Microsoft To Roll Out Customer Campaigns, Four-Tiered Infrastructure Model

The customer campaigns, which in some cases replace existing go-to-market initiatives, are for Microsoft's year-old core infrastructure model and for two new models Microsoft developed for knowledge workers and applications, sources told CRN.

The models provide recommendations and architectures for building and optimizing Office productivity and application stacks as well as core Windows infrastructures, sources said.

The four levels include basic, standard, rational and dynamic and refer to the state of a customer's infrastructure and security model or Office infrastructure model. For example, basic refers to a company with a more chaotic model with no processes while the standardized model pertains to a corporate infrastructure that has common standards and some processes but little automation, sources added.

"Customer Campaigns replace partner go to market programs. Microsoft has developed a maturity model for infrastructure and a series of step up programs for the four levels of maturity to add new management capabilities," said one source familiar with the announcement. "Partners loved the end of GTMs. They never really got anything out of it and customer campaigns seem to be getting better traction. At least everyone knows what's going on."

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Sources said most of the implementations of the programs will be through large systems integrators and Unisys, Fujitsu, Avanade and EDS "will be the big players," that source added.

Bart Hammond, CEO for Interlink, Englewood, Colo., said the three customer campaigns are targeted at IT administrators and other campaigns are being developed for business decision makers.

He does not view the customer campaigns as replacements for go-to-markets but more specific advice on implementation and deployment.

"My understanding is Microsoft is broadening the concept from a pure infrastructure maturity model right up to information workers maturity and application infrastructure maturity," Hammond said, noting the two new offerings enable partners to recommend to customers ways to optimize internal IT architectures and step them up to more mature levels in a defined manner.

"The existing infrastructrure and security model is taking companies from a reactive infrastructure to proactive management and control," Hammond said. "It gives clients a step by step way to assess where they are in their business productivity platform and applications. Microsoft is continuing with its GTMs but they are segments of the customer campaigns.

"For me, it's a road map to go to the customer and use this model as an objective starting point to assess where customers are," Hammond added. "You either operate in a basic environment, standard environment, or advanced environment."