Microsoft resellers will be able to offer interest-free credit to small business customers next year, according to its senior vice-president of small and mid-market solutions, Orlando Ayala.
Speaking at a breakfast briefing in Sydney, Ayala said exact details of the 'zero per cent finance' initiative would vary from country to country.
Terms, he said, would depend on the size of an individual deal but would typically be repaid over 12 months with Microsoft taking full responsibility for the credit risk.
Microsoft Australia's partner group director, Kerstin Baxter, said it was still early days as far as scoping the scheme was concerned. However, she said the concept would be to provide financing for an entire rollout rather than just for the Microsoft element.
"Software is a small element of any solution so we would look to include the hardware it sits on and our partner's services as part of the finance package," Baxter said. "We wouldn't want to provide finance for competing software products but it would make sense for complementary ones like Trend Micro."
Another initiative touched on by Ayala, whose brief also covers the Microsoft partner group, was the introduction of certification for small business resellers. There are currently 14,000 registered Microsoft partners in Australia, with 800 of those certified.
"Certification has been valuable in the enterprise space," he said. "Small business customers also want to know our partners have been trained and are capable of dealing with their needs."
The small business certification program will be launched in August or September next year.
Further details will be provided to resellers at the company's annual partner conference in Coolum, Queensland, during July.
See next week's ARN for more on this story.