Microsoft Intros Quick-Ramp for Services Partners, Consultants on Virtualization, UC

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Microsoft services reseller channel partners can now get up to speed quickly on best practices for consulting with clients and deployment of technology such as virtualization, unified communications and security at customer sites. Microsoft Services-Ready provides the catalyst to help partners accelerate their services practices.

Microsoft is rolling out a series of "Services Ready" offerings to its top services reseller channel partners to help them get up to speed quickly on technologies such as virtualization, unified communications and desktop deployment.

The new services, unveiled yesterday, will cost, however. Partners will spend $20,000 per technology services offering. But Microsoft contends the investment is worth the price for services reseller channel partners targeting customers in those topic areas.

The program is available only to Microsoft Gold partners. The fee-based program gives partners access to the "Services Ready" materials for a particular topic area. Microsoft says these repeatable offerings and best practices were developed by Microsoft Services during early consulting engagements with Microsoft customers and include pre-sales tools, and technical and operational guidance, that Microsoft says can help partners accelerate time to market, increase operational efficiencies and improve the quality of their delivery to customers.

"You want to know these things before you go into engagement and not learn them on the fly," Wayne Prentiss, director of partner programs and strategy for Microsoft Services, tells Channel Insider. "If you can speed up your learning and get up that curve faster, it gives you an advantage."

Partners who are pursuing such engagements would likely create this kind of professional methodology on their own, says Prentiss, so these new offerings save them the time to ramp their own consulting practices on these services.

So far Microsoft has seen the highest level of interest in the virtualization offering, which focuses on Microsoft’s HyperV technology, and in the unified communications offering. Other offerings are identity and security, systems management, desktop platform, portals and collaboration, search, deployment services, and customer care framework.

Microsoft has 15,000 Gold Partners around the world, and currently 120 are taking advantage of the new services offering, according to Prentiss.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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