Reseller News

Connect offers chance to collaborate

COLLABORATION will be a main theme at Microsoft’s upcoming Connect seminars this month.

Microsoft moots collaboration in the workplace as a chief function in some of the new products introduced at the event, while collaboration between partners will be the main message from new small and midsized businesses and partner director Helen Robinson

“What I will be stressing is that collaboration makes the world go round — if everyone works together closer, everyone wins,” she says.

“We want to promote this collaborative approach to business, instead of a head-to-head competitive environment. We want to help streamline the way people go to market and cut down costs and improve the efficiency of the channel.”

Connect presents a good opportunity for resellers to meet other Microsoft partners and work out how they can work with each other, says Robinson.

“Given the size of New Zealand and some of our partners, they can’t be experts at every-thing,” she says.

Microsoft is presenting the new SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, BizTalk 2006 and Microsoft CRM 3.0 suites at the event and will highlight the opportunities the offerings present to partners.

“Partners have the opportunity to see what the value proposition is with those products and how go to market with them,” says Robinson.

Local early adopters of the new products, such as ASB Bank, Farmers, Pumpkin Patch and Haines, will present case studies at the event, giving attendees the chance to see the products in action, adds Robinson.

A new three-level certification programme will also be introduced for the new products, as well as an updated licensing scheme that makes it easier for customers to buy the products, says Robinson.

The event is also an opportunity for Microsoft to introduce its new partner team to resellers.

“One of the challenges partners face is knowing who the right people in realm of Microsoft are to speak with,” she says.

Around 1,500 attendees are expected at Connect, which is being held in three streams for partners, customers and developers.

The partner seminars take place in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland on November 16, 22 and 29 respectively.