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Small Business Gets Big Recognition

Check this out: A new, "specialist" certification for Small Business Server experts.

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Minneapolis, the company announced the development of a new, "specialist" certification for Small Business Server experts. However, the designation has no ties to the Microsoft Certified Program.

While the announcement was made as part of many Microsoft Partner Program-related announcements during that week, what makes this particular announcement "special" is how it fits into the rest of the program. Microsoft is creating a communal area for partners that it's calling the Small Business Specialist Community, which provides registered partners with an array of resources tailored to small business, such as a partner locator tool that's similar to the ones for Microsoft Certified and Gold Partners, training and special offers, use of business marketing materials, and use of a new Small Business Specialist logo.

According to a press release posted on Microsoft's Web site, the goal of the new designation is to provide recognition to a major segment of Microsoft's business outside of the Windows operating system. "We’ll make it much easier for the 41 million small businesses around the world to identify those partners in Microsoft’s network that are best able to address their specific needs," said Steve Guggenheimer, vice president of small business for the Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partner Group at Microsoft.

The requirements to obtain the Small Business Community specialization are less stringent than a typical competency:

  • Enrollment into Microsoft Partner Program.
  • Pass one technical exam: 70-282, Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Business, or 74-134, Preinstalling Microsoft Products and Technologies Using the OEM Preinstallation Kit. (As a side note, candidates who pass 70-282 earn the Microsoft Certified Professional title.)
  • Subscribe to the Microsoft Action Pack or Microsoft Empower for ISVs products.

To find out more and to sign up, go to https://partner.microsoft.com/40021525.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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