Microsoft is upping its drive into the b2b mobile space with a major training programme through its Microsoft Partner Network next year.
The move has met with approval from mobile dealers, who have criticised Microsoft’s focus on consumer sales since launching into the smartphone market through its joint venture with Nokia last year.
The training programme will see Microsoft develop a core smartphone competency trainingprogramme for Microsoft Network Partners for the first time. Jon Roskill (pictured), corporate vice president at Microsoft’s worldwide partner group, said: ‘There are several distinct areas of technology that we are focused on driving forward, including mobility.’
He said the rising use of smartphones and tablets was driving businesses to ask for more help from Microsoft partners in managing these devices. ‘To help partners take advantage of this opportunity we’ve evolved the Desktop competency to become orientated around devices and deployment.’
Microsoft is already developing a Windows Phone training programme in the UK with distributor Micro-P, which could be a blueprint for its own programme. This training programme is aimed at its top 50 VIP mobile dealers and will be launched early next year, supported by four dedicated trainers.
Micro-P said it had worked closely with Microsoft to design the programme, which aims to help its b2b mobile partners sell Windows Phone smartphones and cross-sell other Windows devices and additional services such as Microsoft Office 365. Jennifer Patrick, Micro-P mobile programmes manager, said: ‘B2b is one of Windows’ key strengths – we are really seeing it gaining traction and so we want to help our dealers access that.’
Patrick said the training course will consist of three modules. She said: ‘The first will teach our mobile partners all about Windows’ b2b proposition and how it can appeal to everyone from the basic user to the finance director or managing director of a company. It will also focus on IT integration.’
She added: ‘The second module focuses on how mobile dealers can cross-sell the phone with other Windows devices such as tablets and PCs, while the third module will focus on how partners can add Microsoft wrap-around services.’Patrick said the training programme was partly inspired by feedback from mobile dealers attending Micro-P’s Partner Round Table meetings this year.
Editor: Carol Millett