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Thank you for such a great response to my post last month about the proposed update to the partner portal home page. Through the online poll, comments on the blog, and e-mails to me, we learned a lot about how you use the home page today and how you would like to use it in the future, and earlier this week, I sent a write-up to my counterparts in the Worldwide Partner Group (WPG) so they can use your feedback as guidance for our work to improve the partner online experience through the home page as well as throughout the portal.
In general, partners preferred the proposed home page to the version we launched in July 2009 about 2:1. Most of you cited the visual appeal and the significant reduction in the amount of text on the page as a move in the right direction, and you felt the pop-up boxes at the bottom of the page offered nice functionality and links to good content that you wanted to easily access. However, we also heard that there is some content you want to get to that isn’t listed on the proposed home page (the CSAT survey and licensing price lists each came up a few times), and that you would like to have some visibility of what’s new on the page as well as the site, and maybe not to have to mouse over to see all the page content.
So here’s what is happening now. The WPG online team is building a new iteration of the home page, reviewing your feedback that I sent them and from a few other sources, and it looks like it will be ready for me to adopt in the U.S. in the mid-January timeframe. In the meantime, there’s no time like the present to act on your feedback and make some changes to improve your online experience. Earlier this week, I implemented an updated version of the current U.S. partner portal home page, which takes many of its content cues from the new template, reduces the amount of clutter on the page, and shortens it up considerably. We’ve included a section called U.S. Partner Resources (which includes the link to the U.S. Licensing Price Lists), and if you are signed in with Live ID, you’ll see a short list of recommendations for the month of December according to your membership (partners who have a gold competency, or were Gold Certified prior to November 1, will see the link to the CSAT survey under “Your Membership” in the upper-right hand corner).
The home page is just one of the projects under way to improve your online experience. With the launch of the new Partner Network under our belts, WPG is now able to focus on other changes and improvements to the portal, and I will be writing about them here. If you have suggestions, send them my way—here’s how.
Diane Golshan Sr. Marketing Manager, U.S. Partner Team Learn more about what I do at Microsoft.