|This week, Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P.,
has an exclusive interview with Jahnis Gillan,
Marketing Manager, Channel Development, Microsoft
Q. Jahnis, can you describe your remarkable
background in computing and how you got to the
position you are currently in? Also, what are your
personal goals 1, 3, and 5 years into the future?
What are your particular responsibilities?
A. Prior to joining Microsoft I worked at Novell
Canada Ltd. and SHL Systemhouse in various
management and development positions. There and in
earlier roles I developed strengths in the area of
management, sales, marketing and recruitment
spanning a broad range of industries including IT
education, personnel recruitment and industrial
My current role is Marketing Manager, Channel
Development for Microsoft Canada, where I am
responsible for the planning and execution of
strategic training and marketing programs for the
Microsoft Certified Partner program and VAR
Q. For those just entering the computing field, what
tips would you give them?
A. I think the most important thing I would
recommend is to always continue learning. Whether
it’s through an internal training course or visiting
a training school (like one of our Microsoft
Certified Technical Education Centres) it’s critical
to continue developing your skills and to stay ahead
of the demand. Training ensures that you have the
skills to stay competitive. Certification ensures
that you are identified as an expert.
(For more information on the type of training
Microsoft Canada provides please visit:
Q. What career pointers would you provide to women?
A. I don’t think there are specific pointers for
women; there are many opportunities out there for
both men and women. Women entering into any field
will face challenges, but also the opportunity to
have a successful career. There are several
organizations out there that women may want to look
into - Wired Women, Catalyst, and Women’s Executive
Network, as well as great Websites that provide lots
of good advice like TechDivas.
Q. For those who have long established careers in
computing but wish to change, what areas would you
recommend that they should focus on?
A. A recent article in Fortune magazine (March 19,
2001 – 10 tech trends to bet on) said that voice
applications will start to be perfected, CRM will
continue to be a growing business and need, wireless
will continue to grow as more infrastructure is put
in place, and SANs or storage is going to become
more important as we continue to have a need to
store electronic files longer term. It was an
interesting article that I would recommend you look
at if you are looking for trends.
Q. In your particular area, where do you see your
company heading in the next one, two, and five
years? What changes are you implementing in the
short term and long term?
A. Currently we are very focused on the Microsoft
.NET strategy and getting Microsoft partners in
Canada up-to-speed on how to take advantage of it.
Microsoft .NET is Microsoft's strategy for
delivering software as a service. As such, it is
important that they understand the importance of the
.NET Platform, and specifically Enterprise servers,
how to deploy them and how they can benefit their
customers. For our ISV partners, it will be
important for them to get involved with Web
services. Microsoft’s .NET strategy will change the
way they develop applications by allowing them to
hook into Web Services.
Q. What tips would you give to your channel
A. We have always recommended that our channel look
to providing services and solutions to make their
business more well rounded and provide them with
additional revenue streams beyond products.
We would also recommend that channel organizations
look to become a Microsoft Certified Partner. As a
Microsoft Certified Partner, a company can offer
their customers a greater range of choices and the
ability to easily identify experts in specific areas
of technology such as e-commerce, enterprise
systems, and hosted solutions. Microsoft Certified
Partners are provided with Microsoft Product
licenses for internal and marketing use, extensive
technical training and support, access to
pre-release product information and program codes,
sales and marketing resources, and direct
communications with Microsoft staff. They also
receive customer referrals and participate in joint
Q. What technologies should IT professionals,
businesses, and your channel partners be watching
for in the next two years?
A. Simply put, they should pay close attention to
XML Web services.
The biggest part of Microsoft’s .NET strategy is
XML. The .NET platform enables the creation and use
of XML-based applications, processes, and web sites
as services that share and combine information and
functionality with each other by design, on any
platform or smart device, to provide tailored
solutions for organizations and individual people.
The .NET platform includes a comprehensive family of
products, built on industry XML and Internet
standards, that provide for each aspect of
developing (tools), managing (servers), using
(building block services and smart clients) and
experiencing (rich user experiences) XML Web
services. .NET will become part of the Microsoft
applications, tools, and servers you already use
today - as well as new products that extend XML Web
service capabilities to any and all business needs.
Q. What changes do you see for the future of
computing, conducting business, and the use of the
A. We see Microsoft .NET as the initiative that will
allow the Internet to be the basis of a new
operating system. It will free users from the
constraints of hardware by making user data
available from the Internet. .NET is important to
users because it will make their information
accessible across all devices.
If you would like more information on .NET you
Q. What changes are you planning to make in your
channel model in the next year, two years, and five
A. Microsoft has been and will continue to be very
supportive of our channel. In the last year we have
launched a number of training, and incentive
programs for our channel and we will continue to
expand on those moving forward. I recommend that our
channel partners visit
http://www.msvaraccess.com for information on
some of our recent initiatives.
Q. Consider this a blank slate for you to make
additional free ranging commentary about the IT
A. Microsoft Canada will continue its ongoing
commitment to support a wider group of channel
companies and to strengthen and broaden these
relationships through the development of new
initiatives aimed at helping to improve their
business, such as VARAccess, MAD programs. I would
suggest that anyone interested in the various
programs Microsoft Canada offers to the channel
where they’ll find a wealth of information on
programs, training, contests and incentive to help
grow their business.