New Training Resources Make Selling and Supporting Microsoft Technology Solutions Easier Than Ever

REDMOND, Wash., April 6, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced new Microsoft Direct Access resources for technology providers, independent resellers and consultants so they can easily and cost-effectively gain skills and sell Microsoft® technology solutions. New Hands-On Training (HOT) kits and online sales centers were created to provide technology providers with the knowledge and tools they need to evaluate, sell and service solutions based on Microsoft technology.

“Microsoft Direct Access continues to provide the vital technical information and resources that technology providers need to succeed, but now more than ever Direct Access is optimized for technology providers with sales-oriented job functions,” said Nigel Burton, director, small business and value-added provider programs at Microsoft. “With Direct Access, we continue to invest in new resources aimed at helping technology providers take full advantage of new business opportunities.”

Hands-On Training Kits

HOT kits are currently available for the Windows NT® Server operating system; a Microsoft Exchange 5.5 HOT kit is expected to be available in late April.

The Windows NT Server HOT kit contains the following:

  • Not-for-resale (NFR) product includes Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 4, Windows NT Server 4.0 Option Pack, Microsoft Services for NetWare, Windows® 2000 Server operating system beta 3 when available and Windows 2000 Server NFR product when available.

  • Self-paced training
    on administering Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 includes access to online mentoring administered by Students that pass a free assessment exam have the opportunity to sign up for a free certification level course, Supporting Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Core Technologies.

  • Sales resources include technical documents, demos and customer-ready presentations.

HOT kits cost $125 (U.S.), with a value estimated at $2,500 (U.S.) based on the cost of similar training through a Microsoft Certified Technical Education Center.

Online Sales Centers

Microsoft Direct Access, located at , now includes online sales centers currently featuring Windows NT Server and BackOffice®
Small Business Server. The sales centers are designed to give technology providers the essential information and tools they need to sell and support solutions around key Microsoft products. Sales Centers include the following topics:

  • How to build skills. A variety of training options for technology providers from self-paced to instructor-led, including special training offers and discounts

  • How to sell. A toolkit of sales resources, including sales presentations and solution road maps, to help technology providers identify customer opportunities and sell solutions

  • How to market and promote. A toolkit of marketing resources, including templates for advertising and collateral, to help technology providers promote their solutions and services to customers

Each month, the sales centers will feature columns, reviews and peer insight written by technology providers who sell and support solutions based on Windows NT Server and Small Business Server.

Local Quarterly Briefings

Free quarterly Microsoft Direct Access briefings give technology providers an opportunity to gain early information on new technologies and insight into new revenue opportunities. New briefings available April through June include sessions on how to create and sell technology solutions in three key areas – communications services, data management and productivity. Key Microsoft products covered include Office 2000, Microsoft Exchange Server, Proxy Server 2.0, Windows NT and Microsoft SQL Server

About Microsoft Direct Access

Microsoft Direct Access, launched in August 1997, enables technology providers, independent resellers and consultants to effectively build their business around Microsoft products and meet the needs of small and midsize businesses with Microsoft technology solutions. Microsoft Direct Access is designed to give technology providers worldwide the knowledge, tools and resources they need to effectively sell and support customer solutions based on the Microsoft Windows NT operating system and BackOffice family.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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, Windows and BackOffice are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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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