Sadly, I cannot remember which comedian who’s bit it was—although I suspect it was something the great George Carlin once said—but it goes something like this: saying "it’s always the last place you look” after someone shares they’ve located a missing item (like car keys or a wallet) after a long search is just plain silly.

Why?

Well, of course you’d find the missing thing in the last place you looked, because after you find it, you (should) stop looking.

Right?

Perhaps that was a long winded way to intro today’s post, but it was the first thing that came to mind after I’ve spent the last few weeks with a number of partners across a few big events, like our recent edition of Partner MS101 here in Redmond.

More specifically, there was a common theme each time we asked questions around the types, quality, and usefulness of the to- and through-partner content we produced to help support your Exchange businesses. Basically, we heard “it’s great stuff, when we can find it.”

Now, I am a big fan of giving you what you need to be successful and a big part of this strategy is our desire to treat our great partners like a true extension of our field. To do that, we need a centralized location and some controls in place to enable us to share a wide range of collateral.

Sounds straight forward, right?

Yes and no.

While we do have the infrastructure around our MPN competency (today that’s the Unified Communications competency, yet very shortly that one retires in favor of our new Messaging competency), I don’t believe we’ve done the best job at keeping you abreast of all the great stuff we’ve put up there.

I did try to get a little more color from the partners I was with about the best way to keep you informed.  In some cases there was a desire for regular email newsletter updates. Others would like something akin to a SharePoint alert. Just a small number liked Tweets.  RSS feeds were also mentioned.

At one point, I suggested we could use this blog, and I laughed when one of the partners in the room said, “why don’t you then just email us a link to the blog posting.”

As an Exchange guy, I love that email is the preferred mode of transportation here, however it can face some scale challenges in such a large eco-system of Exchange partners, i.e., my team doesn’t have all of your email addresses. Be that as it may, we are working with our partners in WPG to see how we can better integrate into the rhythm of weekly, monthly, and regionalized email blasts they drive.

However, we do own this blog and we can scale out more effectively (and you can subscribe to the blog via an RSS feed through Outlook – see, there’s an email-esque connection!).

As such, we are going to start a more regular cadence of blog posts around new content as it becomes available.

I see this helping meet two goals:

  1. it seeks to improve the discoverability of the stuff we have on our portal page (and I am an equally huge fan of improving discoverability across the board), and
  2. as evidenced by the examples I shall highlight below, some of this content is “locked” so that only holders of our competency (again that’s UC Competency today, and Messaging Competency in the near future – woo-hoo!) can access it, which means there’s yet another meaningful benefit for you to attain our competency.

Thoughts?

Before you answer, here is this week’s “featured content” plug.  Thanks to great partnership with our Exchange market insights guru, we now have two new Sales Cards posted on Novell GroupWise and IBM LotusLive.

In both cases, these Sales Cards offer you insights around the competitive solution, how Exchange stacks up, and some great guidance on addressing objections with best practices on how to start a conversation with these accounts.  And, as you likely recall from our discussions at WPC, migrating customers off of legacy platforms (like GroupWise and Notes) to Exchange or Exchange Online (part of the Office 365 suite) is a big area of focus and opportunity for you this fiscal year.

Check out the new items above (and note you will need to be a current UC competency holder to access), and if you’re looking for more you can find a whole bunch on our MPN portal page dedicated to Exchange 2010.

See, it really will be the last place you look. 

More importantly,  I’m also hoping you’ll make this first place you look.

Ian
Group Product Manager
Exchange Partner Marketing