Three Kiwi IT companies have successfully achieved Gold competencies, putting them in the top one per cent of Microsoft partners globally.
Equinox IT and OneNet Limited are the first organisations in New Zealand to be recognised as Microsoft Gold Partners for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Hosting competencies respectively, while Connect NZ attained one of only a handful of Gold Volume Licensing competencies.
Microsoft says the companies demonstrated "greater value to their customers by showcasing best-in-class capabilities and the ability to survive a rigorous and auditable approval process."
“These partners have shown a deep expertise that puts them in the top one per cent of our partner ecosystem," says Chris Ichter, Microsoft NZ director of the small, midmarket solutions & partners group.
"They have aligned their organisations with Microsoft and can now capitalise on the benefits their Gold competency gives them, including the ability to set their businesses apart from the competition.”
For OneNet founder and director, Dr Michael Snowden, investing in and attaining Gold status serves as a differentiator between his company and other organisations in the cloud computing market.
“Our clients feel a strong sense of stability with our organisation because of the serious effort and investment required to become a Microsoft Gold Hosting Partner," he says.
“In fact, we saw value almost immediately. With Microsoft accreditation our business partners and their clients recognise OneNet as offering one of the best locally-hosted cloud services supported by a very experienced team of well qualified engineers.”
Companies that achieve Gold accreditation receive core and competency-specific benefits according to Microsoft.
This includes internal use software licenses and a host of support benefits ranging from technical phone support to partner advisory hours.
These can be used towards any number of support offerings including technical presales and advisory services. In addition there is unlimited access to training at the Partner Learning Centre and access to marketing resources, competitive assistance and business advice.
Equinox IT Software Development director, Deane Sloan, says they will use exclusive Gold Partner training, as well as the latest software and support, to improve their ability to meet their customers’ needs.
“Equipped with the benefits a Gold Partner receives, we are well positioned to help our customers to improve their business with proven software development practices and leading purpose-built business applications," he says.
"We have a high-capability software development team who are experts in using agile and lean approaches along with the Microsoft Visual Studio development platform.
"We are proud to become Microsoft’s first New Zealand Gold partner for the ALM competency, recognising our leadership and commitment in this area.”
According to Karl Rosnell, Connect NZ's CEO, the proactive management of software licensing is a journey that never ends.
“We take the role of trusted advisor to our customers seriously, and the Microsoft Gold partnership is key to our mutual success," he said.
“Holding a Microsoft Partner Gold Competency in Volume Licensing gives reassurance to customers that our company can analyse and identify their product and capability requirements and recommend the best Microsoft licensing solution for their needs.”