Buddies in Bad Times

There is a gay theater called Buddies in Bad Times which, in this era when heterosexual marriages are reaching a fifty per cent divorce rate, discusses in one of its plays the keys to success in a gay relationship. Note we take what appears to be the prudent step of not saying “gay marriage” – because the arguments advanced really apply to a broad range of gay and human relationships. The essential argument is that a good relationship is built on friendship. That friendship encompasses not just the good times but also the Bad Times – seeing a friend through difficulties. But giving in a way that is selfless, unencumbered because as the partner succeeds it becomes evident that both parties prosper.

Microsoft has just started a Buddy Program with its ISVs. This program takes advantage of the good nature, hard work and IT savvy of the Microsoft developer core. Each Microsoft ISV is linked with a Microsoft developer who becomes the point of contact, the go-to person on the Redmond campus to ensure that the ISVs MS needs are being met. For many Redmondnites this will be a straightforward task of dotting the “t”s and crossing the “i”s. But I couldnt help but thinking about Buddies in Bad Times.

Imagine the Microsoft buddies for Joel Spolskys FogBugz and Borland and Rational having to tell them that the new Teamwork Edition of Visual Studio is invading their space. Or think of how the Microsoft buddies spread the good news to Microsoft loyal partners like Cognos, Crystal, Cognos, ProClarity and several other BI vendors when Redmond decides to give large portions of their client-side BI software for free to help shore up Office 2003. Or conjure up the stories you are going to tell as an MS buddy since you have to convince partners like SAP, Peoplesoft, Lawson, Geac, and Oracle among others that Microsoft has no intentions of invading and capturing 90%++ of the ERP marketplace. Or as the King of Siam would say – et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Psst – hey buddy, want to be a Microsoft Buddy in Bad Times ?