The competency could help increase market opportunities for Microsoft partners and drive adoption of cloud solutions.
Microsoft plans to launch the
Small Business Competency within the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). The Small
Business Competency, which Microsoft said would launch in June, will showcase
the expertise of partners that provide the most current Microsoft technology
solutions to help small businesses with their individual business needs.
The new competency, designed
and based on partner input and feedback, is aimed at enabling partners to seize
the market opportunity represented by the worldwide addressable software market
for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), of which cloud services represents a
growing share. Microsoft expects the competency to become one of the largest
MPN partner-obtained competencies.
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
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.
"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 of the 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
For Microsoft partners that
are leading the migration to the cloud and want to grow their business, Roskill
said the Small Business Competency also provides a competitive advantage via a
wealth of benefits and resources, including Microsoft's 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, he said.