Albuquerque, NM, April 2011 - at the site of Microsoft's founding
Today I start a new role as a Partner Technology Strategist at Microsoft! After nine years in the Microsoft partner ecosystem, I'll be seeing this business from the other side, in a position dedicated to helping partners build their technology practices and monetize the Cloud.
Some folks have asked me: why Microsoft, why now? This is the part where I get to state publicly, in the face of all the joking "mothership" and "dark side" comments I've received in the past two weeks, that I have always wanted to work for Microsoft. As I mentioned, I've been a partner for nine years, and have worked with Microsoft technologies most of my adult life, so I have a lot of passion around the partner community and the product stack. Many of the smartest, most talented people I know either work at Microsoft now or have worked there in the past. The company is a true leader at this time of business transformation - their innovations around Cloud and Mobility will keep them competitive, as their high stock price and "Strong Buy" analyst recommendations indicate. And it's clear that Satya Nadella's leadership is ushering in a new era of openness and integration, as the company partners with competitors like Dropbox and SalesForce and makes their products available on competitor platforms like iOS.
I'm unbelievably excited to take on this role. And what I've found through this process is that it takes a village to advance your career - so let me take a moment to acknowledge the folks who helped me get here:
My longtime colleague from the SharePoint community, Richard Harbridge, held the role before me, and according to his team was considered the "best PTS ever," so I'll have some very big shoes to fill. Richard was instrumental in helping me get the job, for which I am extremely grateful! (Shameless plug: Richard and I (and many others) are co-authors of a book that just came out on May 1 - Improve It!: A collection of essays on using analytics to accomplish more with SharePoint, from the amazing folks at WebTrends.)
Mike Gilronan, who called me in March to say, "Hey, did you know Rich Harbridge is leaving Microsoft?"
Tara Seppa, for recommending me up, down and sideways along the chain of command.
Barrie Mirman, for so many years of support, encouragement, and insider knowledge.
Carin Kuehl, for heaps of Human Resources and Recruiting wisdom and advice.
JT and SVB, for continual support, morale boosting, and encouragement.
Finally, the team at BlueMetal, the most talented group of technologists and designers I've ever had the honor to work with. I learned so much from you. Thanks for a great four years.