Microsoft Offshore ISV Plan In Pilot

According to information available on Microsoft&'s Web site, the NXT value package—available exclusively though 12 delivery partners—gives qualifying ISVs a benefits package worth up to $100,000 to move existing legacy applications, including AS/400 and mainframe app, to the .Net platform. The program is available to ISVs that generate more than $5 million annually.

Microsoft is working with delivery partners, including Aditi, Ness Technologies and Symphony Services—most of which have headquarters or services capabilities in India.

“Most of the partners have operations in more cost-efficient places. One reason for the partner referral was the offshore factor because it lowers the cost of the proof of concept,” said Sanjay Bhadra, Microsoft Alliance manager at Sonata Systems, which is based in Bangalore, India and has five offices in the United States.

NXT offers ISVs significant benefits from Microsoft, including marketing consulting and funding, account management, architectural design support, as well as discounted proof-of-concept workshops and application-porting services, Microsoft said. NXT connects ISVs on non-Microsoft technologies with NXT delivery partners. Benefits also include complimentary training, software licenses, development support, testing and membership in the Microsoft Partner Program, account management and marketing support, a Microsoft spokesman said.

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Those benefits have enabled Sonata and other NXT delivery partners to convince ISVs to migrate their AS/400 and Java apps to .Net to expand their markets. “Being able to offer tangible Microsoft marketing benefits has helped accelerated our pipeline,” Bhadra said.

NXT is a shared channel and shared leads program that has benefited traditional IBM partners, according to Symphony.

“As an IBM partner, our doors opened up to a whole new set of ISVs we didn&'t see before,” said David Carpini, vice president at Symphony, Palo Alto, Calif. “We see a lot of [IBM] iSeries customers, and that&'s a focus area for Microsoft. Microsoft is looking at IBM AS/400 and mainframe platforms trying to expand their reach.”