John Lauer: Worldwide Partner Conference 2006

Remarks by John Lauer, Microsoft Vice President, SMS&P Midmarket Business
Worldwide Partner Conference 2006
Boston, Massachusetts
July 13, 2006

ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome John Lauer. (Applause.)

JOHN LAUER: Good morning. I’m John Lauer, and it’s my privilege to have an opportunity to speak with you today. I know you’ve been sitting here for about an hour and a half right now, so if you would, please just stand up for a minute, just one minute, if everyone could stand up. And I would like to have you join me in giving all of you a standing ovation for tremendous double-digit growth, beating the enterprise numbers, as Simon showed you earlier this morning. (Cheers, applause.) Congratulations. When it comes to the small- and mid-sized business, it’s all about you, the thousands of ISVs, VARs, small business specialists.

Oh, don’t sit down quite yet. We’ve got one more little exercise to do, the thousands of VARs, small business specialists out there that really deliver the solution to the millions of customers that we have. So the last exercise is this one, stretch out, everybody, just one big stretch. We’re going to talk today about the huge opportunity in the mid-sized and small space, and how you’re going to help us reach out to those millions of customers. So thank you very much. (Applause.) Fabulous year.

Okay. Also on behalf of our customers I want to thank you. There are really two big indicators of success with our customers. The first is customer satisfaction, and we are seeing both in the small business and midsized space our customer sat numbers are continuing to go up at a very healthy pace.

The second thing is our customers are very pragmatic, they vote with their wallets. And I told you about the outstanding revenue growth that we have, and this is an indication that the services and solutions that you’re providing are really resonating with them.

The other thing I like about this slide is I’ve had the chance over the past couple of years to really meet hundreds of these types of customers. And these people are real heroes. You know, in the pictures you don’t see air conditioned large rooms with rack-mounted servers in there, large IT staff; it’s typically about one to two to three, a small handful of IT generalists who are trying to keep everything up and running. They often describe their jobs as a mile wide and an inch deep, and it’s really the heroes that we have in these pictures working with you as an extension of their IT staff that enables them to keep things up and running and provide the technology solutions that they need.

Now, it may go without saying, but most of our businesses are small and medium sized businesses, and oftentimes when I’m talking with partners they say, well, how exactly do you segment the market, what do you mean by small and mid. And this is at Microsoft how we segment. So over on the far right-hand side is the corporate and enterprise space that Rick and Simon were talking about. And this space is 500 plus number of PCs, a thousand or more employees. That’s the high-end, and you can see there, there are about 18,000 entities involved in that space.

Then over on the left-hand side is us, small and mid-market or midsized companies. This is anywhere from one to 499 PCs, employee count you can think of it as one to 999 employees. And this is where we have a very large number of entities. You can see there are a total of over 40 million customers.

Now, all of these customers translate into the huge opportunities that we were talking about. Many of these customers have multiple servers. They’ll have anywhere three to seven servers in this space. And if you look at the all up statistics for the marketplace, you can see for packaged software, small and mid is 49 percent of a US$213 billion market. So that is not a small number. Very similar on the hardware side you can see similar statistics, 44 percent of the hardware market represented by small and midsized customers.

Now, another way that we like to look at this at Microsoft sometimes is looking at the installed server base that we have, and in the enterprise space we have 7.8 million, it’s kind of our internal calculation, 7.8 million installed servers, for midsized companies that I was just explaining 7.3 million, and small 7.6. So even from an installed server base you can imagine the service opportunities there to help these customers get their server infrastructure up and running properly.

Similar with the PCs, installed base of PCs, 94 million in the enterprise space, 103 million in mid, and 150 million in small; so again, big, big opportunities.

Now, the important thing is this represents a large service opportunity for you, in the small and midsized space $152 billion market. Now, to go after these opportunities customers are telling us they have some very specific needs that they think about every day.

And the middle of this is all about simplicity. You can imagine yourself, and I know all of you in working with small and midsized customers, you know that they need the level of simplicity, they need solutions to work as seamlessly as possible.

The other area of concern, in addition to simplicity, is really around some of the technology categories, and some of their specific needs. Security is an example, and we’re really completing our security solutions right now, both with edge, server and client and filling out that entire stack.

Productivity and collaboration: I think over the last couple of days, you know, you share my excitement for what the new wave of Vista, Office 2007 is going to mean in terms of integrated search in the office and bringing productivity and collaboration to a higher level than it’s ever been at before.

Mobility there, this is one that I think is really starting to hit hockey stick sort of growth right now. And it’s not just the mobility devices, but it’s actually the pull-through that it creates for services and for server infrastructure. Right now at Microsoft we have 115 mobile operators in 55 countries around the world, 47 OEMs. The security that comes as part of the mobility, you saw a demonstration earlier today, comes in with Exchange, we have the remote wide PIN enforcement, we have Vista BitLocker for full volume encryption, so mobility on a small device, on the laptop, we have the mobility with the security, so a very powerful story there.

Connectivity is another area that our customers are concerned about, how they’re connecting all of their infrastructure and managing it.

And next year we’ll be releasing a new product, System Center Essentials 2007, and it’s a new management solution designed just for midsized customers. Now, I think from a partner — so it gives you a unifying console, enables you to manage all of your clients and servers in a multi-branch environment. A lot of our customers have anywhere from three to seven, 15 branches, and with very few IT staff they need to know how to manage that properly. So Security Center Essentials we think is going to be a great tool.

Now, from a partner perspective I think if you take System Center Essentials and combine that with Operations Manager, it will allow you to remotely reach out to these customers and manage them. And I know as I’ve traveled around the world and had the opportunity to do a lot of partner roundtables and meet many of you in your offices, you know, one of the concerns is how do we get that cost of sales down to really reach out to all those customers, and so remote administration and monitoring is one approach to that.

Unified communications and collaboration, you know, another area I think you’ve seen some great demos this week. The business applications, that has been our fastest growing business line in the small and midsized area right now. Dynamics AX 4.0 that’s come out now, Steve mentioned CRM live that we’ll be announcing, but this again is some great service opportunities, it’s really solutions that are designed for those mid and small customers, and really starting to resonate in the marketplace right now.

The last one, sometimes we’re a little quiet about it, but we actually have one of the best storage and server solutions with Win Storage Server 2003 R2, Data Protection Manager, and these are solutions that really work for midsized customers. And I was looking at some recent IDC data, AMI data, and storage and backup recovery ranked right up there at the top as one of the things that our customers are really thinking about.

So we’ve got all these customer needs, they want simplicity, they need your help to deliver them. Now, in order to meet these needs, we also want to generate some demand for you, and package these needs in a way that’s going to drive some business forward.

So we’re taking a new approach to our marketing, and I’m sure some of you remember the GTMs or go-to-markets that we’ve had in previous years. And we got a lot of feedback that these were not really resonating with our customers.

I think the other important thing is they weren’t very well connected, so if you looked at the advertising that we had, we spent a lot of money on the advertising, broad-based advertising. It wasn’t connecting with the marketing materials that we were going out with in our local offices and that we were delivering to our partners.

So now we have a very connected story, and it is based on those needs that I was talking about.

But we’re also taking a role-based approach to it. So there are some very important roles inside of small and midsized customers, and they really want to understand how software is impacting their roles and making their people more empowered.

And so you’ve seen the People Ready advertising, and this comes down to the campaign level, and the first important role is this IT generalist. And we actually personify these people. This guy looks a little bit like me. I go out and visit a lot of customers, but that one is not me. But this is the IT generalist, and he has three areas of concern here. First is application platforms. Now, these customers don’t do a lot of their own custom development. Some of them on the very high end will do a little bit, but typically they’re buying solutions and they’re working with you to get the customization done. The second thing is they want to build a business productivity demand that their end users are requiring, that the organization is requiring. And then lastly they really want to optimize and secure their infrastructure, and I was already telling you about some of the solutions there.

So that’s really the focus for the IT generalist is cost driven, secure, optimized infrastructure, things that will allow them to get out of the office at 6:00 at night without having their cell phone go off constantly.

Another important role that we’re really turning the dial up this year for small and midsized business is around what we call business decision-makers. And these people are really growth driven. In the core pillars, things that they’re focused on are how do they develop stronger customer relationships, how do they drive innovation and create new services for their particular companies, how do they improve operations and reduce costs, and how do they reach out to their channel partners.

And these kind of four themes that are included in these customer campaigns are also included in the whole People Ready, so that’s what I mean by we have a very connected system here.

You can see some of the key roles that we’re focusing on, VP of sales and marketing, CEO, the CFO, and COO. And we’re also, if you look at the very bottom there, we’re taking an industry focus. I know when I go out and meet customers, and also when I talk to partners about how are they delivering the solutions to our customers, they very often tell me the industry is important.

I was meeting a small printing company in actually this area, in the Boston area about a year ago when I was out here doing some customer visits, and I was asking the IT professional in this company — this is a company that had 75 PCs, they had five servers, I was saying, well, how do you make your decisions. And he said, “Well, I’m part of the New England Printing Association.” Now, I didn’t know there was a New England Printing Association, but it’s an organization there, and they communicate, they have their monthly meetings, they have a real network where they’re kind of reaching out and figuring out what are the line of business applications that people in similar industries are using. And partners are giving me the same story, too, if they can take an industry focus to it, it really helps.

So this year we’re turning the dials up on these particular roles on the BDM roles, and we’re going to put in industry focus.

And I think the other thing that’s very important here is I got a lot of feedback from partners that our marketing was disconnected with our partner channel. So they would say, you know, John, sometimes the first time I heard about a program was when a customer called me and they asked me about it, and I hadn’t seen anything yet on it. And so we’ve worked very, very hard this year to make sure that we’re building it with the partners in mind, and that we’re getting the readiness calendar and everything so that you’re getting these materials and are aware of them before we go out to the marketplace and start driving demand.

The last very important role, I talked about the huge opportunity in the small business space, is really that small business owner, who’s focused on thriving and growing. And there we have some very specific campaigns targeted at that audience, you know, financial management with our Office Small Business Accounting that’s been doing very well, the First Server, Right Server campaign, Small Business Server has been one of the fastest growing products ever at Microsoft, and the list goes on there, too.

So very focused on driving demand for you to help get your business going.

Now, in conjunction with driving demand, we also want to make sure that we’re providing resources at every step along the way here to really help you support these deals, close these deals. And I think importantly, as I was talking about reaching out again, how can we lower that cost of sales for you to make it profitable to start serving this broad base of customers.

So every step along the way here, and it starts with assessment and deployment. Customers want to know what’s my next step, what should I be doing right now, and we have some tools out there, we have this Keystone study that we did with the Harvard Business Group last year, and we put that out on a Web site, and it allows a customer in a very light way to go through and answer some questions, and it gives them an idea about what their IT capabilities are and how it might benefit their business.

And with that, they can then have a conversation with you about what are some of the capabilities that they would want to implement, things like improving their customer relationships that I talked about.

Another very, very cool tool, you should go out to the Web site and take a look at it, is our Windows Server System Assessment and Deployment Tool. We just launched this 60 days ago, and we’ve already had 3,500 downloads.

Now, I talked about small and medium, what kind of the infrastructure looks like and typically these customers have Win Server, Exchange Servers, MOM server, and they want to get this basic infrastructure up and running easily.

So we’ve developed this tool, and it’s a partner tool, again driving down your cost of sales. So you go out and you deploy this, it sniffs out in the network, gives an inventory of the servers and clients that you have out there, and the software that you’re running right now. And then it gives some very prescriptive guidance on how you would want to deploy this, and then there’s actually some wizard technology that helps with deployment.

Now, the really cool thing about this is it develops something that’s very close to a proposal for you. So it kicks out a 20-plus page document, depending on the environment, with a good inventory of everything that’s happening, so you can just take it with the customer, okay, here’s what you have right now, here are some of the next steps, here’s how I can help you with deployment; again, really lowering that cost of sales for you. And then you can also use some junior level resources to help with the deployment, because it has very prescriptive guidance.

So I’m very excited about that tool. And again that’s Windows Server System Assessment and Deployment Tool.

Moving over to that third bar there is Solution Finder. I think you’ve been hearing this out — oh, I’m hearing applause there. Go ahead, and you can applaud for Solution Finder. (Applause.) Ten thousand solutions out there right now, and we’re putting this into all our Web properties. The demand generation, end customer demand generation that my organization is responsible for, for this customer set, we’re driving people to Solution Finder, again 10,000 solutions out there. So the idea is we help do some demand generation, help with assessment, and now we want to help the customers find you.

I know everything isn’t just a Web-based solution, we also have field-facing resources that help you reach out to the customers. And an important part of those field-facing resources for our segment is our telesales organization. We have 730 plus inside salespeople around the world who are taking some of the lead generation that comes through the events that we run, responses to direct mail, e-mail campaigns that we’re running, and really try to develop those opportunities and pass them on to our Gold and Certified partners. So hopefully you’re feeling some impact from the investments that we’re making there.

The other thing is Open Value. Open Value, customers wanted an annuity solution similar to the EA or Enterprise Agreements that we had for the largest customers. Open Value is something that we launched last year. It has been going on for Europe, a version of it, for a couple of years. We’re seeing 20-plus percent growth for volume licensing around Open Value. We also have Microsoft financing available in 11 countries now, and this financing is not just software, it’s also hardware, and services. And then we have some response management.

Okay. So, one of the most important tools, and the one you’re hearing about at the conference today is one that we’ll be showing you here. Simon mentioned it this morning, and this is the Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business. I first want to extend a thank you to the German subsidiary. They’re actually the ones who developed this in its incubation form, and then we’re hearing things from customers, from their partners, but how do we really show the great cross-stack benefits that Microsoft has with all of their technologies. So, they built this very integrated demonstration environment. Now, it’s a full instantiation of the product. It runs on Virtual Server and PC images, so that partners can extend it, they can put their solutions on it, they can customize it by industry, and take it out to their customers, and we found that it really resonated. So, we took that German solution, and now we’ve turned it into a global sales tool, very excited about it. The second thing is role-based. Like I talked about, our customers are pragmatists. They want to know how our solutions are helping the sales manager, how they’re helping people in operations, how they’re helping all of the various roles, the accounts receivable clerks in the organization. So, it’s a role-based demo as well. And then the last thing is, it’s Partner Ready. And I’ll talk a little bit more about where you can get that after we have you take a look at the demo in just a few moments.

Now, the thing that really makes it exciting is the sort of feedback that we’re getting from partners, and you can see a quote up there on the screen. I know in Europe we were using this as feedback and I had an opportunity to speak with partners. They have found it to be a very, very successful tool for them.

So, with that, actually I would like to roll a video first to kind of tell you a little bit about how we might do a demonstration for a mid-sized bicycle manufacturing company called Contoso. So, let’s roll the video please.

(Video segment.)

Okay, well, I would like to right now give you a very brief glimpse at how a partner might take Microsoft Solutions and take it out to a customer and demonstrate that, and so please join me in welcoming Steve Winfield, our technical manager in the U.S. OEM group.

STEVE WINFIELD: Hey, John. Hey, you all. (Applause.)

JOHN LAUER: Okay, Steve, so we just saw this video, and we saw some various we’re really focused on role-based right now.


JOHN LAUER: Maybe we’ll do a little role-playing here. Who would you like me to be? Should I be Kevin, Eduardo, Julia?

STEVE WINFIELD: No, no, no, you’re much too important for that. I’m going to give you a role that’s going to stretch you a little bit. I want you to pretend you’re a vice president of sales and marketing. Do you think you can pretend to be a vice president?

JOHN LAUER: Okay, I think that would kind of be in line with my action of choice. So, I’ll be the VP of sales and marketing. I know as the VP of sales and marketing for a mid-sized customer, I’m concerned about three things. Number one, data, I’ve got data all over the place, customer data, production data, sales data. The second thing is, I want to take my campaigns out to market quickly. And the third thing is, I want to be able to collaborate. I have all these various roles that I was talking about, and we don’t seem to operate in a very unified fashion. It’s a fire drill oftentimes.

So, I’m excited about this new product that we have, the XLT 2500 Road Bike. So, how can you help me orchestrate and get this campaign out to market?

STEVE WINFIELD: Wonderful, John. You’ve given me some tough challenges. I want you to know that. But, luckily, I’m a Microsoft partner, and I’m using some of the best darned products that are out there. So, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to talk to you about ways that we can do some stuff that will help prevent those fire drills from going on.

Let me kind of go into the roles of your different key leaders. Let me start off as Kevin, your sales manager, and we all know sales managers wear ties to look good. Now, I’m a sales manager. As a sales manager, I love Outlook. I absolutely love it. Live in e-mail, love e-mail, and I come in to work and I see that I have an unread e-mail workflow. Now, this workflow is a process that we have going on, it’s actually using SharePoint Server 2007, and what this is, this is telling me that there’s an approval workflow that’s been started regarding this XLT promo campaign.

JOHN LAUER: This is a workflow that I kicked off, and it’s a very light workflow with the excitement around the 

STEVE WINFIELD: That’s exactly right. So, when I come to the SharePoint site I see it’s been initiated by John Lauer, the man, the myth, and it was started on 7-12, and I see that I have the assignment here to please approve the XLT promo campaign. I’ve got to make sure that the XLT promo campaign is going to actually help my business. So, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to come down to Outlook, and I’m going to look inside CRM, and I’m going to come to do some business intelligence.

Now, what I’m doing inside this business intelligence is this is actually CRM exposing some key performance indicators for me, and it’s exposing it all through Excel 2007. So, I can see, I’ve got my mountain bike, and my road bike, and my touring bike. John, you do know the difference between a road bike and a touring bike, right?


STEVE WINFIELD: It’s about 20 miles an hour, and $3,000. So, if you all don’t laugh at my jokes, I’m not going to be funny anymore. Anyway, so I see my key performance indicators, but I’m a sales guy, you know, I don’t want to just stick with what’s here, I want to do some of my own analysis on the fly. So, using one of the key features inside Excel 2007, I’m just going to highlight some things real quick, and I want to see a visual of this. So, I’m going to look at some conditional formatting, I’m going to come over here and look at data bars. And very quickly I can visually see what my bike shops are doing with this road bike’s sales. And I can see (Kai Cycles ?), one of my best partners, one of my best bike shops, is kind of doing flat. So, you know what, this campaign is really going to help Kai Cycles out. More importantly almost, it’s really going to help me out, because, dang it, I’ve got to meet my quota.

JOHN LAUER: What’s that? What are you showing there?

STEVE WINFIELD: What I’m doing, actually this is Flip 3D, which is a feature of Vista. It’s just a way for me to quickly and easily get to my screens if I have a whole bunch of things opened up.

So, I’m going to come back over to my SharePoint, I click on the please approve the XLT promo campaign, and as it opens up, there it goes, I’m going to say, I need sales. And that’s exactly how it sounds when I type.

JOHN LAUER: You like it, you’ve done the analysis.

STEVE WINFIELD: I’ve approved it. And so, at that point, the sales guy has said, life is good.

JOHN LAUER: Okay. So, that’s great. That’s a great example of how our tools are allowing this to operate in a coordinated fashion. You showed how Kevin could get his job done.

Now, it would be a shame to have all these sales and not have production capacity to meet it. So, what do we have to help Eduardo in his role as production planner?

STEVE WINFIELD: Very good. So, let me get into the role of Eduardo, who left his contacts at home. So, now I’m Eduardo, looking pretty good if I say so myself. Now, Eduardo is going to come into Outlook, and he sees the e-mail talking about the workflow has started. So, he comes, and he’s going to check on the status of the workflow, because he wants to do his work on his time. He sees that Kevin has already completed the workflow. So, he’s good. So, now it’s up to Eduardo. Now, Eduardo being the production planner that I am, I need to make sure that I have all the parts we need to sell this baby.

So, what I’m going to do is, I’m going to come into our ERP, which is Microsoft Dynamics AX, which actually is really neat, because as a production planner, I don’t need to see everything under the sun. What I need to see is exactly what’s relevant to me in my role. So, all I see are the two modules within Dynamics AX that apply to what I do, massive planning and inventory management.

So, here is inventory management. I’m going to take a real quick look to see how we’re doing on the parts for the XLT Pro Tour bike. So I just double click there, and I see there are the parts that are included. Now, I know we’ve got enough of most of these parts, but I’m really concerned about the tires, because after all there has been some real shortages lately around tires. So, I’m going to highlight the tires, and I’m going to come over here, and I’m going to click on the “onhand” button. And I see real quickly, oh, my gosh, I only have 700 tires. We’re hoping to sell 1,000 bikes through this campaign, so this is a real problem. I don’t have enough tires. I had better get a hold of Fabercam, so that way I can get the tires ordered.

JOHN LAUER: I know Fabercam is our tire supplier, so you’re going to get on the phone, give them a call, and see if they have enough inventory for you?

STEVE WINFIELD: John, no phones. This isn’t Windows 95 age, man, this is modern day Microsoft technology. I’m actually going to come out to Fabercam’s external SharePoint site. Fabercam has created a secure extranet for me to use when I need to find out and do business with them. So, I’m going to come in here and I’m going to log on securely to this site. Now, you all don’t look at my password, please. And I’m logging on.

So, now when I’m here, I’m really  I can do all sorts of stuff, but I’m concerned about the product availability. So, I click on product availability. Once I click on that, I’m going to do a real quick search for the XLT 2500 tire, which is what I’m looking for, and I can see very quickly XLT 2500, they only have 1500 this month, but they’ll have 5,000 available next month, and 5,000 available the month after that.

So, what’s cool is, I can actually  so, I know they have enough tires. I can actually, from that external site, I can actually go through and make my order. And once I’ve got it all ordered, I can then go to the SharePoint site where you initiated that workflow, and I can say, we’re good to go. You sell it, I build it.

JOHN LAUER: That’s great. I love the workflow in SharePoint here really allowing my team to be very coordinated for things that were fire drills. You talked about Kevin, you’ve got Eduardo going. Now, Julia is my marketing manager, one of my senior people, and we’re never successful without marketing. And she has some real pain points. She wants to orchestrate, get everybody together, and run some very targeted campaigns. So, I’m wondering what you can do to kind of help us with Julia in her particular role, and help meet some pain points that she might encounter.

STEVE WINFIELD: All right. Great.

JOHN LAUER: So, kind of  

STEVE WINFIELD: Now, I’ve got to make sure that I get into the proper role of Julia, because Julia  hold on. You’ve got to love this here, so let me get that going. How are you all doing, don’t mind me. All right. Thank you. You all can applaud.

JOHN LAUER: So, logging in was the hard part.

STEVE WINFIELD: It’s easy from here, but I’ve got to get into the proper role, because this is role-based.


STEVE WINFIELD: So, now I am Julia.


STEVE WINFIELD: Thank you. As Julia, I’m also going to be looking at my Outlook. And so, when I come into Outlook, I see the workflow. I’m going to check out the view status of the workflow, and I see that Kevin says he can sell it, complete it, Eduardo says he can build it, and so now it’s my opportunity to market it.



JOHN LAUER: Your opportunity to market it, but how can we really make sure that it’s very targeted going just after those retail shops that we’re concerned about? We don’t want wasted marketing, we want very precision, targeted marketing.

STEVE WINFIELD: Exactly right. So, using CRM, I’m actually going to come in, I can actually use some of my marketing lists that we’ve defined that goes through and lets us know what our different bike resellers are. I can then go through and expose their sales data. And check this out, I can expose their sales data through MapPoint.

And so, when I come in and I expose this through MapPoint, I actually can see in this case, it’s a view of Western Washington, and I can see the number of bike shops that I have. And I can see which ones are doing well.

I could do a broad campaign, marketing campaign, but that might waste some of my money. I really think in this case, a targeted campaign, a bike shop, right around the Seattle area would probably be my best thing, and there’s good old Kai Cycles. So now that I know what I want to do, now that I know where I want to do it, what I can do is I can actually come and launch it.

JOHN LAUER: Actually, before you do that, it looks like you’re still in Outlook.

STEVE WINFIELD: I am still in Outlook, because of the tight integration with the Office product, and the CRM product, and then the tight integration with Map Point into CRM, I’m able to do everything right from Outlook.

JOHN LAUER: That’s cool.

STEVE WINFIELD: Yes, I love it. Let me come over to the campaign. So click on the campaign right there. I see the SLT Tour de France campaign, you’ll notice it’s still proposed, so I simply open this up. I can do all sorts of things in here around financial administration, but all I’m really concerned about right now is moving this from proposed to launching it. So now once I click the launch, and once I click save and close, what this could do, this could initiate any number of items. It could initiate some sort of direct mail campaign, maybe it pops up some  buys some Web banners. It could do all sorts of great marketing stuff to help me make more money with my marketing. Pretty cool, huh.

JOHN LAUER: That is very cool.

STEVE WINFIELD: Now, at this point what I would do is I would go back to the SharePoint site, and I would do is I would go back to the SharePoint site, and I would sign off saying that I’m good to go. So now, John, very quickly, very easily, you know from your marketing director that she can market his in a targeted marketing campaign. You know from your productions planner that he actually can build the bike and have everything he needs, and you know, of course, from your sales guy that he can sell it and sell a lot of it. John, no fire drills involved, pretty soon you’re going to be a rich man.

JOHN LAUER: Okay. That was a very cool demo. It must have taken a lot of resources for you, as a partner, to get that up and running.

STEVE WINFIELD: Actually, this is part of demo showcase, which is a tool that Microsoft has provided for me, so that way I can concentrate on what I do best, which is take care of my customers like you. It includes not only the talking script, the key points, it also includes all the virtual machines I need in order to demo this product. That’s cool stuff.

JOHN LAUER: Okay. Steve, thanks for the cool demo.

STEVE WINFIELD: Thanks, John. Bye, y’all. (Applause.)

JOHN LAUER: Okay. So the demo showcase you’ll see it handed around the audience. It’s over in the Partner Challenge kiosk in the partner booth. It will also be coming out in your Gold and Certified Partner boxes in the fall. Then when we ship Vista and Office 2007 you’ll get an updated version at that time.

ALLISON WATSON: Thanks, John, for taking us on a tour. Have a great day.

JOHN LAUER: Okay. Allison, I appreciate it.

ALLISON WATSON: All right. (Applause.)

So you’ve gotten a taste of having conversations in our language with our customers in the enterprise, in the mid-market, and you can have the same conversations with small business, just as the one I had last week at Kai Cycle. But, I want to remind you, it’s not only us having conversations with these customers, there are other vendors, and other partners out there having conversations with the customers. I want to give you a little taste of how I think those conversations are going.

(Video segment.)