Microsoft Launches Small Business Server 2000 Incentive Program
Company to offer consultants up to $500 back for purchasing, implementing SBS for clients; rebate good until Jan. 31, 2002.
Beginning this Thursday, Aug. 1, Microsoft is launching a Channel Services Rebate Program for Small Business Server 2000, offering up to $500 in rebates to consultants and resellers who sell SBS to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The program requires that consultants to first pass an SBS competency test, enroll in the SBS Partner Locator (a customer referral program) and purchase and implement SBS 2000. (The SBS competency is not part of Microsoft's certification program, although rumors have circulated about an impending SBS certification track in mid-2003, which Microsoft so far denies.)
"Microsoft is engaging in fiscal policy and giving a 'tax cut' to the SMB consultant to pump up SBS," says Harry Brelsford, an SBS consultant and writer. He thinks that "Microsoft has ceded trying to internally master the SMB consulting space and would rather just give money to its SMB partners, believing the SMB partners can spend the money more effectively." While Brelsford thinks that most consultants will simply pocket the $500, he says that he plans to pass on some of the rebate to his customers, which he says ends up lowering the baseline cost of SBS to that of stand-alone Windows 2000 Server. Brelsford recently hosted an MCP Magazine chat in which he discussed the rebate program (read the transcript at http://mcpmag.com/chats/transcripts/020723-sbs.htm).
SBS 2000 is Microsoft's network operating system and server software that comes with a version of Windows 2000 Server limited to 50 client connections. SBS 2000 also includes Exchange 2000 Server, ISA Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, faxing, shared modem, consoles and more.
According to Microsoft's Web site, "the rebate is valid only with services associated with products purchased between August 1, 2002 and January 31, 2003," at which time the program ends. For details, go to
http://members.microsoft.com/partner/campaign/SBS2000.aspx; for information on SBS 2000, go to http://www.microsoft.com/sbserver.
Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.