BeLux Blog

Posts tagged ‘marketing’

Top 5 reasons to earn a Small Business competency

Capture the Small Business opportunity. Silver_promo

Small businesses are a key engine for global economic growth, employment, and innovation. With over 148M small and medium-sized businesses worldwide in with 350M PCs, now is the time to grow your small business practice.* As 75% of the market opportunity is comprised of Software as a Service (SaaS) technology solutions, Microsoft recognizes that the growing maturity of cloud computing represents a major revenue opportunity for partners in this market segment. The new Microsoft Small Business competency helps you showcase your expertise in helping small business customers leverage technology to differentiate themselves in the market. The competency equips you with the
sales and technical expertise to lead with Microsoft cloud-based services, while enhancing your ability to deliver enterprise-level capabilities that are cost-effective and highly reliable.

*Source: IDC, Worldwide and Regional Public IT Cloud Services 2010–2014 Forecast, June 2010

1. Differentiate your business
Build your small business expertise and help address small business customer needs by providing cost-effective, enterprise-level IT capabilities in the cloud or on-premise.

2. Gain exclusive competency benefits
Small Business competency partners gain exclusive benefits.
• Access expert Microsoft pre sales support and technical guidance with advisory support hours.
• Internal use licenses.
• Marketing materials in the Small and Medium Business Resource Center.
• Use Microsoft Pinpoint and the Office 365 Marketplace to increase your visibility and develop new customer connections.
• Bing advertising credits.

3. Gain market advantage with cloud technology expertise
Provide a deep understanding of cloud solutions that best fit small business customers’ needs.

4. Offer cost-effective services
Find the most cost-effective way to service customers efficiently with minimum overhead.

5. Expand your existing Partner engagement.
Microsoft partners in the following programs, competencies, and subscriptions today are well-positioned to achieve the new Small Business competency.
• Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC): Partner support will continue during a grace period until MPN and SBSC become a shared community experience. Earn the Small Business competency now to take advantage of deeper engagement with Microsoft, and receive rich benefits to help grow your business.
• Microsoft Action Pack Subscription: Action Pack partners who are investing / building a business in the cloud can gain expertise in small business specialized solutions.
• Mid-Market Solution Provider (MMSP): SMB-focused partners who provide technical expertise across IT solutions can be in the lead as the market transitions to cloud services.
• Cloud Accelerate / Cloud Essentials (CA/CE): Small Business competency creates opportunity for partners new to the cloud or partners actively building a cloud presence, while taking advantage of the incremental IUR and advisory hours not offered in CE and CA.

Small businesses are shifting IT to the cloud—be there when they do! Earn the Small Business Competency now. You can find more information in the Small Business Brochure. For any questions, take a look at our FAQ.

SB benefits

Leads, leads, leads… Anyone interested?

“Just give me some leads” is the most heard answer to the question: “What would you like to get from Microsoft as a partner?”. Well, about 6 months ago, we launched Microsoft Pinpoint in Belgium (and in the mean time we are ready to accept Luxembourg partners as well).

Pinpoint is a new platform to allow partners to profile themselves towards potential interested customers, not to call them prospects. But, this is not your average listing tool, just showing a truckload of names. The goal is to really interact with customers. As this tool was built from the ground up, we could implement SEO principles from day one. For instance, every partner profile is an individual page, meaning that search engines can go right to your page on Pinpoint (if you make it attractive to these search bots of course). You could also link to your own profile on the Microsoft page, which might increase your site credibility.

Customers can also provide ratings (you know the 5-star system from any other website). This ratings will also help you to get ranked higher. You can create service and applications to show to your prospects what you are doing exactly.

But how do we get customers to this site? Well, I’m glad you asked. Last week we started an advertising campaign to generate traffic to a page explaining what a partner is and why you should work with our partners (another often heard comment that we don’t explain to customers what a partner is). Besides the display ads on numerous sites, we also had a panel on our homepage. We will surely repeat this in the near future, so don’t panic if you think you missed the boat.

Just make sure you get on Pinpoint. If you are… good, but maintain your profile so your customers have the latest info. If not, go the Get Listed page on Pinpoint and log in to the dashboard (please note it might take a few days before your access to the dashboard has been cleared).

Oh, and one last thing…Go and visit the site as if you were a customer. Would you buy from yourself? Is it appealing enough? You could have a look at what your colleagues in the market are doing? But, this is work for marketers. So get your creative engines going… And dazzle your potential customers…

Good Luck!

Make Your Company Stand Out…

We all dream of a market where everybody knows your name and knows what you do. It’s the ultimate dream of any marketer to get to that point. However – correct me if I’m wrong – but you are never alone in any market. So what do you do to stand out? What can make you different from the rest?

One of these things are definitely the Partner Awards we give away every year at the World Wide Partner Conference (to be held in Los Angeles this year). And the great thing is, you can nominate yourself for one of these awards.

There are plenty of categories to choose from, including a couple of new ones this year like the Sales Excellence Award. Also don’t forget to nominate yourself for a Country Partner of the Year. For every category, you will find some tips from the judges to help you make your nomination stand out.

Nominations close April 15th, 2011, so no time to waste. Show the world you are the best of the best… Good luck.