Wednesday 6 June 2007

Microsoft Partner - Promoting your business on the new Solution Profiler

Apparently, we will need to build a solutions profile for our companies in order for clients to find us soon.

From what I understand, the client types in a problem/solution they are looking at and those partners that have the right key solution words would be brought up in the results.

Hopefully it will eliminate the Resource Directory's promotion of Gold and Certified members over us Registered level Small Business Specialists. Hopefully, it will avoid the snafu of trying to get our company properly listed in the Resource Directory! 8*0

Why is this important? As Susan Bradley points out in her introduction in the book Advanced Small Business Server 2003 Best Practices, the Gold Certified partners tried to convince her and her firm to avoid SBS (pg. xxxvii)! When we Registered level partners tend to know that SBS is an awesome product that can meet a broad range of client I.T. needs for a very reasonable cost.

It is in our experience as well, that small business I.T. shops that have obtained their Microsoft Small Business Specialist designation, are a lot more understanding of a small business' needs. Howz that? Well, we run our own small businesses don't we?

We understand the need to juggle our business needs according to cash flow, productivity and knowledge of our employees, applications that can serve our business needs, the technology needed today and tomorrow to meet those needs, and more.

As a result, we smaller Microsoft Small Business Specialists have a particular ability to address our client's small business needs.

We also have the time to invest in getting to know our client's business, their business model, and the special software application needs they may have for their industry. By investing this time, we are better able to design an SBS based solution that will meet their very specific needs.

We could not justify that kind of time investment in our client's business I.T. needs if we worked for a larger I.T. support company.

This time investment pays off in the end, as we can foster business relationships that can last decades!

So, invest some time in setting up your Solution Profile. Log on to the Partner site: Microsoft Partners Site (Worldwide Portal). Once signed in, click on the View/Manage your membership account button and head over to the Membership Center (has your little graph status level). The Solution Finder is under the "Requirements & Assets" heading/button.

It will be time consuming, especially for us small shops, but in the end, it will hopefully be worth it.

Thanks to David Overton's Blog for pointing this out: So your profile info is on MS Partner site and partner finder, so now you MUST update your solution profiles to be found - here is why and how it takes 10 mins.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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