Microsoft launches ISV group in Canberra

Microsoft has launched a new .Net software developer cluster with the ACT government to aid growth in the state's ISV community.

Director of developer and platform strategy, Norbert Haehnel, said the initiative was aimed at equipping smaller developers with the knowledge and tools to expand their business.

The group would meet monthly and focus on issues such as best practice, channel strategy and exporting, he said.

"It's also about how to get access to money - venture funding, government grants, or simply a bank roll - in order to have a positive cash flow while developing a new product," Haehnel said.

The new ACT association is the fourth state group launched by the software giant in the past two years. The first to come onboard was Victoria, followed by Northern Territory and Queensland.

Many of the members in other states were not involved in Microsoft's formal ISV partner programs, Haehnel said. As a result, Microsoft would also be promoting its entry-level ISV partner programs.

The group would be overseen by a steering committee, consisting predominantly of local industry representatives. Microsoft and the government had invested equal funding to run the cluster and build up marketing collateral to showcase its members.

"The schedule for the group will be set by the steering committee, which will define its value proposition," Haehnel said. "We are providing access to information and speakers from outside Canberra but it needs to be run by the industry to succeed."

Microsoft and the ACT government had identified about 200 software developers in Canberra that could participate in the group, he said.

"Canberra is not a natural location connected to the ICT industry," Haehnel said. "But there are a lot of players doing great work and this should be promoted."

Victoria .Net now had 289 members, he said, with .Net projects in that state valued at more than $300 million. In Queensland, $78 million worth of .Net projects had been registered.

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