Already this year’s Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is seeing great announcements and, if my time conversion is right it only started no more th an 1 hour ago!
These first announcements are around Microsoft BPOS and primarily concern MS Partners who resell Microsoft’s Online Services.
Partner Order on Behalf Of: This is a feature that I and pretty much every other BPOS partner has been waiting for; the ability to place BPOS orders on behalf of our customers. The current model of sending the customer off to purchase online themselves is quite alien to how this is usually done and can lead to confusion all around. Being able to order ourselves makes it easier for partners to be truly Value Added Resellers.
“..The feature allows partners to initiate trials, specify the services and quantities they recommend for their customers, pre-configure orders for their customers to complete..”
Partner Commerce Dashboard: This is again a great addition for Partners. This gives a consolidated view of the status of trials and orders for all the partner’s customers. The data can be exported to CRM systems via Excel too.
They have also announced that Delegated Administration to Partners will be available by (Oct-Dec) Q4 2009. This means that customers will be able to let their Value Add Reseller (VAR) perform certain tasks on their behalf, this again fits in better with the current model a lot of Partners/Customers have.
Original post over on the MS Online team blog here.