Microsoft Offers New Sales Resources To Maximize Certified Partners’ Business Success

REDMOND, Wash., July 22, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it is expanding support services for Microsoft Certified and Gold Certified Partners to include presales technical support and technical service coordination for incident management and proactive services. These new support services will help partners respond to their customers’ needs before and after the sale, including implementation and deployment. The new services will help ensure that Microsoft Certified Partners have access to on-the-spot technical and sales expertise so they can pursue, win and deliver software, services and support to their customers with greater speed and accuracy. The two new offerings will complement existing support and training resources and deliver enhanced support and direct linkage to Microsoft.

“To help partners win in a competitive marketplace, we wanted to deliver immediate assistance that enables them to achieve their business objectives,” said Allison Watson, vice president of Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft. “These resources will help Certified Partners quickly provide competitive bids to their customers and give them new access to technical support during implementation and deployment of customer solutions.”

Partner response to the new offering has been positive. “I think this is the best benefit offered to us as a Certified Partner with Microsoft. In the past we wanted additional support provided to us, especially while at a customer’s site. The expectation is that because your organization is a Microsoft Certified Partner, you had special access to getting problems resolved. Now, as a partner, we do. We really look forward to using the Technical Service Coordination services,” said John Stawiarski, director of Network Services with U.S. Gold Certified Partner Omicron Consulting.

Presales Support

Presales phone support is designed to help partners in the bidding phase of a project by providing them with access to sales support agents who can answer technical and sales questions. Presales support is available in most countries to provide guidance on product licensing recommendations and technology feature and functionality comparisons. With the addition of presales technical support, Certified and Gold Certified Partners can elevate in-depth technical questions to a dedicated partner support team for Microsoft®
technology teams to get fast, accurate answers to questions regarding vendor analysis, platform compatibility and integrated solutions.

Comprehensive presales support for technical and sales issues is available in China and Canada and will extend to the United States in August. It is expected to be available worldwide in fall 2003.

Technical Service Coordination for Gold Certified Partners

Microsoft also is announcing new technical service coordination for Gold Certified Partners. Technical service coordination provides access to specialists who can assist with technical issues and also names a resource for information on such things as security alerts, patches, and Microsoft HotFixes so partners can take proactive, preventive measures on behalf of their customers. Technical service coordination is intended for partners that don’t have a Microsoft Premier Support relationship but want a basic level of technical service guidance from Microsoft.

Technical service coordination is available in the United States and China and is expected to be globally available in fall 2003.

About Microsoft

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