Microsoft Expands Mobile Partner Program


Microsoft on Wednesday said it is singling out key mobile partners by offering them enhanced technical, marketing and development support in an extension of its Mobility Solutions Partner Program.

Of its base of about 5,000 MSPP partners,a collection of ISVs, integrators, hardware vendors and ASPs,110 companies have been designated as part of the Mobility Partner Advisory Council, Microsoft said.

These companies will have access to three dedicated consulting engineers for development support and will work with Microsoft to create go-to-market strategies for new products and services, said Rose Becker, group marketing manager for the Microsoft Global Partner Program. Each company was chosen by Microsoft on the basis of either outstanding performance or unique solutions, she added, and will have the ability to offer program feedback to Microsoft on an ongoing basis.

"We are creating an engagement model that is richer and deeper than in the past," she said.

Microsoft is pledging a "couple of million dollars" in joint marketing and support for these partners during 2002, according to Becker.

John Dancu, president and chief operating officer of mobile middleware provider Synchrologic, Atlanta, said the increased technical support will help significantly.

"We need a person identified within the company who can help with technical questions and getting [software developer's kits rather than having to work within the organization to get these answers," he said.

Becker said Microsoft also is moving the entire MSPP under its Microsoft Global Partner Program, which will give the MSPs access to additional benefits.

Just days before Palm's developer soiree, slated for Feb. 5-8 in San Jose, Calif., Microsoft hit the phones to promote its own growing program. The free MSPP is increasing by 200 to 300 members per month, and 70 percent of those partners are developing solutions for the enterprise, Microsoft said.