1/16/2013 10:00 AM
I ran across the Virtual Partner Concierge service from Microsoft Partner Network team recently, and thought it was worth reviewing and sharing.
I know our non-U.S. partners hate it when I say this, but this service is only for U.S. Partners it seems.... I will try to do a better job of find non-U.S. partner resources for our next post, I promise...
Here is how the VPN is described on the site:
The Virtual Partner Concierge is for members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) located in the United States. Virtual Partner Concierge offers an easy-to-use way to discover the online content from Microsoft partner-facing sites that is most relevant to your organization and your role in that organization. Use Virtual Partner Concierge to see content and connection recommendations from Microsoft U.S. team members who have expertise in specific aspects of the partner business, then give them feedback about those recommendations to help improve them.
How is Virtual Partner Concierge different from the Microsoft U.S. partner portal and other Microsoft partner-facing sites?
Virtual Partner Concierge is not intended to be its own site, but to offer a new experience for U.S. partners to find content across the various Microsoft partner-facing sites. In Concierge, partners can choose the content “view” that best represents what they want to accomplish online, based on organization and individual profile data from the Microsoft Partner Network membership center.
What information can I expect to see in Virtual Partner Concierge?
First, you have the ability to choose the content “view” that best represents what you want to accomplish online. The views available to you are related to your company’s and your own Microsoft Partner Network profile. Each view is created and managed by a member of the Microsoft U.S. partner team with specific expertise, and contains a timely, relevant message from that team member and how to communicate with him or her, plus his or her recommendations for the best content from Microsoft web sites and opportunities to stay informed through other means such as e-newsletters, blogs, and social media.
What if I don’t like or agree with the recommendations offered in Virtual Partner Concierge, or have ideas for recommendations to share?
You have the opportunity to make a comment and rate any of the messages or links you see in your Virtual Partner Concierge views. Your feedback helps us make better recommendations, understand what changes we should consider making to the content at the recommended links, and improve the overall partner experience. By the way, if we hit the mark and you are happy with the recommendations, we’d love that feedback, too!
I went thru the site a bit, and it seems like a cool Silverlight app that allows you to quickly choose a broad topic your interested in, and quickly get links to relevant resources from all of the Microsoft partner related sites. And since the MPN team is so incredibly good at providing content and programs for us partners, often times in such volume that it is sometimes hard to keep up, this may become a valuable service.
Here is an example: I logged in, and chose the Partner Learning View from the My Views control on the right. All (or most) of the information in the app changed to relevant Learning related topics.
Under the Recommended Microsoft Content section, I chose a program I was unfamiliar with called Build a Training Plan for Yourself, Employees, and was sent to this site, which again I hadnt know about and looks pretty cool:
I do have to admit that one of the links I chose returned a 404 error, and another just sent me to the MPN home page. So, it isn't perfect yet, but if they keep it up to date, it could become worthwhile to check back there once in a while to see if there has been any valuable resources added to the MPN program that you didn't know about.
I hope you get some value from this service, and good luck!