Microsoft is gearing up for what it claimed is one of the largest product launches in its history.
The software giant is launching three new software products to the channel on Wednesday: SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006. It is also setting up face-to-face meetings with about 189,000 customers worldwide during the official end-user launch week in November to help raise customer awareness and boost channel sales.
Mark Tennant, SQL product manager for Microsoft UK, said the channel will be able to drive up revenue through upgrade sales.
“Our partners have already been getting good training through the internet on SQL Server 2005. They have been taking advantage of online courses to ensure they have the right specialist skills for the product. This is the first SQL release in five years and a lot of improvements have been made,” he said.
“Resellers will have a large, installed customer base that is ready to upgrade, and they also have the chance to encourage other customers to migrate from competing platforms such as Oracle, Sybase and Informix.”
John Allwright, Visual Studio product manager at Microsoft UK for Visual Studio 2005, added: “There has not been a Visual Studio release since 2003. This is built on the new dotNet framework and it extends our product line considerably.”
All three products are fully scaleable from the SME through to the enterprise, according to Microsoft.
Lee Schofield, head of sales at Microsoft Large Account Reseller Trustmarque, was pleased by news of the launches. “There hasn’t been a major release from Microsoft for quite some time. It means we can go back and re-engage with customers that have been waiting for product updates,” he said.
Schofield said it is particularly beneficial for end-users that have signed up to Microsoft’s Software Assurance (SA) scheme, which entitles them to free software upgrades.
“Some have been protecting their SA investment and waiting to see what is in the product roadmap. This release means partners can create more revenue opportunity,” he said.
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