Microsoft Great Plains Announces Certified Professional Program

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 30, 2001 — Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions today announced the introduction of the Certified Professional Program, a program that provides individual certifications for its reselling channel partners. In providing thorough and convenient testing and certification to partners, the Certified Professional Program demonstrates and extends Microsoft Great Plains ongoing commitment to maintaining a well-educated and equipped channel, helping to sustain high levels of customer satisfaction.

The new program adds convenient online testing for certification candidates, available 24×7 on any desktop PC, eliminating expenses associated with testing centers. In addition, online training is included for all partners holding current certifications. The program requires partners to retest when exams retire because of Microsoft Great Plains major product releases. Recertification, along with an annual program membership that must remain active, ensures that partners certifications remain current. In addition to an overall expanded breadth and depth of exams, a new masters level certification allows individuals to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency than was previously available. While individual certifications have been enhanced in the new program, partner authorization requirements remain the same.

“The relationship between Microsoft Great Plains and its partner community has long been revered as a model for channel success, both within our industry and across other industries,”
said Matt Magness, general manager of professional education at Microsoft Great Plains.
“The introduction of the Certified Professional Program allows partners to demonstrate a deeper level of product expertise, and in so doing, differentiate themselves from others in the eyes of existing and potential clients.”

Pricing and Membership Information

The Certified Professional Program is available immediately to North American partners authorized to sell Microsoft Great Plains Dynamics, eEnterprise and Great Plains Siebel Front Office. Microsoft Great Plains Solomon and Small Business Manager certifications will be available within the next calendar year. Certifications will be acquired and maintained through individual program membership. Two memberships are included with the Annual Partner Service Program; additional individuals can be enrolled for $295 (U.S.) annually.

About Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions

Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in todays interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found at or at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Great Plains is a registered trademark of Great Plains Software Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Great Plains Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the 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 Microsofts corporate information pages.

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