Microsoft Corp. is developing a channel program targeting some of the smallest companies in the SMB (small and midsize business) space.
The vendor is not going into the details of the program at this point, but a spokeswoman said an announcement is planned for Microsofts Worldwide Partner Conference in July in Minneapolis.
The program will target VARs that sell Microsoft networking and system products, including Small Business Server, to companies with 25 employees or fewer.
There will be a Web component—an online business center with information for VARs and their customers.
Microsoft has been talking about launching such a program since its Worldwide Partner Conference last year in Toronto.
"We call it, for lack of a better name, a Partner Badge for Small Business," Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of small and midmarket solutions, said then.
The idea is to certify partners through training and marketing as experts in the small-business market, he said.
Targeting small business is one of the most daunting challenges for large vendors, so they turn to channel partners to open inroads into that market space.
Often, however, partners complain that vendors dont put enough resources into these efforts.