A blog series for U.S. partners by Jenni Flinders, Microsoft U.S. Vice President, Partner Strategy and Programs.

JenniFlinders

Over the years, one of the hot business topics we’ve encountered has been managing work/life balance. Before I address this topic, I need to state first and foremost, I am a mom who is successfully raising three daughters—while also leading the U.S. partner business for Microsoft. These are not mutually exclusive roles: I am the chief mom-in-charge of my girls and the chief leader-in-charge of the Microsoft Partner Network in the U.S. At the end of the day, I believe it’s more about integration than it is balance.

The software and devices I use at work have increasingly become the tools I use at home to help manage budgets, calendars for my three girls, and even keeping up with my family in South Africa through social media. 

I’m proud that Microsoft innovations are playing a huge role in driving and enabling this trend. In this way, as members of the Microsoft Partner Network, we are contributing to not only the consumerization of IT, but also its humanization.

If you don’t already have customers approaching you to discuss the impact of Windows 8, you will soon. And regardless of your customers’ business focus or size, there’s a great chance that the flexible, right-sized work styles that Windows 8 supports could be a significant selling point for them. Customers want faster, more intuitive technology, uninterrupted services, and freedom to work anywhere, anytime, on a variety of devices, and Windows 8 makes this freedom and connection possible.

imageI heard from many of you at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, and in daily exchanges ever since, that you’re committed to being more proactive in offering technology solutions that solve your customers’ challenges. With this in mind, I urge you to proceed with confidence in your Windows 8 strategies and sales discussions:

  • Acknowledge that your customers’ work cultures have fundamentally changed as more people are expecting their devices to transition seamlessly between professional and personal use.
  • Talk specifically with your customers about their Bring Your Own Device, mobile workforce and portable workspace objectives and be ready to educate them about how Windows 8 is designed to meet these types of issues.
  • Capitalize on increasing customer demand for custom line-of-business apps for tablets by either building out Windows 8 app development capability in-house or partnering with ISVs to provide a complete OS/app solution.

And when your customers succeed with Windows 8, so will you. With its touch interface, new features, and development platform, the OS offers new revenue opportunities to incorporate hardware and software development into your offerings.

Don’t forget about the resources we’ve put in place to help you make the most of the Windows 8 opportunity: Microsoft Ready to Go Marketing is your exclusive partner marketing toolkit for supporting all of your customer engagements, and our comprehensive online guide points you to helpful Windows 8-specific tools and training. Prepare yourself to sell solutions that meet your customers’ growing preferences for getting things done the way they want and you’ll gain trusted partner status.

imageFollow me on Twitter @Jenni_Flinders and share with me your plans for helping customers achieve their optimal flexible work style with Windows 8!