Online Partner Locators: How They Work

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Who's In: 120,000 registered members of the Microsoft Partner Network

Search Criteria: Searchers using Microsoft's Pinpoint can undertake broad searches for partners according to business need (for example, cloud computing, financial management), competency (partners certified in such areas as application development and CRM) or industry focus. Results can be refined to list partners by geography, competency rating, or even alphabetically.

How They Are Ranked: Competency ratings are key. For example, a partner rated "gold" in business intelligence will be ranked over others. Customer reviews and references are also factored in. "It's a very sophisticated ranking engine underneath," said Karl Noakes, general manager of Microsoft's worldwide partner strategy and programs.


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