DENVER — July 12, 2007 — Using the final day of the Microsoft® Worldwide Partner Conference 2007 to demonstrate the company’s continued commitment to maintaining a highly profitable Microsoft partner ecosystem, Microsoft Corp. executives announced several programmatic enhancements, partner resources and benefits for partners of all types, from independent software vendors (ISVs) to the small-business specialist community. Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner emphasized the value of the Microsoft Partner Program in helping partners obtain the support, development tools, finance programs, and sales and marketing resources they need to succeed.
“Today, Microsoft is reaffirming our commitment to your business success, and I encourage each of you to take an active role in creating solutions that take advantage of the new opportunities in the industry,” Turner said. “If we all strive to add value to our customers, improve our overall customer satisfaction, improve our excellence in pipeline management, drive new product adoption and give back to our IT community, I am confident that we will all win together.”
Microsoft Invests in Independent Software Vendors
Microsoft continues to invest in ISVs and recognizes the need for up-to-date resources and development programs that help partners adopt and build on Microsoft technologies. As part of a continued investment and focus on partner profitability, today Microsoft is announcing the following (more information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/isv):
The ISV portal on Microsoft.com. The ISV portal has been designed to provide ISVs with easy access to Microsoft business and technical resources needed to develop innovative software solutions and grow their business.
The Ingenuity Point Showcase and Contest. The annual contest and ISV showcase recognize ISVs that are building solutions of tremendous benefit and value to people and companies around the world. The winner of the Ingenuity Point Contest will be announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in 2008.
The launch of INNOVATE—ON. This reference site is for ISVs that are building solutions on Microsoft products, including the Windows Vista® operating system, the 2007 Microsoft Office system, Microsoft Office Live, Windows Live™ services, Microsoft Dynamics™ software, Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 and the Windows Server® operating system.
An enhanced version of the ISV Royalty Licensing Program. This program includes contract simplification, minimum commitment adjustments, price changes and more product availability.
Microsoft is also making significant investments in ISVs’ sales and marketing resources to help them reach new customers and create profitable businesses.
Microsoft is introducing a search engine optimization service, helping partners to connect with more leads online. This service helps ISVs drive broader awareness of and traffic to their solutions, generate qualified leads at a lower cost, and learn best practices for search engine optimization.
To help ISVs improve their marketing skills and stay up to date with best practices for marketing, Microsoft is providing discounted access to market research through MarketingSherpa, a marketing service praised by numerous business and entrepreneur publications. This service gives ISVs the information they need to make budgeting, forecasting and tactical decisions and includes more than 2,100 creative samples from real marketing campaigns.
Microsoft announced a new ISV Telesales Service in October 2006 to help ISVs connect with qualified sales leads. This year Microsoft is increasing its investment in that service and including a new Opportunity Manager that helps partners to identify the business decision-makers in their markets and generate lead lists.
Giving Customers More Options for Purchasing IT
Over the past year, Microsoft Financing has incorporated customer and partner feedback to make improvements that facilitate the way customers purchase software. For example, Microsoft has continued to evolve the payment options available through the newly announced SmartPay, allowing customers to choose between payments of $50 to $1,500 over the first 12 months to provide them with more choice and flexibility that fits their budget while providing greater — and quicker — access to new technologies. Microsoft is also making it easier for partners to offer their customers Microsoft Financing. A redesigned partner portal now offers “one-stop shopping” with full online transactional capabilities and improved tools that are tailored to specific channel needs for large-account resellers, ISVs, partners that specialize in Microsoft Dynamics and others. Microsoft also announced that it plans to launch Microsoft Financing in Japan by the end of 2007.
Microsoft Announces Worldwide Availability of Microsoft Partner Events
Microsoft also announced that Microsoft Partner Events, an online toolset and resource center designed to assist registered Microsoft partners at any level of the Partner Program with sales and marketing events, is now available globally. MicrosoftPartnerEvents.com was designed to help partners easily create, plan, and manage sales and marketing events for new and existing customers. The site provides additional value by letting partners showcase Microsoft solutions to their customer base through an end-to-end sales and marketing event management platform, which includes a registration engine and access to a vast library of Microsoft campaign and solution content.
In the United States since last July, MicrosoftPartnerEvents.com was used by 6,632 partners, has hosted 15,259 events and has registered 132,423 attendees to these events. By extending this offering to the international partner community, Microsoft is broadening the potential for effective, profitable and educational customer events.
Microsoft Introduces New Tool for Small Business Server Partners
The Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 R2-Windows® SharePoint® Services (WSS) Starter Kit demonstrates how SBS partners can achieve higher margins and increase customer satisfaction through customized SBS 2003 R2 and WSS solutions that help customers centralize and share information, improve collaboration and teamwork, automate business processes, and increase productivity and efficiency. The Starter Kit offers a best practices “cookbook” of sales-through-delivery processes, technical guidance, training guides, white papers, sales scripts and marketing tools from successful SBS partners deploying SBS-WSS solutions.
Microsoft Celebrates the Second Anniversary of the Small Business Specialist Community
This year marks the second anniversary of the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC), with nearly 12,000 active Small Business Specialists worldwide. Microsoft partners continue to provide feedback that the resources offered via the SBSC are vital in their efforts.
About the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
More information about the Worldwide Partner Conference is available on the virtual event site at http://partner.microsoft.com/digitalwpc. Visitors can watch select keynotes live or on demand, register to view sessions, and learn more about the news and events coming out of the conference.
The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference and https://partner.microsoft.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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