After six months in development, Microsoft went live last week with its new "partner portal", which forms a part of the software giant's new worldwide Internet strategy.
John Ball, distribution manager for Microsoft Australia, said the new site is "plugging into a global infrastructure" which allows far easier navigation and access to information critical to its partners.
Ball would not disclose how much the project had cost, but he said that 10 people had been working on the site in Australia for six months and that there was probably a similar team in the US helping to integrate it.
"It has enabled us to better utilise some of the fantastic US-based services and features, although the content for the partner portal will definitely still be controlled from Australia," Ball said.
"We will also now be working with partners more efficiently. They will have rapid and easy access to news groups, sales and marketing tools, service packs, technical support and webcasts on product hot fixes. There should be far less time spent waiting on the phone for call centre support."
Microsoft's channel partners now have to go through a fairly extensive profiling process to gain access to the content-rich secure section of the portal. Ball said security and privacy issues were paramount in the development of the portal.
"There was a massive amount of attention paid to security and privacy," he said.