Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations - Eric Ligman

Eric Ligman, Microsoft Director of Business & Sales Operations Blog

What every Small Business VAR should know about Microsoft

Last week I was down in Ft. Lauderdale participating in an event with several hundred resellers and Microsoft Partners.  During this event, one of the sessions I gave was, “What every Small Business VAR should know about Microsoft.”  After giving that session, many of the members of the audience came up to me and said things like, “This was great.  I never knew about all of those items,” or , “Thank you, this was very informative.”  Because of the feedback I received after the session, I thought I would share the resources I covered here on the Blog.

1)     Microsoft Partner Program: – Access to resources, newsletters, Partner portal, and more such as:

a.     Technical Demonstration toolkit and Demo Showcase:

b.    Pre-Sales Technical Support

c.     Competitive Sales Assistance:   

2)     Microsoft Action Pack:

a.     Content generally includes: Not for resale software licenses for internal business use (10 is the standard number), Marketing collateral-sales & marketing tools; technical readiness

b.    Special offers for partners

c.     Annual Membership – renewal required each year

d.    Welcome Kit, plus Quarterly Box Shipment sent January, April, July, Oct

e.     Limited one per partner organization

f.     Gold and Certified partners are not eligible (they get access to MSDN and a monthly mailer)

3)     Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community:

a.     Designed for Partners of all sizes who service and sell to small businesses

b.    Similar to a competency, but scales to entire partner taxonomy

c.     Access to additional resources, promotions, support, and more

4)     Volume License Rebate Programs:

a.     Open Value VAR Rebate:

                                          i.    Rebate of 10% on 1st year ERP, 5% on 2nd and 3rd year ERP

b.    SBSC Exclusive Rebate on Small Business Desktop Advantage:

                                          i.    Rebate of up to 10% on 1st year ERP on Small Business Desktop Advantage sales

5)     Ready To Go Campaigns:

a.     Campaigns – Designed to grow your pipeline size, velocity, and quality and increase sales revenue.

6)     Partner Channel Builder:

a.     Create partnerships with other Partners to expand or augment your offerings and those of your peers

7)     Microsoft Gear-Up:

a.     Sales, Marketing, licensing resources and more

8)     Microsoft Partner Events:

a.     Event resources, online registration tool, marketing services, campaign center, and more

9)     Microsoft/HP Frontline Partnership:

a.     Designed for joint HP & Microsoft Partners.  Provides access to Marketing development funds

10)  MSSMALLBIZ Community:

a.     Blog, User Group, and Website – Provides resources, tips, tricks, webcasts, information, promotions, and more

11)  Microsoft Incentives:

a.     Promotions, Sales Offers, Incentives, Rebates, Consolidation Offers, Closing Offers, Initiates customer conversations, Reasons to call, Cross-sell & Up-sell, and more

12)  Microsoft Financing:

a.     Financing of hardware, software, and services providing your clients with 36 months to make payments while providing you with your money up-front.

13)  Microsoft Business & Technology Assessment Toolkit:

a.     Toolkit designed to conduct business & technology assessments to your clients

b.    Expands opportunities and business-building conversations with clients

14)  Local Area Partner Portals:

a.     Local Events, Monthly News, Sales & Marketing, Training Opportunities, Announcements & Updates, Newsletters, Much more…

15)  Learning Plan Tools & Consultants: &

a.     The Learning Plan Tool can help you customize a learning plan by taking you through the training that is currently available by your competency and specialization focus.

b.    The Learning Consultants can be the your assistant in guiding you to the training events and/or the exams you need.

16)  Customer Targeting Guide For U.S. Partners:    

a.     Identify early adopter customer opportunities for Windows Vista, 2007 Office and Exchange 2007.

b.     Find Launch checklists provide simple steps and quick tips to help partners use, market and sell.

c.      Provides top customer purchasing and upgrade scenario guidance by market segment and product

Hopefully you will find these resources as helpful as those who attended my in-person session last week.

Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric Ligman
Microsoft US Senior Manager
Small Business Community Engagement
This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights