Here's what I said:
Over the past year, Microsoft has been "making a lot of noise" about putting more resources into partner programs, said Carmi Levy, senior research analyst Info-Tech Research Group in London, Ont. With his track record, the new Canadian chief would be effective in enforcing that.
Levy said Sorgen's initiative in establishing the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider Partner Program at Microsoft's South Central District makes him the ideal candidate to lead the software company in further building relationships with Canadian partners.
"This is a very strong sign for the company that they are going to continue in this direction and they really do value who they do business with as they drive products into the market," the analyst said.
Simplifying its licensing structure is also another area where Sorgen should focus on as he takes over the reigns at Microsoft Canada in Mississauga, Ont., said Levy, adding that many companies are still struggling to stay on top of their licensing situations.
He said Microsoft's Software Assurance (SA) – a software maintenance program – is a great step in that direction, but the software company needs to "continue that significantly because licensing still remains an area of confusion for many companies."
"Microsoft has started (improving its licensing structure) over the last year, but there is huge opportunity to educate its client base on proper licensing, simplifying how its offerings are structured and on keeping that educational volume up so the level of confusion continues to come down," said Levy.
Another area that Sorgen could focus on in 2006 is establishing the company's position as a services-based company. This remains to be the biggest threat to the future of the software company, said Levy.
He said Microsoft has merely played catch-up while its "more agile" competitors have already established leadership in Web services applications, developments and deployments in recent years. "Microsoft needs to move very quickly here to establish its own position in the market."
The Info-Tech analyst acknowledged, however, that the company has started to recognize this threat and have made some strategic movements toward responding to it.
He cited Microsoft's recent announcement on its new Web services offerings, such as Windows Live and Office Live, speak well of that realization.
He cautioned, though, "in 2006 and beyond, Microsoft needs to cohesively deliver on this strategy," and how Canada plays in that strategy will soon be in the hands of its incoming president.