Microsoft Office Live Launches Partner Program, Helps Partners Reach Small Businesses
July 10, 2007
Partners benefit from online marketplace, greater access to customers and new affiliate network.

DENVER — July 10, 2007 — Microsoft® Office Live is making it easy for partners to build and showcase Web-based and hybrid solutions and services that specifically address the unique needs of small businesses, opening a door to a hard-to-reach market segment. This new program offers a Microsoft Office Live developer platform, the Microsoft Office Live Marketplace, a new Microsoft Office Live Affiliate Network Pilot and greater access to the Microsoft Office Live customer base. Marja Koopmans, director of partner strategy for Microsoft Office Live at Microsoft Corp., will unveil this new program at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Denver on July 11, 2007, at 3 p.m.

“There are 25.8 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, according to the according to U.S. Small Business Administration,” Koopmans said. “That represents a huge potential market segment for Web developers and designers, IT support providers, and our sales and marketing partners. However, because small businesses are such a diverse group, smaller companies have traditionally been difficult for our partners to reach. The Office Live Partner Program helps enable our partners to have direct access to this large, growing market.”

The following are among the new and enhanced features in the Office Live Partner Program:

  • Microsoft Office Live developer platform. Based on research and feedback from partners that participated in the Early Adopter Program, Office Live has further invested in the technical platform and resources to support partners during the training and development cycles.

  • Microsoft Office Live Marketplace. The recently unveiled Microsoft Office Live Marketplace (http://www.officelive.com/marketplace) enables developers to market their solutions and services to more than 400,000 existing customers and prospective customers and promote their unique offerings. Microsoft Office Live features more than 50 offerings worldwide in the marketplace and hopes to expand that number over the next year.

  • Greater access to Microsoft Office Live customers. Beginning in January 2008, Microsoft Office Live will extend the solution and service platform capabilities to the complete Microsoft Office Live customer base of more than 400,000 customers that use the advertising-supported and subscription-based products.

  • Microsoft Office Live Affiliate Network Pilot. A new affiliate program will be available to Small Business Specialist Community partners as well as Microsoft Certified Partners and Microsoft Gold Certified Partners in 2008, allowing them to share in Microsoft Office Live subscription revenue and advertising spending by referring new customers.

  • Partner case studies. The Microsoft Office Live platform, built on Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0, allows partners to tailor their existing solutions and services for the small-business community, build new industry-specific ones for key verticals, or offer targeted, horizontal solutions. Since its debut in November 2006, Microsoft Office Live has captured the attention of more than 400,000 small businesses in five countries with its Web hosting and business management tools.

“Microsoft Office Live is an ideal platform for us because it enables real-time, central storage of data and the security of hosting on Microsoft servers,” said Joe McDermott, managing director of Solution Canvas Ltd. “With our new Office Live solution, justia, small law firms can now get access to a sophisticated practice development solution usually reserved for larger firms.”

Microsoft Office Live also provides an opportunity for Web designers to help small businesses design their Web site, enabling them to overcome the existing barriers to the online world such as lack of time and IT support. One such partner is WebSite Pros, which enables customers to outsource their Web site design to a professional design and marketing services agency.

Partners attending WWPC will include the following:

  • KnowledgeLake Inc. is a Microsoft Gold Certified independent software vendor with document imaging and capture software for Microsoft SharePoint Services. It creates a simple desktop scanning solution for Office Live. The award-winning Fujitsu ScanSnap integrates its scanning capabilities with the highly functional KnowledgeLake Connect capture software and allows small businesses to scan their paper documents quickly into an Office Live Customer Workspace.

  • PC Rescue of Texas has created a new solution to help real estate agents and brokers keep all their account information in one security-enhanced location. Building on the Microsoft Office Live platform, this solution ensures access to client-critical information from anywhere with Internet access. It also enables agents to rest easy that their sensitive data is stored centrally, no matter what happens to their computer.

  • RingCentral Inc. is helping small businesses stay connected with their customers. Integrating with Office Live, the company’s fully featured phone and fax service provides users with a single entry point to manage their business, including toll-free and local numbers with multiple extensions and dial-by-name directory, click-to-call, worldwide call routing, visual voicemail, Internet Fax, and much more. The RingCentral service is affordable and easy to use, requires no hardware, and can be activated instantly at http://www.ringcentral.com.

  • Solution Canvas is a Glasgow, Scotland-based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that uses the Microsoft Office Live platform to host justia, a powerful practice management system for small legal firms. justia offers a cost-effective solution that provides improved financial control and an umbrella view of client activities for smaller law firms that are trying keep costs down.

More information about these partners and Office Live is available at http://www.officelive.com.

About Microsoft Office Live

Microsoft Office Live is a complete, affordable set of easy-to-use Internet-based software and services that helps small businesses attract new customers, keep in touch with existing customers and easily manage their business from any location. Office Live helps small businesses establish a professional Web presence, stay in touch with their customers, and easily access company information from one complete online location. For more information, please log onto http://www.officelive.com.

About the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

More information about the Worldwide Partner Conference is available on the virtual event site at http://partner.microsoft.com/digitalwpc. Visitors can watch select keynotes live or on demand, register to view sessions, and learn more about the news and events coming out of the conference.

The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference provides Microsoft’s partner community with access to key marketing and business strategies, leadership, and information regarding specific customer solutions designed to help partners succeed in the marketplace. Along with informative learning opportunities covering sales, marketing, services and technology, the Worldwide Partner Conference is an ideal setting for partners to garner valuable knowledge from their peers and from Microsoft. More information can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/partner/events/wwpartnerconference and https://partner.microsoft.com.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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