Steve Ballmer: What Should I Talk About At The Worldwide Partner Conference?


Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is seeking input from the company's channel partners about what topics they would like him to address at next month’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles.

The company has created a Web site, with the headline "Help Shape Steve Ballmer's WPC 2011 Keynote Speech," where partners can make requests for what they want the CEO to talk about.

"WPC 2011 is your event, and we would love to get your comments on topics you want to hear from Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO. Help us shape his 2011 WPC Keynote speech by leaving your requests below," the Web site says.

"Are you interested in learning how Microsoft is leading the industry transformation to the cloud? Or how Microsoft is committed to partner success? Is there something specific about the business vision, commitment, or consumerization of business that relates especially to you, the partner, which you want to hear Steve Ballmer speak to?" the site asks.

Time is short, however: The site is only taking submissions through June 22, less than a week away. As of this morning there were already close to 50 suggestions.

Cloud computing and the role of the channel is obviously on the mind of some partners.

"How [is] Microsoft going to enable their Partners to sell the Microsoft Cloud packages in a Resale model rather than an Introducer model," one partner asked. "This will enable them to bundle them with other Cloud offerings (whether Microsoft or third party) so they can offer a true end-to-end solution to their clients."

"Please Steve, clarify how Microsoft and other vendors continual pounding of partners to move into the cloud is good for the IT world as a whole," writes another. "The cloud may be good, in some cases even brilliant, but partners are being smothered in cloud and some are turning against the idea purely by the constant barrage of cloud marketing. WPC, Worldwide Partners in the Cloud. (forget everyone else). I'm proud to partner with Microsoft, tell me how my future lies in the OEM world."

Then there are the comments with a more negative take. "I'm concerned about you screwing up Skype," says one comment. "When will you be stepping down? We need a new CEO," says another.