OneNet is the first, and as of this writing the only company in New Zealand to achieve Microsoft's Gold Hosting Partner status.
The status followed on Microsoft's changes to its Partner Network Programme, which introduced Silver and Gold levels to each of 30 or so competency areas.
To earn gold competency, companies must have the right number of Microsoft Certified Professionals having passed different certification exams specifically related to the competency, as well as submit customer references and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction by participating in an annual survey.
According to Roman Paljk, OneNet's general manager, the process was "fairly long", as it required a number of engineers and sales staff to sit through different Microsoft exams. The company also had to submit ten customer referrals, resulting from those customers filling out satisfaction surveys and giving the company high marks for their hosting services.
"The longest component was the engineers certifications, it took 4 to 6 months. It could have been quicker but they had to fit in studying with other work," says Paljk. A total of five staff, with in excess of 50 years collective employment with OneNet, studied and passed the exams to achieve this certification.
According to business partner manager Steve Victor, this certication, along with others OneNet has received, is "recognised by partners and seen as a good tool for them to take to their clients", as it validates the company's position in the cloud hosting business. "It helps build the brand and makes resellers more comfortable to take our brand to their clients."
“Every year we invest in achieving Gold level status because we believe that it shows our commitment to stay on top of Microsoft-related technologies, helps us maintain a strong relationship with Microsoft, and serves as a differentiator between OneNet and other organisations late into the cloud computing market," says OneNet's founder and director Michael Snowden.
Snowden says the company saw a "rapid uptake of cloud hosting last year" and growth is expected to continue as more businesses realise the value of hosting in the cloud. "Momentum is growing and fear is disappearing like mist on a sunny day," he adds.
OneNet currently has 120 active business partners in New Zealand and the goal is to grow that reseller base as much as possible in the coming months.