Beethoven tunes up Microsoft partnership

Australian software developer, Beethoven Computer Services has attained global Independent Software Vendor (ISV)/Software Solutions Competency from Microsoft for it flagship product, Resolve.

Built on Microsoft's .Net platform and using SQL Server as its back-end data repository, Resolve is a customer care software platform that lets businesses manage customer complaints, queries and requests for information across an entire organization in real time.

Beethoven CEO, Ross Allardyce, said the accreditation process was more rigorous than previous years when potential partners had only to pay a fee for competency certification.

"We had to send our software to the US to be accredited by an independent assessor, where it had to meet a series of tests and jump through a number of hoops to show competent use of the Microsoft environment," he said.

Microsoft partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, said partners had to go through a deeper accreditation process to earn competency certification than in previous years.

"The process was revamped and relaunched 18 months ago, but has been in transition for partners to get accustomed to the new requirements," she said.

Since January the new model has been enforced by Microsoft and partners are required to not only meet a number of compatibility and reliability tests, but also provide three independent customer references.

"It's not just about technical capability anymore, it's about customer satisfaction which is the real test of a product's success," Baxter said.

The competency certification gives Beethoven access to a number of tailored benefits and Microsoft resources designed to improve customer service. These include training, sales support and technical advice available through Microsoft's "ISV Advisory Hour".

Allardyce said the new certification would add prestige to Beethoven's software suite and show customers the company's software development was "on par with world class technology".

Beethoven plans to release a smart client version of Resolve later this year.

"Our next step is to expand Resolve's functionality with a rich client experience through a Web browser," Allardyce said.

Beethoven became the 95th Australian Microsoft partner to pass its ISV competency accreditation.

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