Microsoft aims VARs at small business

Microsoft Canada estimates there are 400,000 to one million small businesses in Canada that need technology to help them succeed. However, most if not all of these businesses are cash strapped and unable to invest the kinds of dollars necessary to move forward in their business.

But Microsoft

Canada says it is coming to the rescue. With the release of Microsoft Small Business Server, the company has built a suite of applications such as a NOS, E-mail, SQL database, Internet security and firewall along with Web caching server into one package for small business.

According to Scott Jackson, marketing manager Windows platform group at Mississauga, Ont.-based Microsoft Canada, the small business server extends the value of the PC in a small business setting. But, as business needs increase it becomes an ideal first server.

“”For a first server it can expand up to 50 workstations and as low as one workstation,”” Jackson said.

The Small Business Server is made up of Windows 2000 server, Exchange 2000 server, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, FrontPage 2000, and Outlook 2000. Also included in the package are shared fax services, shared modem services, and a health monitor.

If a small business were to purchase each individual product the total cost would be $8,645, but in the Small Business Server edition it retails at $2,299, a 73 per cent savings for a five-user license, Jackson said.

For Microsoft channel partners interested in serving small businesses, they can deliver a gradual deployed solution to their clients, he added.

“”You do not have to put all of the components in small businesses at once and it is still less expensive than buying two individual products,”” he said.

Resellers can install additional components as small business needs arise.

The reseller can also upsell the customer with extra hard disk space, a month monitoring fee, and third-party anti-virus solutions, Jackson said.

He added that resellers have a great annuity revenue opportunity. Using demonstration figures, Jackson said, if you add the installation service revenue at $1,000 per install, basic end user training revenue at $100 per person and the maintenance revenue at $100 per month, per customer for a five-user customer a reseller can earn $25,800 for the year. In year two with this five-user customer the reseller’s revenue increases to $40,200.

Microsoft Canada will be showcasing the Small Business Server on a cross country Hands On Training (Hot) Lab. More than 1,300 Microsoft channel partners have RSVPed for the Hot Lab tour, which will have nine stops in Canada.

Microsoft will also offer a $500 rebate to all resellers who build services around the Small Business Server. The rebate offer ends in Jan. 31, 2003.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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