Posts Tagged ‘ISV’

ISV Perspective of Partnering with Microsoft

March 23, 2011

QSR International is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) that develops and sells Qualitative Research software to an international market. Since 2004, I have been QSR International’s Executive Contact for the Microsoft Partner Network. QSR International has achieved the Gold ISV competency which represents organizations that have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment within their business area. This blog post reflects my views on partnering with Microsoft as an Australian ISV.

To achieve an ISV Gold competency with Microsoft, an organization must accomplish the following:

  • Deliver a product that has passed either
    • Certified for Windows Server 2008 R2, or
    • Windows 7 Logo Test
  • Commit to achieving either
    • 12 customer deployments involving Microsoft technologies, or
    • US$50,000 in Microsoft product licensing sales
  • Provide a minimum of 5 customer references for your product
  • Provide a minimum of 10 customers to complete a satisfaction survey
  • Complete an organization profile
  • Pay a membership fee

The benefits of the partnership that we have leveraged are:

  • Access to training, technical support, and events
  • Partner newsletters with news and business opportunities
  • Attendance at the Microsoft Partner Conference
  • Internal usage licenses of Microsoft products for staff
  • MSDN subscriptions for developers and testers
  • TechNet subscriptions for IT professionals
  • Ability to use the Microsoft Partner Network branding
  • Access to ISV Royalty program

The partnership with Microsoft has greatly assisted the growth of QSR International over the past 7 years through empowering our people with relevant information, access to technology, and helping us deliver better products to our customers. The only weakness of the partnership has been with the usage of outsourced telesales Partner Account Managers who lack established connections within Microsoft Corp, struggle to understand your business, and turnover every 3-6 months. I have learnt personally that developing connections within Microsoft has to occur through peer networking and attending conferences. There are a lot of great people within Microsoft and these are the people you need to be connecting with, the Microsoft Partner Network is not a replacement for this, but does help you gain some recognition.  Overall, a highly recommended partnership for ISVs involved with Microsoft technologies.