I am the publisher of the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer and most every day, over coffee, I like to host a vistual book reading. Today the passage relates to the GIVE you make to become a Small Business Specialist (SBSC). This conversation will continue over the next few days.
Harry Brelsford, CEO at smb nation www.smbnation.com
Microsoft Small Business Specialist SBSC, MBA, MCSE, MCT, MCP, CNE, CLSE, CNP
PS – did u know I host an annual conference in Seattle each october for SBSers and SMB consultants? This year we help launch SBS 2008 and Essential Business Server (EBS) between October 4-6!
Before you can “get” the Small Business Specialist benefits, you have to first “give” to get into the partnership program. Here are the gives.
Get the Edge and Get The Call
In other professions, one might say they received their calling to become a minister, barrister or candle stick maker. We sincerely hope that becoming a Small Business Specialist is your calling. And we can make it happen! Microsoft USA launched a “Get The Edge” site where you START the entire journey and
Chapter 2 Small Business Specialist Community
you receive a telephone call from a Microsoftie advising you of the next steps. So click over to http://www.smbizspecialist.com/ and complete the form. Then wait for your calling!
IMPORTANT: We recommend the above step because the Microsoft Small Business Specialist Community program details are subject to change (sometimes after we’ve published our book). More Small Business Specialist Community web site URLs are given at the end of this chapter. This is especially applicable for worldwide readers seeking to proper program entry point.
Honor System Experience
The Small Business Specialist Community program is recommended for experienced small business technology consultants with at least six months of experience installing, configuring, and supporting SBS 2003 and future releases, Office 2003\2007, and Windows XP\Vista in small business environments. Clearly there is little Microsoft can do to enforce this requirement, but it is noble that Microsoft is trying to improve the quality of its program membership.
Purchase the Action Pack
The Action Pack is hardly a “give” because what you get clearly outweighs the $299 USD annual investment (note that pricing and subscription requirements are expected to change as of November 2007 after this book is published). Historically, Action Pack was a quarterly subscription service for Microsoft Registered Partners (the very lowest partnership level, also known as site- registered partners). If you were a Registered Partner, you could acquire Action Pack. Learn more about Action Pack at https://partner.microsoft. com/40016455.
Action Pack currently contains popular Microsoft front office and back office business applications that are particularly well-suited for use in small- and medium-sized businesses. Action Pack, updated quarterly, is how SMB-class consultants and partners acquire their learning bits. With Action Pack, Registered Members of the Microsoft Partner Program have fully licensed, popular SMBfocused Microsoft applications that you can use in your own consultant practice
to LEARN the products. Its generous licensing program allows you to climb the learning curve before delivering services to your customers.
IMPORTANT: Action Pack doesn’t have strong “goodness of fit” for enterprise-class consultants and partners because its focus is on components that are better suited for the SMB space. And to be honest, Microsoft Certified Partners and Gold Certified Partners who are better equipped to serve the enterprise space would acquire their learning bits from the monthly mailer (a box of application software and partner-related materials), which is a separate deliverable for partners at these levels with the Microsoft Partner Program (MSPP).
Action Pack components easily exceed $25,000 USD in value, if valued when compared to perpetual licensing! And the Action Pack subscription isn’t just about software. It also includes professionally designed marketing collateral and self-paced training curricula (e.g., CD-based courses) that you can engage with.
IMPORTANT: Action Pack is updated quarterly so application content offerings can be refreshed with updated versions, new releases, new partner guides, and even service packs and other fixes. To receive quarterly update kits, Partners must be Registered Members in the MSPP (which occurs when you purchase Action Pack) and have an active Action Pack subscription.