Microsoft is rushing to sign up several hundred UK channel partners over the next 12 months to sell its first dedicated small business offering.
The software giant has claimed Office Live – a hosted service aimed at firms with one to 10 employees – could become almost as important to Microsoft as its flagship Windows operating system.
Office Live allows small businesses to have a professional online presence without the expense of buying a server, setting up a complicated infrastructure and hiring technical staff to maintain it. Following six months of Beta testing, Office Live is now available in the UK and currently has 14 partners signed up to the official Office Live partner programme.
Tim Kimber, Microsoft’s UK Office Live product manager, said: “We’re now embarking on an official push to recruit partners and hope to sign up several hundred over the next 12 months. Microsoft partners involved in SharePoint are ideally placed to sell it because Office Live is built around SharePoint technology.”