An Open Letter to the Members of the Microsoft U.S. Small Business Specialist Community - From Cindy Bates

February 2, 2009 – 2:39 pm

February 2009
Dear Partners,
I am writing you today to thank you for your involvement and membership in the Microsoft Small Business Specialist program and to bring to your attention some program benefits that you might not currently be taking advantage of. Our commitment to the SBSC community remains strong, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen that commitment in 2009. We’ve been tracking the progress and growth of our SBSC partners compared to similar partners who are not currently SBSC members. It’s exciting to see that our SBSC members are growing faster and generating up to twice as much Microsoft business as other partners serving the same market.
Please take a moment to read about a few SBSC program benefits below, and consider how they might benefit your business during these challenging times. I want this program to be a great success for you, and I am personally committed to listening to your feedback. We are exploring some new ideas for creating a dialogue with you. I’ll communicate more about these in the near future, but in the meantime, please drop me a line at with your impressions and recommendations.

  • Local Engagement Team (LET) — Comprised of ten locally based Business Development Managers, the Local Engagement Team offers opportunities to grow your business. LET helps connect you with other partners within the extensive Microsoft network, including major alliance partners like banks, telcos, shipping companies, and nonprofit and diversity-based organizations. Additionally we have developed a set of resources to help you expand your local marketing efforts, including Web content, business expos, seminars, radio programs, social marketing, newsletters, and more. Visit the Local Engagement Team Web site to learn more, and make sure you click Connect to contact the LET Business Development Manager nearest you.
  • Security Software Advisor Program (SSA) — SBSC partners are now eligible for the SSA program. With this program, you can earn up to 30 percent in advisor fees when you recommend and deploy Microsoft Forefront and Identity and Microsoft Access solutions. For questions about SSA or help enrolling in the program, contact the SSA Resource Desk at 866-859-6622 or send an e-mail message to
  • Partner Community Managers (PCMs) — PCMs are responsible for ensuring that local partners are aware of the great resources available to them, including local events and activities, training, and incentives. PCMs are especially eager to help reseller partners increase their Open revenue and grow their business. Visit your local Area portal page to find your PCM.
  • A Special SBSC Contest — “Driving Small Business Success” is a new and exclusive SBSC contest that provides resources, promotions, and incentives to help you grow your business. All active SBSC partners have been sent a contest launch package, including a personalized Web page URL. If you did not get your launch kit, please visit
  • Accessibility to a Regional Service Center (RSC) — A Regional Service Center can assist you with partner-related benefits questions. They can also assist you with questions about the Partner Program Web site as well as sales and marketing requests. Contact the RSC at 800-765-7768 or send an e-mail message to

I want to thank you once again for your partnership and reaffirm my commitment to the SBSC program. I am excited about our future together and look forward to hearing your feedback and your success stories!
Cindy Bates
Vice President, U.S. Partner Strategy, Marketing, and Programs
Microsoft Corporation

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