Inc. located in Rothesay, 10 minutes north-east of Saint John. He says he views the program as a way for “”a small company in a small province”” to perform on a larger stage. “”It gives the enterprise customers in the area, especially Microsoft’s enterprise customers, some comfort that if we’re coming in to do work for them that Microsoft has deemed us the people to do that,”” Groom says.
But stepping into the spotlight didn’t happen over night. Groom says the seven-person company worked long and hard after learning of the certification in December. In a flashback to the working hours of the early dot-coms, he says they worked 15, 16 hours days to complete the program requirements.
The requirements start with a minimum of four Microsoft certified systems engineers (MCSE) or certified solution developers on staff, according to Jahnis Gillan, Microsoft Canada marketing manager channel development. If a company goes the certified systems engineer route they have to be Windows 2000 MCSE and at least two of those MCSEs have to have passed three specific exams.
“”On the reference side, they have to submit three verifiable references on building and delivering security solutions on Microsoft technologies,”” Gillan says. “”Those references are verified by Microsoft, so we actually contact the customer and those references are only valid for 18 months from the go live date of the project.””
Gillan says while the requirements are strict, successful candidates are rewarded. She says Gold partners get perks like more licences for internal use, prioritization for education and lead referrals on the Microsoft Web site.
The best perk, however, will come offline, Groom says. “”It’s not so much the Web site traffic I think is going to benefit us, but it’s the confidence now that the Microsoft reps in the area have in us. When they’re pitching solutions to customers we can be involved,”” he says.
Groom says most of his business come from clients in Saint John and Fredericton, but is in the process of expanding to catch bigger game. It recently opened a sales office in Kentucky in hopes of getting more enterprise customers.
“”We like the 1,000 PC and over range as they have so much invested in their digital infrastructure and they have so much critical data on servers and workstations that they really need a whole gamut of security systems from firewalls to intrusion detection systems,”” he says.