Serving Small Business in a Big Way
Microsoft is working to help partners see potential in the small business market.
- By Margo Day
- March 01, 2006
When it comes to small business, the opportunities for Microsoft
partners are amazing. It’s such a big area of possible growth, in
fact, that helping our partners take advantage of the enormous potential
in the small business segment is one of our key initiatives this
For example, Microsoft estimates the server opportunity for small
businesses with five to 25 PCs is greater than $1 billion in software
sales alone, not including incremental deployment, installation,
support and training services.
I’ve shared these statistics before, but they’re worth repeating:
In the United States, there are some 3.2 million small businesses
that have five or more PCs. And 40 percent of those 3.2 million
entities don’t currently have a server. Without a server, small
businesses struggle with:
- Disconnected pockets of information, wasted time searching for
files and managing different versions of files
- Limited security for networks and data
- Little or no ability to access e-mail and documents remotely
via the Internet or mobile devices
- Inability to share corporate resources such as fax machines,
printers and Internet access
Microsoft is addressing the IT needs of small businesses with a
wave of technology. Companies with limited resources will find tremendous
value in ease-of-use, familiar interfaces with products such as
Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition, Microsoft Windows
XP Professional and Microsoft Small Business Server 2003. For example,
according to Forbes.com, businesses using Windows Small Business
Server 2003 reported that, on average, their employees were able
to be 20 percent more productive on the job.
Microsoft products have established a solid track record for delivering
business value to the small business segment. One study of 25 businesses
in the United States with Microsoft Windows Small Business Server
2003 found that virtually all of the companies reported the deployment
had led to dramatic gains in business value.
are some 3.2 million [U.S.] small businesses that have
five or more PCs. And 40 percent of those don’t
have a server.
Value was reflected in factors such as increased responsiveness
to customer needs and requirements, improved productivity through
reduction in task work, increased output, and having additional
time to focus on core business issues -- rather than on disruptions
caused by IT infrastructure failures or security breaches. The business
value of Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 was further
expressed in terms of the companies’ ability to protect and increase
revenue and their ability to avoid and reduce costs.
We’ve also made purchasing easy and affordable through the new
Microsoft Small Business Platform SKU. This option simplifies licensing:
one SKU per PC. It also offers a 28 percent discount and delivers
the flexibility that is attractive to small businesses, such as
the option of spreading payments over a three-year period without
interest or finance charges.
To help meet the demand that exists in this dynamic segment, Microsoft
introduced the Small Business Specialist designation as part of
the Microsoft Partner Program. The designation was developed to
support solution partners who specialize in the design, deployment
and customization of small business solutions using Microsoft technology.
It recognizes the partner’s skill and unique business model, and
provides a logo to highlight partner expertise in serving the small-business
segment with innovative technology solutions.
Customers learn about Microsoft solutions at the Small Business
Center. Reachable via Microsoft.com,
this site provides a single destination for product, support and
business information geared to small businesses (www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness).
Here your customers and prospects will find a host of helpful resources,
including technology overviews, expert advice, articles of interest,
and tips and tricks on just about everything from acquiring new
customers to the latest in IT security.
To help small businesses easily find qualified IT specialists,
the Partner Finder in the Small Business Center connects customers
with the local partners best qualified to meet their needs based
on information they provide, including zip code.
So, if you specialize in small business solutions using Microsoft
technology, consider joining the Small Business Specialist Community
You’ll find you have access to training, information and offers,
as well as increased visibility in Microsoft partner directories
to help you realize your potential in this exciting market segment.