New Zealand’s largest dedicated provider of Microsoft-based solutions, Intergen, has become the world’s first SharePoint Elite certified partner. The new Elite programme is the highest recognition available for expertise and skill in deploying SharePoint, Microsoft’s business collaboration software for the enterprise and Web.
The SharePoint Elite Partner Initiative is a new initiative that recognises staff skills and depth of experience. Working with an Elite-certified organisation assures a partner with skills and expertise demonstrated to the highest degree through operational excellence and ongoing training for staff.
The Elite initiative certifies SharePoint partners in four key areas separated into two streams: the technical stream, encompassing the disciplines of infrastructure and development; and the business stream that covers the disciplines of knowledge management and end user engagement. Intergen has successfully met the requirements to be recognised as a SharePoint Elite Business partner and is currently working through the process of meeting the requirements of the technical stream.
Wayne Forgesson, Director of Marketing at Intergen, sees great value in the SharePoint Elite initiative for both customers and partners. He says, “It recognises our position as one of the best proven SharePoint partners in the New Zealand marketplace. The Elite badge is one that we’ll wear proudly, and anticipate will open new business opportunities for us as a leader in Microsoft solutions.”
He adds that the SharePoint Elite initiative provides surety that Intergen continues to provide the best resources possible for maximum return on customers’ IT investments.
Darryl Burling, SharePoint product manager for Microsoft New Zealand, says Intergen is the first company in New Zealand, and therefore the world, to make the grade for Elite certification.
“It’s huge for them and a boost for their credibility among SharePoint customers,” says Burling. “This goes to show that once again New Zealand is leading the way in technical capabilities, as evidenced by Intergen’s completion of this extremely challenging process.”
Key to the new initiative is rigorous training and examinations, devised by Microsoft New Zealand alongside some of the world’s best SharePoint training organisations, such as UK-based Combined Knowledge, which partnered with locally based Knowledge Cue to coordinate the first round of training.
Burling says even though the initiative is aimed at companies performing large-scale enterprise deployments, smaller partners can also send their staff to be trained to Elite level. “We welcome any organisation to come do the training. The more partners we have trained to the Elite level, the better the results and experience for our SharePoint customers.”
To qualify for the SharePoint Elite criteria, a partner needs to be registered in the Microsoft Partner Network, train and validate at least six staff through an examination program and have a proven approach to managing SharePoint projects. To qualify for the technical streams, a partner must also have SharePoint competencies through the Partner Network.
Other SharePoint partners currently progressing in the Elite initiative include a range of recognised local technology providers, such as Datacom, Provoke, Gen-i, Fujitsu New Zealand, Information Leadership and Enlighten Designs.