Microsoft Makes Cloud Computing Pitch to HTG Peer Groups

How do you convince channel partners to embrace cloud computing more rapidly? Microsoft thinks it has found the answer within HTG Peer Groups, which represents scores of VARs and MSPs. HTG is hosting a major conference in Orlando, Fla, this week. Microsoft is on hand promoting the new Microsoft Partner Network. Plus, the software giant is launching a special contest to help drive MSPs toward Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), which includes Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. Here are the details.

First, the background: HTG Peer Groups allow VARs and MSPs from non-competing regions to share financial information, business strategies and best practices. Roughly 350 employees from member companies hare here at the conference in Orlando. As a whole, the HTG members represent more than $600 million in annual IT sales. And many of the members have proven recurring revenue models and managed services practices -- a close cousin to cloud computing.

Translation: The HTG members could be an ideal audience for Microsoft's cloud pitch. Microsoft launched its new Microsoft Partner Network on November 1. The effort includes Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate.

Some partners are wary of Microsoft's cloud push because the software giant is managing all billing with end-customers. Eager to overcome that hurdle, Microsoft is developing a peer group content for HTG members. I can't share details yet (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). But I'll see what I can share later today. The bottom line: Microsoft seems to have found some creative ways to reward HTG members for jumping into the cloud. I'm gathering attendee feedback now.

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