Computacenter has taken a step closer towards establishing itself as18 months hard work. a services-led organisation following its appointment as a Microsoft Authorised Support Centre (ASC).
The reseller giant has reached the highest level of Microsoft accreditation, six months after it was appointed as a Microsoft Alliance Partner (PC Dealer, 7 October 1998). Computacenter is the first reseller in the UK to qualify since the scheme's inception six years ago, and joins Compaq, Wang, Hewlett Packard, Unisys and ICL Multivendor Computing as Microsoft's ASCs in the UK.
Steve Caunce, software and services marketing manager at Computacenter, told PC Dealer: 'This is the end result of 18 months of hard work towards compliance and is recognition of our investment in Microsoft. We have joined an elite group of accredited partners, and this will give customers peace of mind because it shows we are serious about services.'
The reseller, which has strengthened its services arm so it now accounts for about 20 per cent of revenue, has had to introduce facilities such as 24-hour call centre support and customer satisfaction measurement, as well as meet the staff certification criteria, to qualify.
Stuart Anderson, services marketing manager at Microsoft UK, said: 'ASC is an accreditation with teeth because all of our partners at this level have a completely independent services business.
'Computacenter has made a smart investment,' he added. 'It has guaranteed skills which will act as a safety net for corporates.'
Anderson denied the appointment would give Computacenter a Microsoft-heavy focus. 'We insist our ASCs have support from other vendors. We are delighted Computacenter has Lotus accreditation, for example. It's got nothing to do with the purchase - it's about the value-add and customer choice.'
Microsoft will independently monitor how closely Computacenter hits its monthly performance targets, one of which stipulates that less than three per cent of calls to Computacenter's call centre are referred back to Microsoft.
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