Author Archives: peterplamondon

Stack Ranking Hurts Partners Too

Vanity Fair cover image of Steve Ballmer

Vanity Fair: Microsoft’s Lost Decade

Microsoft’s stack ranking process received some high-visibility attention in Vanity Fair’s article, “Microsoft’s Downfall: Inside the Executive E-mails and Cannibalistic Culture That Felled a Tech Giant”. You’ve probably already read the article, but also check out the knowledgeable commentary by Todd Bishop here and here, and by Mary Jo Foley here. Information is power, the more you know, the better you’ll understand how Microsoft operates (and perhaps why).

The article focuses (likely too much) on the impact stack ranking has had on Microsoft itself, but there’s an unwelcome side effect on partners as well – any time a MS employee spends on activities not on their objectives is time not spent achieving their objectives; and that will cost them come review time.

For partners, that means the only people at MS who are likely to invest time on your behalf, including even acknowledging your request, are those whose objectives include providing that response. Most people at MS will completely ignore your request; they’re laser focused on achieving their objectives (also known as “commitments”).

You need to find “the right person”, whose objectives align with your interests – the time that person spends working with you should fulfill their objectives and improve their performance review. Continue reading

Let’s Get It Started

My goal with “ISV Results With Microsoft” is to help ISVs develop your relationship with Microsoft, maximize the value received, and achieve your goals.Keep Calm and Lets Get Started

Can you get your product demoed during a MS keynote? Yes – demos of ISV products are a staple of MS keynotes. But how do you get your product into a keynote?

The implementation details will be different for each ISV, because each ISV is different – what you want from MS, which MS products and technologies you integrate with or build upon, which markets you target, how well you tolerate life on the leading (or bleeding) edge of technological change, whether you’re “all in” with the latest MS technology.

Nonetheless, I’ve observed that even the basic guidelines and understanding of MS culture that will help any ISV work more successfully with MS are not widely known. Why is that? Not sure, but I’m going to try to fill that void. Continue reading