Tag Archives: microsoft

Recession Dividend: MSFT report: Majority of Recession-Bred Entrepreneurs – 70 Percent – Left Full-Time Positions to Start Own Business

I’ve been searching for both the words and evidence for something I know to be true: many successful companies are started in a recession. I wrote a cover story a couple of magazine issues ago on this topic – see Issue 4-2 on SMB STARTUPS!

I recently had a conversation with Jeff Connally at CMIT (leading computer franchise organization) who communicated that this recession is a prime recruitment time for his selling of franchise territories to former Fortune 1000 employees who have left their jobs and are seeking to start a business. Other anecdotal evidence exists.

But late last week, Microsoft released one of the best studies on this topic that I have seen in sometime. Headlined Majority of Recession-Bred Entrepreneurs – 70 Percent – Left Full-Time Positions to Start Own Business”

this study really offers an optimistic view I found refreshing.

According to a recent survey conducted by Microsoft Corp., the majority of entrepreneurs who started their business during the recession were employed. Roughly 70 percent of recession-bred entrepreneurs left their jobs to start their own business.

Despite their relative fearlessness to strike out on their own in a rocky economy, nearly one in three new entrepreneurs credit technology as a key catalyst in driving their entrepreneurial spirit.

“Technology is critical to a business owner’s success. It helps increase cost savings, supports innovation and, ultimately, contributes to growth,” said Christoph Wilfert, general manager of SMB solutions for Microsoft. “Many newer technologies, such as the cloud-based offerings of Microsoft’s productivity applications, promise great value but still have limited awareness among SMBs.”

According to the research findings, entrepreneurs picked technology as one of the top three considerations when starting their business, along with marketing, advertising and public relations, and capital funding. Furthermore, affordability (71 percent), security (37 percent) and overall technological capability (35 percent) were identified as the top three most important factors when evaluating technology purchases for their business.

Microsoft offers free or low-cost options for entrepreneurs who are just getting started. For example, Microsoft Office Live Small Business is a set of Internet-based tools that provides everything needed to take a business online, including a free Web site and services to market and manage a small business.

Evaluating and incorporating newer subscription-based technologies, often referred to as software as a service (SaaS), is a low-cost or free option for small and midsize businesses seeking to simplify and alleviate workloads so they can focus on growing their business. For instance, the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite is an integrated set of messaging and collaboration solutions hosted by Microsoft. It consists of Microsoft Exchange Online, Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Microsoft Office Communications Online. These online services give businesses streamlined communications with high availability and comprehensive security without the cost or hassle of managing onsite hardware and software.

Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 7, also addresses the business needs of SMBs with its new and enhanced features, including the following:

  --  HomeGroup enables small businesses without a server to build a basic
      network and easily share documents, printers and devices across
      multiple PCs.
  --  Advanced Backup schedules a periodic backup to save data or an entire
      system image to a network location or a local drive.
  --  Encrypting File System is a powerful encryption technology that
      encrypts files and folders and helps protect a business's confidential
      information, such as credit card numbers or employee information.
  --  Windows Aero enhancements (such as Aero Snap, Aero Peek and Aero
      Shake) help intuitively navigate, arrange and work with multiple open
      windows on the desktop.
  --  Windows Mobility Center makes mobile computing easier with access to
      all mobile settings in one place.
  --  Location-Aware Printing intuitively identifies and sends documents to
      the correct available network printer when working between home and

“Throughout the development of Windows 7, we asked small- and midsize-business owners what they regarded as their greatest technology considerations,” Wilfert said. “Overwhelmingly, we heard speed, reliability and security. Windows 7 delivers all those and much more. We are excited to say that we have responded to the needs of entrepreneurs and have taken the fear out of starting a business, regardless of the economic climate.”


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Free money from Microsoft!

In economics, there is something called a “free good” that is often delivered by the invisible hand. I personally witnessed this in Alaska growing up when, as an 18-year old, I was handed a permanent fund dividend check exceeding $2,000 USD (oil wealth distribution). Man – that was a fun weekend of fishing and other non-sense, let me tell you!

Microsoft is engaging in the same “transfer of wealth” behavior by giving it’s Small Business Specialists Community partners free money akin to an Alaskan oil dividend check. Of course all of these distirbution programs have terms and conditions (e.g. in Alaska, you had to be a resident to get the free money). This you would expect.

Watch my excitement HERE as I try to convey the “free money” from MSFT concept.

In the past week – I have also received private briefings from Microsoft USA program managers on this free money and here are the official details:

Details of the promotion are as below:

Additional Marketing Development Funds Exclusive to Small Business Specialists

Like other partners, SBSCs are eligible to receive up to $500 in marketing funds. However, unlike other partners, as an SBSC you do not need to match those funds. On top of that, your SBSC status entitles you to up to another $500 in funds to promote your business. That’s up to $1000 in marketing funds you do not need to match. The funds can be used to drive demand generation efforts through Ready-to-Go Marketing, including Events, Campaigns, and Marketing Services.

If you are new to the process, or if something is unclear to you about how it works, we can help you. Send us an email at rtgmktg@microsoft.com, and a real person will start assisting you with your particular need. All questions are welcome, so don’t leave this opportunity on the table.

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MarketWatch reporting more MSFT layoffs…

As the economy continues to recover, folks like you and me and business firms are gaining a clearer picture of what the future looks like. Banks in the financial sector speak of consumer deleveraging. Technology firms have had to adjust cost structures to face a new market place (read this Ballmer-related blog in May 2009). And some firms are now ramping up to grow and go. Each situation is different.

What I’ve seen is that some technology companies that adjusted quickly at the start of the recession are now hiriing again. Others are still laying off. MarketWatch has just reported a smaller layoff at Microsoft HERE. So read for yourself and decide what it all means.


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I am just a hack – the blog I should have written earlier this week

Alright – I am just shifting gears and getting back up to speed after the BIG FALL CONFERENCE last weekend in VEGAS! Here is a blog I shouda’ written on Monday 🙂

News Press Release
New Study Says IT Sector to Help Drive Global Economic Recovery

Research from 52 countries forecasts the creation of 5.8 million new IT jobs worldwide and 75,000 new businesses over the next four years.
REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 4, 2009 — Global IT research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) and Microsoft Corp. today released the results of global research, finding that the information technology (IT) industry will create 5.8 million new jobs and more than 75,000 new businesses over the next four years.

The expected growth rate for IT employment of 3 percent a year is more than three times the rate of growth of total employment and a strong indicator that investing in IT will contribute to economic recovery and growth.

“In this fundamental economic reset, innovative technologies will play a vital role in driving productivity gains and enabling the creation of new local businesses and highly skilled jobs that fuel economic recovery and support sustainable economic growth,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Countries that foster innovation and invest in infrastructure, education and skills development for their citizens will have a major competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

The IDC study, commissioned by Microsoft, investigates the contribution of IT to gross domestic product (GDP), job creation in the IT industry, employment in the software sector, formation of new companies, local IT spending, and tax revenues in 52 countries, representing 98 percent of total worldwide IT spending. The research found that Microsoft and its ecosystem of local partners, vendors and service providers are a major catalyst of local economic growth and opportunity, during both the current economic difficulties and recovery.

Summary of Key Findings About the IT Industry

IT spending is expected to grow at triple the rate of GDP growth in the 52 countries. Although forecasted growth of IT spending is muted since the advent of the global recession, it is pegged at 3.3 percent per year between now and the end of 2013.
The Microsoft ecosystem, defined as local companies that develop and/or sell products that run with or on Microsoft software, or that service and distribute Microsoft software, is a critical economic catalyst in every country where Microsoft operates. For every unit of local revenue that Microsoft will earn in 2009, other companies will earn an average of 8.70.
In 2009, the companies in the Microsoft ecosystem will generate more than $535 billion in revenues for themselves. These revenues will remain in local economies.
Global spending on IT will create 5.8 million new jobs between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013. The expected growth rate of 3 percent a year is more than three times as fast as the growth of total employment.
Software drives IT growth. Spending on software is growing faster than spending on IT overall — 4.8 percent a year between 2008 and 2013, compared with 3.3 percent for all IT spending. During 2009, total IT employment in the 52 countries dropped a fraction of a percentage point, yet software-related employment grew 4 percent.
The IT market will create more than 75,000 new businesses over the next four years. Most of the new companies will be small and locally owned organizations.

“Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen transformative power in how investments in IT innovations foster economic growth,” said Robert D. Atkinson, Ph.D., founder and president of the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “Continued innovation and investment in information technology will help jump-start recovery from the current recession and will significantly contribute to the growth of employment and new businesses.”

Because of its extensive partner network, the Microsoft ecosystem creates economic opportunities for companies selling products that run with or on Microsoft software, or that service and distribute Microsoft software.

“Being part of the Microsoft ecosystem is creating opportunities not only for our company, but also for other companies and individuals that we partner with to provide our service,” said Dan Merritts, vice president of marketing for Eduify. “It’s ignited a ripple effect that extends value and growth to local communities around the world.”

Additional Findings About the Software Industry

The emerging countries on the list of 52 — all countries excluding the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Western Europe — will account for only 21 percent of IT spending in 2009 and 39 percent of IT-related employment. But, over the next four years, they will account for more than 50 percent of net new IT spending and 70 percent of new IT-related jobs.
IDC estimates that cloud services could add $800 billion in net new business revenues between the end of 2009 and the end of 2013.
Companies in the Microsoft ecosystem employ 6.1 million people. IT-using organizations employ another 8.8 million IT professionals who work with Microsoft software or the products and services based on it. Together, those 14.9 million people account for 42 percent of the people working in the IT industry or as IT professionals in the 52 countries.
IT spending provides revenues for more than 1.2 million companies selling or distributing hardware, software and services. Those companies, in turn, employ more than 13 million people. Another 22-plus million IT professionals work in IT-using organizations.
Software accounts for a modest slice of overall IT spending but has a disproportionately positive impact on local economies. Software drives activity in the services and distribution sectors, as well as in organizations using IT, so although worldwide spending on packaged software will be only 21 percent of total IT spending in 2009, 51 percent of employment in IT will be software-related.
The employees and companies in these 52 countries will pay nearly $1.2 trillion in taxes in 2009. In the next four years, there will be nearly $366 billion in net new tax revenues.

Full results of the study can be found at http://microsoft.com/economicgrowth.

About IDC Methodology

This study applies IDC’s Economic Impact Model, which assesses the IT industry’s impact on job creation, company formation, local IT spending and tax revenues in addition to assessing Microsoft’s partner ecosystem. The study’s spending figures accounted for hardware, software, services and data networking expenditures by consumers, businesses, governments and educational institutions within each country. Tax revenue figures were based on potential VAT or sales tax revenues from the sale of hardware, software or services, as well as business and personal income taxes and social taxes. IT employment included the number of people employed (full-time equivalent) in hardware, software, services or channel firms, and those individuals managing IT resources in an IT-using organization (e.g., programmers, help desk, IT managers). All data was cross-checked against published information and census data available from government sources and validated by local government officials. A report on IDC’s methodology is available at http://microsoft.com/economicgrowth.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.


Press Resources



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Looky what my New York Times Magazine (Sunday) showed: MS Office Small Business Advertisment

So there I was reading my beloved New York Times – Sunday edition.

In the center “New York Times Magazine” insert, there was an impressive set of Microsoft Office – Small Business 2007 series of advertisments. Witness:

Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 in NY Times Magazine

Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 in NY Times Magazine

So my question is this. Should Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) have advertisments like this? HAve you ever seen SBS 2008 advertised? Or is it your job as a Microsoft Partner to advertise on behalf of the Microsoft Corporation?

Loaded questions…I know….cheers…harrybbbb

Harry Brelsford

Author, Small Business Server 2008 Blueprint

CEO, SMB Nation

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Be careful what you ask for – Microsoft want’s partner feedback!

A Microsoft executive has asked me to post up this link – and because I liv ein a company town (Seattle) – am happy to do so 🙂

Microsoft wants to know what partners think in their relationship with the big MS in Redmond….here ya’ go: Big Question – How Can Microsoft Better Support You, Your Way? 

My feedback – I want part of that $40B USD stock buy back!



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!

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The case for partnering with Microsoft [Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer book excerpt]

Happy Monday – may u have a better week! I am the publisher of the popular Microsoft Small Business Specialist Primer [SMB Nation Press] and I like to hold virtual book reading over morning coffee. Such is the case today! I present an interesting topic for your to consider and comment on: the case FOR partnering with Microsoft….’cause that’s what the SBSC program is baby….you are getting married to the big M! Let me know what u think!!!



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!

The Case for Partnering With


One of the big reasons to read this book and follow our advice is to partner with Microsoft. Some readers go back a few light years in the SMB technology community and remember in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Novell’s certification and partner program ruled the land (circa NetWare 2.x and 3.x). People loved the Novell partnering opportunity and Microsoft was a partner program no-show.

That all changed in the early to mid-1990s when Dwayne Walker (who worked for Microsoft between 1989 and 1996) fathered the modern Microsoft Partner Program with Steve Ballmer’s executive endorsement. Walker later went on the run a “dot-com” called Network Commerce and ultimately sued Microsoft for patent infringement (2002-2003), but that’s a whole different story (you can read about Dwayne at http://www.windowsitpro.com/Windows/Article/ ArticleID/2249/2249.html).

Fast forward to modern times and here’s how Microsoft’s Partner Program is defined and where the program is at, as seen in Figure 2-1.


Microsoft’s own Partner Program definition is:

The worldwide Microsoft Partner Program is for technology companies that use Microsoft software for building and distributing software or hardware solutions or as the building blocks for value- added services.

IMPORTANT: You can read an updated overview of the Microsoft Partner Program in the July edition of Redmond Channel Partner magazine at http://rcpmag.com/news/article.aspx?editorialsid=8734. It reveals who’s who in the zoo in Redmond.

What’s interesting about the definition is how it sets expectations and boundaries.
Clearly the Microsoft Partner Program is focused on the consulting and reseller

Chapter 2Small Business Specialist Community

community. Redmond Channel Partner magazine had a great article in August 2007 that dug deep into the “numbers” with respect to how much revenue the partners generate (somewhere around 96 percent of MS revenue, which now exceeds $50 BILLION USD! You can read this excellent article at www. rcpmag.com).

Microsoft’s community outreach to its partners is best defined by its annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WWPC), recently held in Minneapolis (July 2005), Boston (July 2006) and Denver (July 2007). (Visit: https://partner. microsoft.com/global/events/ wwpartnerconference/). Contrast this major Microsoft conference with other Microsoft conferences. The developers that support the Microsoft ecosystem possibly haven’t even heard of the Microsoft Partner Program and would attend very different Microsoft soirées, such as TechEd. In short, Microsoft interacts with different stakeholder groups in different ways. One partner told me that the owner and sales people attend the WWPC and the technical staff attend TechEd. There’s your boundary definition for you!

IMPORTANT: In designing the SMB Nation annual conference, we attempted to cater to both crowds in the small business technology consulting space by having both a business and technical track. This multi-track approach allows multiple people from the same Small Business Specialist Community firm to attend the same conference. For more information on this annual event, held each fall in the Seattle area, visit www.smbnation.com. There is also an east coast (USA) version held each spring.

Starting with WPC Boston in July 2006, Microsoft’s Partner Program has supported a Small Business Symposium day. Beatrice and I feature this event in the August 2006 and the August\September 2007 editions of our SMB Partner Community magazine.

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