Microsoft Announces Microsoft Direct Access, a New Channel Program

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 26, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft® Direct Access, a new channel program designed to help independent computer resellers and consultants take advantage of business opportunities, products, training and resources from Microsoft. Microsoft Direct Access is designed to provide more than 150,000 organizations with information and resources to build their business around Microsoft platform products and tools.

“We remain totally committed to our channel partners and have designed the Microsoft Direct Access program to address the needs of the broad base of independent resellers, consultants and other value-added service providers to engage with Microsoft more easily and effectively,” said Paul Bazley, general manager, small-business marketing and value-added provider programs at Microsoft. “Microsoft Direct Access complements our premier service provider program, the Microsoft Certified Solution Provider program, by providing information and resources to channel firms that are building the skills necessary to become an MCSP or that have a business model that does not map to the MCSP program.”

Microsoft Direct Access Program Components

Microsoft Direct Access is designed to enable resellers, consultants and other value-added service providers to take advantage of business opportunities to increase their revenue, better meet their customers’ needs, and find out what’s new in technology. Microsoft Direct Access helps organizations optimize their use of the wide range of Microsoft support, training and reference resources available. Focused business development opportunities highlighted by the Microsoft Direct Access program include developing and supporting Web applications, taking advantage of the demand for the Windows NT® operating system, deploying database and messaging solutions, and tapping the revenue potential of specific customer segments such as small business. “Microsoft Direct Access reflects the substantial experience and knowledge of the small-business market and the related sales and distribution channels contained in Microsoft,” said Rob Enderle, a research director at Giga Information Group in Santa Clara, Calif. “This program is exemplary by providing real value not only to those businesses, but to their resellers and their service providers as well.”

Microsoft Direct Access includes the following:

  • Microsoft Direct Access Web site, located at , supplies value-added providers with a continually updated connection to Microsoft. The site includes technical product information and resources, business development opportunity articles, sales materials, and news. The site details training options (self-paced, instructor-led, online training, and Microsoft TV), technical reference materials (troubleshooting wizards, technical support questions and answers, product patches and drivers), and special offers for value-added providers such as the option to register to receive the Microsoft BackOffice® family Small Business Server beta.

  • Microsoft Direct Access events give value-added providers an opportunity to hear directly from Microsoft about new technologies, business opportunities, and product technical detail. Microsoft is conducting over 1,000 events in 120 cities across the United States from Atlanta to Anchorage, Alaska, to reach over 150,000 resellers and consultants.

  • Microsoft Direct Access training is a series of one-day, hands-on, instructor-led courses that are available exclusively to value-added providers on hot technologies such as Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange Server and the Visual InterDev
    Web development system. Microsoft will deliver over 3,000 training classes through Authorized Technical Education Centers this year.

  • Microsoft Direct Access Action Pack includes a range of not-for-resale desktop and server products, development tools, sales materials, and special offers on training and support. The Action Pack has an estimated retail price of $295 and is available from distributors and through Microsoft Direct Access events.

  • Microsoft Direct Access newsletter is an online service that delivers the latest news and information and is available at .

  • Microsoft Direct Access hotline provides sales information and assistance to value-added providers from Microsoft Telesales at (800) 426-9400 (option 4-4).

The Microsoft Certified Solution Provider (MCSP) program is Microsoft’s premier channel engagement program. MCSPs must meet criteria that demonstrate their experience and expertise at developing and deploying high-quality solutions built on Microsoft technologies. MCSPs receive a higher level of engagement and benefits from Microsoft such as exclusive NDA information, customer referrals and the MCSP brand, a credential highly regarded in the industry as a measurement of quality and experience. For more information on the MCSP program, visit .

Microsoft offers a wide range of channel programs and resources. For further information about partnering with Microsoft, visit .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, BackOffice and Visual InterDev are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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