There has been a major change at the top of Microsoft's Australian channel business, with Phil Goldie replacing Dean Swan to head up channel strategy.
Goldie became Microsoft Australia's director of partner on 1 July, following Swan's move to a role as partner sales director.
"Dean has moved across to run solution partner sales, essentially selling with the major managed partners in Australia," Goldie told CRN.
These partners would include many SMB and midmarket players, such as recent WPC award winners Ensyst and Breeze, all the way up to licensing solutions providers (LSPs) – which used to be called LARs – such as such as Data#3, SoftwareOne and Insight.
"The role I have moved into, which Dean was in, is partner business and development, or PB&D," said Goldie.
"It is essentially responsible for the overall partner strategy in the country; responsible for marketing that we do to partners such as APC [Australian Partner Conference], as well as through partners, where we co-invest with partners out to market; all aspects of channel, programs and incentives, such as MPN [Microsoft Partner Network].
"The last aspect is readiness, channel enablement and readiness in PB&D," he added.
In his previous role as director of corporate account sales, Goldie oversaw 1,600 named accounts across midmarket and enterprise customers
Before that, he spent three years as director of the server and cloud business group, responsible for Windows Server, Azure, Hyper-V, System Center, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
Goldie sees a major overlap between his previous and current positions. "That is why I am excited to be moving in to the partner role. Everything I have learned from the direct and partner selling we do into those 1600 accounts is exactly the sweet spot where partners play a massive role for Microsoft."
The role only commenced a week ago, so Goldie said it was a bit early to talk big picture strategy, but he added: "A lot of the new global strategies will be announced at WPC [World Partner Conference] next week, and then behind the scenes, we are already working on what a lot of those changes will mean, how to implement them with partners locally.
"There will be a number of announcements at WPC around changes to different programs."
Goldie revealed that Microsoft is expecting its highest turnout of Australians in WPC history, "a lot of them at MD and CEO level". It is thought CRN will be the only Australian media outlet attending Microsoft WPC, which takes places next week in Washington DC.
On Wednesday 16 July, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella will take to the stage to reveal some of the overarching changes to the vendor's channel strategy.
"Satya has talked and will talk about what he thinks this new world of 'mobile first, cloud first' means, how we are building products for a mobile first, cloud first world, and how do we want partners to build solutions with us for that world," said Goldie.
"Then my role is, 'How do we do that in Australia for the partners that we have got?' How do we do it with new type of partners? One of the big changes we are seeing is a lot of new types of partners emerge almost daily, born-in-the-cloud partners. The traditional partners boundaries are blurring. There is a lot of change going on in the channel.
"My role is to think about what will that look like for Microsoft and at strategy level, how we help the partners capture the opportunity," said Goldie.
"Breeze is a good example of a partner that is reinventing how it sees itself. Where it has traditionally been focused on application integration and services, it is now productising that and being more like a cloud software vendor. Companies like Ensyst have been successful with with Azure and StorSimple. Those are just two examples."