one of the most valuable relationships an ISV can have with MS.

Technical Evangelists are amazing people – they’re talented developers with uncontrollable curiosity who immerse themselves in new technologies long before they ship, exploring technical nooks and crannies before there’s reliable documentation. They work with the MS program managers, developers and testers for their product to develop a deep understanding of how it works, and why the product operates this way instead of that. They write sample code to prove (or disprove) their own understanding of how things work (or don’t).

Then they gather audiences of developers in cities across their region, explain the product they’re working on, write code on-stage to demo early product builds that are very likely to crash, do their best to answer every question that’s thrown at them, and share their passion for their product with their audience. When they’re done, the evangelist jumps on an airplane and does it all again in another city. Continue reading