Microsoft expanded its presence at the 2005 CeBIT exhibition last week as part of a $7 million investment into its local software developer community.
In its third year of participation, the vendor increased the number of partners at its stand from 20 to 36.
It has also produced a new end-user targeted solutions directory aimed at promoting close to 100 of its Gold and Certified ISVs.
Partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, said the vendor was focused on growing its software, services and support resources for developers. The level of investment was almost double the previous year, she said. The increased efforts were an attempt to give partners a leg-up in their own promotions, Baxter said. "When we talk to ISVs there are three things they want from us - our technology, our brand and access to our channel," she said.
"At CeBIT there are a lot of international organisations looking for solutions to take to market, as well as local organisations looking for solutions to their own business issues."
This year's CeBIT saw it promoting small local ISVs and large multinationals, Baxter said.
"There is also a lot happening around industry sectors - taking our horizontal solutions and making them more relevant for verticals like pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, legal through packaged solutions," she said.
There was also demand in the top end of town for ISV skill sets, Baxter said.
"If they buy a packaged application they know its 90 per cent of what they want. They then look to an ISV to provide the 10 per cent of applications which offer competitive differentiation," she said.
Developer support would also be a major theme at its annual partner conference, to be held in Queensland next month, Baxter said.
"The overall theme this year is going to be partnering for growth," she said. "This is the year to focus on successfully driving the business locally, and for those partners who want to go global, internationally."