MICROSOFT’s Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 has seen 100% growth for the same period last year — which equates to sales reaching $500,000 per month.
And it has seen a record quarter for SBS since its launch, according to Warwick Grey, Microsoft Small Business manager.
“I’ve been doing this for four years now and it’s certainly been the best quarter for Small Business Server since we launched it,” he says. “Microsoft historically has gained success on its third release and SBS 2003 … [has] reached its time.
“Percentages sound quite good but in dollar numbers we’ve just tipped the $500,000-a-month mark. It is 100% over last year; hopefully by next year we’ll be doing nearly $1 million.”
To achieve these results, Grey says an enormous amount of work has gone into partner readiness as the vendor has sought to ensure the channel is well prepared to meet customer demand, as well as facilitating relationships between resellers and end users.
“We’ve made it quite easy for customers to find partners which ... was a big barrier. We had to create the excitement as they don’t know where to go to find SBS trained resellers,” Grey says.
“[For example], all of the partners that went on the training course with Auldhouse in October were put up on a partner locator map in New Zealand. We’re clicking through a couple of hundred a month now for customers [to go] directly through to partners.”
Another factor that has contributed significantly to the results is the local relationship between Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.
“HP has done a number of price-based initiatives over the last couple of months and the big difference is they’ve been shipping this with Small Business Server pre-installed,” Grey says. “HP are pushing it out there at $3000 — most people see that as being the price of a PC. HP have been able to push the price down, as they’re in a position to set price.”