Microsoft Launches New Business Development Program For ISV Community

NEW ORLEANS, Oct. 10, 2003 — Today at the Microsoft®
Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced a new program to help independent software vendors (ISVs) realize greater returns on their business development efforts by expanding their ability to build sales relationships. Dubbed “Channel Builder,” the program will provide a global online networking tool and more than 120 structured networking events around the world.

“Succeeding as an ISV is a challenge today,” said Vladislav Martynov, ISV senior director in the Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing Group at Microsoft. “Software development, in and of itself, is a substantial investment, not to mention today’s competitive market where customers require more specialized solutions to meet their business needs. Our goal is to enable our partners with everything we can to help them overcome these challenges and build a successful business.”

The Channel Builder program is designed to help Microsoft Certified vendors achieve commercial success with solutions they’ve built on the Microsoft platform. Such companies often are heavily invested in the development of their solutions but have little expertise in building sales-engagement relationships. The program will bring ISVs together with Microsoft channel partners in other fields for networking opportunities that can lead to new partnerships, new solutions and new revenue streams for Microsoft’s partners.

In addition to structured networking, the program will offer a new, Web-based networking tool to connect partners using the Unified Partner Portal infrastructure. The tool will identify and group companies by industry and specialization and will offer chat rooms, bulletin boards, event registration and e-commerce functionality. In addition, the tool will feature a partner portal with comprehensive information from Microsoft such as lists of contacts by region and subsidiary, product information and marketing collateral, and technical resources such as system requirements, upgrades and demos. The tool is expected to be launched this fall in the United States; a worldwide launch is anticipated for early 2004.

“The Channel Builder program will help our valuable industry partners extend their sales reach into new territories, engage with other businesses and keep abreast of the latest developments from Microsoft, all at a minimal investment of time and resources,” Martynov said. “Our certified partners are critical to Microsoft and its customers. We’re committed to their success, and this new program is one more way that we’re following through on that commitment.”

To Enroll in the Channel Builder Program

Companies that want to enroll in the Channel Builder program must be either Certified or Gold Certified by Microsoft. Companies can enroll in the program simply by attending a local networking event or engaging the online tool, which will be available in the United States in December, where they can provide partner profile information.

About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference

Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference combines the best elements of two previous events — Fusion, for Microsoft partners, and Stampede, for Microsoft Business Solutions partners — to provide even more valuable and informative learning opportunities in leadership, sales, marketing, services and technology. More information can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) 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.

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