With partners like this …

With partners like this …

Microsoft partners (e.g., consultants like me) often get their knickers in a twist about perceived slights by Microsoft to the partner community. A recent example is the move by Microsoft to offer on-line services to small businesses using the partner community as sales agents earning a small commission rather than true resellers who are able to set their own prices and terms. Generally, I pay no mind to these disturbances. But this one is different.

I am a “fan” of Microsoft’s Office Live page on Facebook. Today they posted an update that appeared on my wall:

We all could use a little guidance from a consultant about now. But, for most of us, the cost of hiring a business consultant is far beyond our reach. However, help may be available for small-business owners from an under-utilized resource: college students.

What’s that, Microsoft? You’re saying I can be replaced by college students!?!?!?!

In fairness, the blog that the Facebook entry links to is not terribly inflammatory. It doesn’t suggest that a college student can do what I do. It merely suggests that students can be brought in for short-term, closely defined projects. Businesses of all sizes have been doing this sort of thing for years. I do wish, though, that the lead-in paragraph had been worded a little more carefully.

Posted in All, Business on Apr 2nd, 2009, 7:01 pm by David Schrag   

2 Responses

  1. April 2nd, 2009 | 8:05 pm

    […] Microsoft calls it’s marketing program is not terribly inflammatory towards him. So he says here: http://davidschrag.com/schlog/413/with-partners-like-this “What’s that, Microsoft? You’re saying I can be replaced by college […]

  2. April 3rd, 2009 | 9:26 am

    Yah, that’s a slight. The burr under my saddle blanket is this: to be hooked up with Office Live as a provider you’ve either got to be “Heritage Web Solutions” or a member of ELance.com.
    IMHO that’s total Bull$hit. Why does Heritage get preferential treatment, and what’s the deal with Elance?
    Hell, I’m a “partner”, and MVP, and a two time author for Microsoft Press and I wasn’t given any kind of preferential treatment.
    THAT’S REALLY irritating!!

    Chris

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