THE new Microsoft Business Productivity Centre will help customers move onto newer version of the vendor’s product suites quicker, say Microsoft partners.
Four key partners selected by Microsoft - Axon, Computerland, Datacom and Gen-i - will begin using the centre to demonstrate in a live environment the benefit of new Microsoft technology, from November 19.
Datacom software assets services manager Marty Arrell believes many of the company’s existing customers who have been slow to move onto later versions of Microsoft software will be inspired to do so when they see scenarios at the centre that show how the products can benefit their business.
“It will spark ideas of why they should be on the latest versions,” says Arrell.
He adds that users of older Microsoft suites are not enjoying the benefits of the newer technology and do not realise the collaborative enhancement products such as Exchange server and SharePoint Server bring to the Office suite.
“These make Word and Excel documents extensible, allowing them be more than just a word processor and spreadsheet, as they can be shared in collaborate environments between teams in an organisation,” he says.
These concepts are best demonstrated in live scenarios, as would be offered in the Business Productivity Centre, says Arrell.
Microsoft’s investment in the facility allows partners to expose customers to the latest technology at little cost to themselves, he adds.
Simon Goode, account director at Axon, agrees that the centre gives resellers the opportunity to show customers concepts that are difficult to demonstrate on paper.
“Explaining the business benefits of the latest technology should give customers a compelling reason to change, but sometimes they can not fully grasp the rationale until they see it at work,” he says.