REDMOND, Wash. — April 12, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the global availability of the ISV Advisory Service, a phone- and e-mail-based consultation service developed to provide independent software vendors (ISVs) with dedicated support that delivers a broad range of development advice while helping partners more effectively build and support solutions for their customers. Offered as a benefit under the Microsoft® Partner Program, the ISV Advisory Service will help ISVs develop applications on the Microsoft platform by delivering consulting support from Microsoft, including development advice and recommendations, code samples, application certification advice, limited application design reviews, and workshops delivered through Microsoft Office Live Meeting.
The number of consulting hours ISVs receive annually is determined by their level of membership in the Microsoft Partner Program. Registered members of the Microsoft Empower for ISVs initiative will receive 10 hours of support, Microsoft Certified Partners who have obtained an ISV/Software Solutions Competency will receive 15 hours, and Microsoft Gold Certified Partners with the ISV/Software Solutions Competency will receive 20 hours.
“The ISV Advisory Service helps build a direct, collaborative relationship between Microsoft and its ISV community, offering tools and support resources that are designed to help ISVs bring better applications to market more quickly and at a lower cost,” said Chris Olson, senior ISV marketing manager at Microsoft. “ISVs can take advantage of our support and consulting expertise to enhance their products, which will help them deliver more value to their customers and grow their business.”
ISVs Choose From a Range of Service Offerings
ISVs can make optimal use of advisory hours by selecting from a number of support options to meet their particular development challenge. Choices range from ongoing ad-hoc development advice to best practice recommendations and migration advice from Microsoft support professionals and development consultants.
Best practice and migration advice is one of the key benefits offered through the ISV Advisory Service. ISVs adding new functions or features to their applications often need to migrate the application to leverage newer technologies. Given production deadlines, they may not have the time or resources to fully investigate all the options or develop a complete migration strategy. By using their advisory hours, they can have the ISV Advisory Services support team review their design, identify alternative technical development pathways, and provide them with best practices and suggestions for the migration. The end result is faster development of new application versions using the latest Microsoft technologies, saving ISVs time and resources while making their applications more valuable to customers.
Railcar Tracking Company LLC, an ISV in Snoqualmie, Wash., that designs rail shipment tracking systems for the railroad industry, recently took advantage of the ISV Advisory Service to stay on track in delivering its new product to customers by an August 2005 deadline. Jim Dalrymple, the primary developer for Railcar Tracking Company, needed advice on how to migrate the company’s application to SQL Server (TM) 2000 to help resolve performance bottlenecks affecting client reports.
“I was new to SQL Sever 2000, but knowing we had the 10 free hours of advisory time made us confident about moving forward; otherwise we were looking at having to pay for some expensive time from a consultant,” Dalrymple said. “Not only was the advice Microsoft provided helpful, it helped us stay on track to meet the deadline we are up against.”
For Microsoft Empower for ISVs members who want to become Microsoft Certified Partners, the ISV Advisory Service offers navigation through the application certification process and provides best practices. The certification component of the service will help ISVs save time and energy by guiding them through the certification process.
During its pilot phase, ISV Advisory Services was sought after by members of the Microsoft Empower for ISVs initiative, which was created to help early-stage ISVs accelerate the development and delivery of new applications to market. “Often developers in Empower need assistance with application design and code review, or information to support backward compatibility,” Olson said. “By providing ISVs with access to this high-level support and information service, in many instances we’re able to save them development time. In addition, we’re able to save the partners money since the development advice is provided at no extra cost. For many of the startup companies enrolled in Microsoft Empower for ISVs, these savings can be critical to the bottom line.”
Through the ISV Advisory Service, code samples that demonstrate how to use or access Microsoft technologies will be made available to help ISVs more quickly understand how they can better leverage Microsoft technologies in their applications to obtain specific results. The service also provides limited-scope reviews of technology architecture, application design and application code, and then makes recommendations to ensure that the application takes advantage of underlying Microsoft technologies effectively. These application design and code reviews offer ISVs advice based on existing design and implementation, saving them development time and minimizing risk by reviewing key design assumptions for validity before further coding time is invested in a potentially unviable coding path.
In addition, ISV Advisory Service provides ISVs with the opportunity to attend various online workshops, presentations and live chats which are customized to their areas of development. Tech-Talks allow ISVs to request live chat and presentations sessions, which are delivered via Microsoft Live Meeting to enable people throughout a company to participate.
More information about the ISV Advisory Service and the Microsoft Partner Program can be found online at http://partner.microsoft.com/global/isvadvisoryservices.
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