Microsoft Partner Network Announces Small Business Competency

REDMOND, Wash. — March 1, 2012 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the upcoming launch of the Small Business Competency within the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). This new Small Business Competency is dedicated to showcasing the expertise of partners that provide the most current Microsoft technology solutions to help small businesses with their unique business needs. With a special emphasis on cloud services, the Small Business Competency builds on the strength of the MPN in helping customers identify the most skilled technology professionals with the demonstrated ability to recommend and deliver high-quality technology solutions.

For Microsoft partners who want to be leaders in the small-business marketplace, earning silver or gold in the Small Business Competency will enable them to expand their customer base and differentiate their expertise to customers regarding Microsoft solutions such as Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Small Business Server 2011 and Microsoft Office 365.

The goal of the new competency, designed and based on partner input and feedback, is to enable partners to seize the huge market opportunity represented by the worldwide addressable software market for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), of which cloud services represents a growing share. Microsoft will launch the competency in June 2012 and expects it to become one of the largest MPN partner-obtained competencies.

“As the cloud opportunity continues to expand and mature in the small-business segment, this new competency will enable each Small Business Competency partner to have a cloud conversation with each of their customers,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft. “It offers partners world-class value, service and support from Microsoft to help increase their profitability when marketing, selling and servicing key SMB products for customers and furthers our mission of building a high-quality partner ecosystem focused on driving breakthrough growth for end customers.”

For Microsoft partners that are leading the migration to the cloud and want to grow their business, the Small Business Competency also provides a competitive advantage via a wealth of benefits and resources, including Microsoft’s strong brand recognition. The Small Business Competency will enhance the marketing, sales and technical capabilities of partners serving small-business customers who are currently moving, or in the future may move, their IT services to the cloud.

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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