Blast from the past: Microsoft GTMs (SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt)

Folks – Happy Holidays to one and all. I am the author of the above title and I like to hold periodic virtual book readings. Today is a passage that is truly a blast from the past: Microsoft Go To Market (GTM) campaigns in the 2003 time frame or so. Enjoy….

Microsoft’s Go To Market Campaign

At the Microsoft Partner conference called FUSION in July of 2002, Microsoft formally rolled out its “Go To Market” mantra. Go To Market (GTM) is a business development and technology deployment methodology that is the “message” for Microsoft partners to be successful. And while

much of GTM is oriented toward the enterprise space, there are SMB snippets here and there.

In Figure 4-13, you can see that Microsoft’s SBS page for partners typically lists current news (such as the early 2003 rebate program), followed by Figure4-14 which shows the GTM methodology.

Figure 4-13:

Microsoft’s partner page for SBS.

Figure 4-14

The GTM message for SBS (and thus SMB).


While I’ll weave GTM into several other chapters that follow, here is the basic 4-step methodology.

1.      Learn About It! The idea here is to develop technical competencies in a technology niche. Microsoft provides a bevy of educational resources, including a series of worldwide GTM Hands-On Labs (HOT Labs) tours to assist your learning process.

2.         Sell It! This is the business development or finder function. There’s no shortage of marketing resources for you from Microsoft. I cover the “sell it” function over the next few chapters.

3.      Deploy it! This maps to my Grinder section of the book where you “do it” and implement the technology solutions. This is the nuts, bolts, and bits many of us are most comfortable with. Here, you install the network, install the applications, and make good things happen immediately for the customer. But don’t forget this phase would also include project planning, project management, engage­ment management, and the like (topics covered across this book).

4.      Build on it! This is Microsoft’s newfound appreciation for valuing the long-term customer relationship in a consulting scenario by focusing on solution selling. After the technology infrastructure is in place, it’s incumbent on the consultant to continue to add value to the customer by providing solutions that improve business operations. An example of this would be introducing a client to Exchange Server-based Instant Messaging several weeks after successfully rolling out Exchange Server for simple e-mail. Much more on solutions across the balance of this book.

I applaud Microsoft in this case for giving the bits a kick and focusing more on providing bona fide business solutions for customers. It’s nice to see the big “M” mature much like watching a protégé work her way up the consulting career ranks. Oh, and did I forget to mention that, at the same FUSION conference referenced above, Steve Ballmer announced Microsoft was pouring over $500 million US into the GTM campaign? That’s a lot of pesos, pardner!


Harry Brelsford, CEO at SMB Nation (

MBA, MCSE, CNE, CLSE, CNP, MCP, MCT, SBSC (Microsoft Small Business Specialist)

PS – did you know my Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) book is almost here? Yes!




1 Comment

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One response to “Blast from the past: Microsoft GTMs (SMB Consulting Best Practices book excerpt)

  1. Wow – that really takes me back! It is amazing to look at artifacts like this from recent history and see how far technology and the methodology behind it has come. Thanks for the fascinating look back in time!

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