Microsoft announced at the Worldwide Partner Conference in 2009 that the SBSC designation would be dead in 2010 and it would be replaced by a new Small Business Competency and then later a Small Business Advanced Competency. While I was not keen to see the death of the SBSC program, it did make a certain amount of sense. It combined the best bits of the SBSC program into the main partner program and at the same time allowed those serious SMB focused resellers such as my company Correct Solutions to achieve the Advanced Competency in Small Business which shows our clients some serious commitment to the SMB space. Bear in mind that Correct Solutions has been focused on the SMB space now for 13 years and a Microsoft Certified Partner for over 10 years. This was now THE WAY that we were going to show ourselves above the smaller SMB focused companies.
Well – in typical Microsoft fashion, last week they reversed this decision. Now it’s great that Microsoft listened to the community – I applaud them for that. However… they’ve taken away something that I believed was critical to us and our business – the ability to show we are MORE THAN A ONE MAN SHOP in the SMB space. There are many one man operations out there that do a good job servicing the SMB space. I have no problem with that – I started there once as well. However those one man operations and my 14 person operation provide a totally different level of service and capabilities to our clients. I saw the new Competency as a way to really show our differences using Microsoft branding. Unfortunately we can’t do that now.
Eric – I know you listen and thank you for that, however I believe you listened too much to the wrong people on this decision. Maybe you can morph the SBSC into an Advanced section – hey – tell you what why not make the Blue Badge into a Gold Badge for those large orgs like ourselves. Look… I’ll even do the design for you – how does this look? 🙂