While all partners are important to Microsoft, it is like anything in life, the more you put in the more you will get out, says John Bessey Microsoft’s small and mid-sized business and partner group director. “Microsoft is keen to offer increased support to those partners that invest more heavily in understanding its technology and the potential value for customers. To provide a fair means of assessing this, Microsoft has created a competency certification program where partners’ expertise in delivering the services that businesses value are recognised and distinguished,” he says.Bessey says Microsoft competencies define a partner’s area of specialisation, any certified or gold certified partner – regardless of size or market segment – is eligible to qualify for one or more competencies based on in-depth technical and business expertise. A recent IDC report analysed the performance of partners with specific competencies. IDC believes that for partners wishing to set themselves apart from the crowd Microsoft’s competencies deliver proven business value and identify market skills. The research found that partners who had earned the Advanced Infrastructure (AI) and Information Worker Solutions (IW) competencies have increased revenue and deal size by more than 50% as well as significantly shortening implementation times. Additionally, service capacity utilisation of IW partners is 10% higher than others which enables partners to keep non-productive resource costs down and net profit margins higher. “The passion and commitment the team at Microsoft New Zealand has for the partner community is incredible. Our absolute focus is on helping our partners ready themselves for the significant opportunities that lie ahead. We want our partnership with them to continue to generate positive new revenue streams and grow existing revenues. We foresee a fantastic time ahead for those partners who take advantage of the training and education events that Microsoft and its training partners are developing.”Why join the Microsoft Partner Program? The program is a single, integrated, worldwide program designed to help you realise your full potential. Partnering with Microsoft helps you: * Build your business and increase profitability with benefits designed to help you build revenue, sales momentum and prominence—while increasing your market impact. * Reduce costs and increase operational efficiency throughout your business cycle by using valuable software, training, and support benefits. * Realise your full business potential—for you and your customers—through innovative Microsoft technologies, your relationship with Microsoft, and the worldwide partner community. Once your organisation is enrolled in the Microsoft Partner Program, you will have immediate access to benefits and resources tailored to your individual business needs.
Who should join? The Microsoft Partner Program is designed for all businesses who sell, service, support or build solutions on the Microsoft platform or provide solutions based on Microsoft products and technologies to independent third-party customers. Examples of qualifying businesses are: consulting services providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), independent hardware vendors, large account resellers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), support providers, system integrators, system builders, training providers, value-added resellers, and value-added providers that sell more than 75% of their products and services to customers outside their own company. Examples of non-qualifying entities are: non-profits, academic institutions, students, government offices, and businesses whose primary focus is non-IT related activities. Specific types of businesses whose primary focus is non-IT related, but who have significant influence on technology purchases, may qualify to participate.