REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 1, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. today flipped the switch on the Microsoft Partner Network, an evolution of the company’s industry-leading partner program that has been two years in the making. The revamped program, which takes effect today, equips Microsoft partners with the training, resources and support they need to successfully compete in today’s marketplace and allows customers to easily identify the right partner for their technology needs.
The Microsoft Partner Network is based on partner feedback and customer demand for specialized service experts. These new offerings will enable partners to focus on specific technologies that increase the number of business opportunities, as well as their ability to deliver innovative solutions that help customers achieve their goals.
“Microsoft’s partners are the secret behind our success, and we created the Microsoft Partner Network to help them achieve their business needs and drive deeper customer satisfaction,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft. “The Microsoft Partner Network provides partners with the necessary tools, resources and support to help partners differentiate themselves and succeed in today’s market.”
“The market we compete in is as dynamic as I’ve ever seen it, and, to stay competitive, we have to be very responsive to customers’ needs,” said Zikria Syed, CEO, NextDocs. “The Microsoft Partner Network brings a rich community of industry partners, as well as the technical and business development resources we need to respond to our customers and stand out from our competitors.”
New Membership Opportunities Available to Partners
Starting today, partners will renew their annual Microsoft Partner Network memberships under the new structure, allowing them to choose the membership opportunity that best meets their needs. Partners will also have the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and with experts at Microsoft. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the Microsoft Partner Network Community, any partner can get answers to questions and take part in conversations about latest technology trends and topics such as best practices, business development and how to drive innovation.
Microsoft Action Pack Subscriptions will give partners access to software, development tools, training and market visibility. Partners can further demonstrate their expertise by earning silver or gold competencies in any of 29 areas, each of which relates to a specific customer need and aligns with one of Microsoft’s customer awareness campaigns. Companies that demonstrate a mastery of their skills can attain gold competencies, which identify them as being best in class in that particular business solution. Gold competency recipients are given additional access to unique benefits designed to help them reach their specific business goals.
Members of the Microsoft Partner Network can also join the Small Business Specialist Community (SBCS), BizSpark or WebsiteSpark. Each of these communities provides its members with technical and business development resources. SBCS is focused on partners that provide small- and midmarket-business solutions, and BizSpark and WebsiteSpark are focused on entrepreneurs and business startups.
“Microsoft has long been an innovator in partner programs, and the Microsoft Partner Network once again shows the vendor’s leadership in this area,” said Darren Bibby, program director for IDC Software Channels Research. “The Microsoft Partner Network will continue to help the wide array of Microsoft partners make a significant contribution to the global economy.”
Enabling Partners to Succeed in the Cloud
Fueled by wide availability of broadband and numerous technical advances, cloud computing is opening the doors to new commercial possibilities for businesses. The Microsoft Partner Network is delivering resources to help equip partners for this next wave of innovation and to transition to developing and selling cloud-based applications and solutions.
The new Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack provides partners with the resources they need to experience and extend their business to the cloud. Microsoft considers partners that have already sold cloud computing solutions, have taken part in advanced training, and can provide customer references as having demonstrated an ongoing commitment to its cloud computing efforts. As such, they can qualify for Microsoft Cloud Accelerate. Participants in this program will be rewarded with a Cloud Accelerate badge, additional internal use rights and other benefits that exceed those offered in Cloud Essentials. More information about Microsoft Cloud Accelerate and Microsoft Cloud Essentials Pack can be found at http://www.microsoftcloudpartner.com.
New Benefits and Resources for Partners
In addition to tools such as Microsoft PinPoint, which puts partners in front of customers when the customers search for a Microsoft solution on a website, Microsoft is committed to making constant improvements and expanding the tools to support its partners. As such, Microsoft is also globally rolling out new solution-based incentives that reward Gold Certified Partners driving sales in specific Microsoft solutions, chosen for their growth and market potential.
Partners making the transition to the Microsoft Partner Network can find a variety of tools and resources at the Microsoft Partner Network portal.
About Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Group
Microsoft invests in the success of its partner channel and more than 640,000 organizations make up Microsoft’s partner ecosystem. Partners have been instrumental to Microsoft’s success over its 33-year history, and they have come to rely on Microsoft for the products, technology, tools and resources that enable them to create profitable and unique businesses. Additional information on the Microsoft Partner Network is available at 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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