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Microsoft Readies Infrastructure to Sell W2K

Microsoft Corp. unveiled several infrastructure moves today to support the different sales requirements of its forthcoming Windows 2000 business operating system.

Microsoft has traditionally relied on a consumer sales model that focuses on product development and mass marketing. Microsoft has partly followed this model with Windows NT, which came into many companies a few machines at a time.

Windows 2000, and especially its Active Directory feature, however, require disciplined implementations that can rival corporate reorganizations in complexity. Sales of Windows 2000 will require individual customer attention integrated with consulting services.

Microsoft officials used their Fusion 99 symposium in San Francisco for Microsoft Certified Solution Providers (MCSPs) to announce several initiatives. Microsoft officials say the initiatives are part of $40 million the company is spending to train MCSPs and IT professionals in the deployment of Windows 2000.

"The rules have changed in today’s high-tech economy, and technical resources are no longer enough," John Conners, Microsoft vice president, World Enterprise Group, said in a statement. "New resources, tools and training address the needs of sales and marketing, technical and executive staff alike."

The announcements include:

  • Two new Enterprise Services Frameworks, consisting of assessment tools, solution kits, characterized solutions, white papers, competency road maps, deployment guides, operation guides and courseware. The Microsoft Operations Framework focuses on IT operations knowledge; the Microsoft Readiness Framework concentrates on developing individual and organizational competency in Microsoft technologies.
  • New content at Microsoft’s Web site for MCSPs.
  • Opening Microsoft’s internal consultant and sales training based on Franklin Covey’s "Helping Clients Succeed" to 21,000 MCSPs worldwide.
  • A new referral system to drive business from Microsoft’s Web site to MCSPs. The site, www.microsoft.com/biz/, is aimed at small and midsize businesses.

Windows 2000 is expected to ship in late Fall. -- Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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