Microsoft is shaking up its channel strategy to better support existing partners and to add new companies.
Microsoft UK director of channel development Karl Noakes told The Reg: "There's two parts to this: it's a message to existing partners that there's change in the wind and they need to change too. And it's a message to new companies that Microsoft is an attractive company to do business with."
The software giant is setting up a "Partnering for the Future" initiative, which will recruit from among MS's existing 35,000-strong reseller base as well as new partners from beyond the traditional reseller targets.
Noakes said: "Parts of the channel are already addressing this but we're seeing the re-emergence of web agencies funded by serial entrepreneurs. The changes around Web 2.0 mean we need different kinds of partners, and we need existing partners to change."
Noakes used the example of Conchango, which began as a traditional software integrator before moving into web design and development work. It now does as much creative and design work as straight IT provision.
The new partners will benefit from Microsoft's promised $6bn investment in software as a service, which it sees as a major part of what marketeers call Web 2.0. ®