Microsoft will expand its accreditation platform to encourage resellers to sell services based around managing business information.
The software giant has signed 14 consultancy-oriented 'scenario partners' to promote the fledgling knowledge management initiative in the UK channel plus six global partners, but will expand the programme later in the year to provide access for a broader set of resellers.
David Bridger, business marketing manager at Microsoft, told PC Dealer: 'There will be a drive into the channel with this emerging technology and as it becomes more accepted we will need more partners. Resellers now need to think about how they will deliver it.'
Bridger confirmed that courses incorporating the central themes of the programme were being planned for the summer, but declined to discuss details further. 'We are just turning the corner and knowledge management is changing from a theory into something that can be put into practice. We will expand our base of resellers that have skills that area,' he said.
Scott Moorley, managing consultant at Dimenica - a UK scenario partner - welcomed the move to a broader base but warned the number of resellers with the capability to offer such services was limited.
'The concept does not fit into the traditional reseller model and any reseller involved would need to have a consulting arm. Knowledge management isn't something you can just throw tools at to make work,' he said.
The 14 partners in the UK form part of the strategy based around Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates' concept of the digital nervous system (DNS).
THE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT THEORY
Steve Ballmer, president of Microsoft, flew into London last week to formally unveil the software giant's global knowledge management strategy.
Ballmer claimed that the concept was the second most important issue facing businesses after e-commerce, enabling employees in organisations of any size to have access to the right information at any time.
'Knowledge management is all about putting tools in front of people to help them plan the operation of their business. At present those tools are only so-so. Do they have the right information they need to get the job done? We've worked at it with Office and Exchange, but if you asked the question "Are you where you want to be?" the answer would be "no",' he said.
Ballmer highlighted the digital dashboard as the interface that will allow access to the right information in the future. It will run in tandem with a Web store, allowing access to all information regardless of the application. The circle will be completed with wireless and mobile products.
Practical implementations of knowledge management were already on the way, claimed Ballmer, and will revolve around Platinum - the future release of Exchange Server - and Tahoe, a set of technologies targeted at corporate intranets.
Microsoft has teamed with six global partners - KPMG, EDS, ICL, Compaq, Cap Gemini and Baan - to promote 'working without limits'.
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