Microsoft's Kevin "KJ" Johnson had some fun at the expense of rival software powers Saturday morning.
At Microsoft's annual partner lovefest, Microsoft's top sales guy cited prominent CEO no-shows at recent similar events: Sam Palmisano was noticeably absent from IBM Partnerworld this year (although he has appeared in the past). And Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has become the invisible man to many Oracle partners. Last year he did not attend the partner day portion of OracleWorld.
"I understand some of our competitors can't get their CEOs to their partner meetings. When our execs go AWOL, we'll find them ASAP," he noted before cutting to a video showing various Microsoft luminaries up to and including CEO Steve Ballmer being administred remote electric shocks. (Ballmer will keynote tomorrow.)
"Nothing says how to get a move on like 675 volts of gentle persuasion," Johnson said, of the video.
It was hilarious, no question. Well, actually there is one question on a serious note. Having said all that, Kevin: Where's Bill?
Also notable at the show: Doug Burgum's newfound succinctness. His keynote Friday lacked any discussion of the construction of America's railroads or odes to curiosity. What? No history lesson? Some of us were fans of Doug's eclectic think pieces, but apparently he's been reigned in.
And finally, all of this weeks talk encouraging partners to "get competent" is more than a little offputting to some. That phrasing seems to, well actually DOES imply that they have been something less than that up until now.
Asked at the show why they came, an informal straw poll of partners responded: For the partner points.