Trickey: Our customers view our Gold Certified Partnership with Microsoft as a sign of our commitment to using the latest and best technology to create innovative software to support their requirements.
Hlavka: I believe our customers get a sense of comfort knowing that our solutions have been tested and certified by technology leader such as Microsoft. Companies have large investments in their core IT infrastructure and they need to know that adding additional software or hardware will work with their assets. This certification helps to raise that comfort level.
Kent : I believe the credentials mean something to clients. Gold certification supports a client's case for having performed due diligence in selecting a service provider.
West: Very important, especially since we are a fast growing, young company. This certification instantly brings credibility to us and establishes us as a legitimate and effective partner for potential clients.
Swenson: The certification demonstrates that we have strong capabilities with the solutions and that we are committed to continuing to support them.
Sussman: Our customers directly benefit from our partnership by: improving our capabilities to provide a good and stable solution, solving issues that we encounter during the development, enriching the knowledge of our professionals and utilizing the Partner Channel Builder to create advantageous relationships.
What are some ways in addition to accreditation that you feel you can be a better integrator or VAR?
Trickey: Listening to the feedback from our customers is always important in gaining an understanding of what we as integrators can do to improve our software.
Hlavka: Being a Gold Partner with Microsoft allows us to gain access to products for development purposes along with key access to technical resources, which aid our engineering teams to develop our software. We feel that it is important to constantly test our own software in a myriad of different configurations to ensure compatibility and performance. Additionally, it's important to work closely with third-party ISVs in an effort to find solutions that mutually benefit our customers and partners.
Kent : It is also just as important to create company-wide best practices. Companies should do more leveraging of the talent they have within an organization by sharing techniques that work so that the company as a whole becomes more effective with every successful engagement.
West: As a company, we are committed to helping our customers and partners realize their full potential. Our passion for technology combined with our dedication to continual self-improvement and innovation helps us constantly evolve our company to be in the best position to accelerate new technologies and better serve our customers.
Swenson: The real way to be a better integrator is to work every day with the tools and products that you are delivering. The biggest problem we see is solutions providers who simply add items to their line cards and don't get the proper experience with the products. There is simply no substitute for real-world experience.
Sussman: Improve the knowledge and understanding of our developers to provide better solutions, create other partnerships with providers that benefit our offerings and develop products that will satisfy Microsoft's accreditation.
Microsoft ® Build Out for IT Security
In the IT world the subject of security threats is ever changing as the dependence on these systems to secure personal, financial and other critical data is subject to security breaches. In response to this, Microsoft has built a business around security software to secure the IT infrastructure. The programs include certifications and competency which require skills acquisition through training and third-party validations. There are many levels of training and partnerships with Microsoft which yield benefits to those obtaining the various levels of expertise. The areas of concentration for partners include security management for those who want to focus on security policy, governance, compliance, risk assessment, risk management and auditing. Another area focuses on infrastructure security which covers the many technical aspects. It is considered a sought-after validation program for industry professionals.