Microsoft launched two initiatives last week to help its channel partners boost business.
The first is a free marketing consultancy service, known as the Marketing Bureau. Operated by Mason Zimbler Channel Marketing, it aims to provide a range of marketing opportunities, from professional advice and consultation to full campaign support, Microsoft said.
"With the new initiative, some partners will be able to take their first steps in marketing and those with existing programmes will be able to benefit from the marketing expertise of our consulting agencies," said Natalie Johnston, group manager of partner development and marketing at Microsoft UK.
"We continually strive to add more value to our partner programme, helping to increase business opportunities for both our partners and Microsoft."
About 25 Microsoft partners took part in a month-long pilot before the official launch of the scheme last week. Gold Certified partner Conchango, an international business technology consultancy, created two marketing campaigns during the pilot.
"The campaigns the Bureau produced for us were great and both very creative," said Bhavesh Vaghela, marketing manager at Conchango.
"Although we are able to conduct our own marketing campaigns, knowing we can tap into Microsoft's marketing resources for advice and consultancy without having to pay for the service is a really valuable resource in helping our business to thrive."
Johnston said a web-based version of the Marketing Bureau will be rolled out this summer.
Microsoft has also announced Partner Channel Builder. The online tool lets Microsoft's Gold and Certified partners collaborate with one another by posting opportunities to form new alliances.
"Partner Channel Builder allows partners to draw on the demonstrated skills and expertise of the vast Microsoft partner community to complement their solutions offerings and win more business," Johnston said.
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