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26 December 2012

Microsoft Accreditations For Business Intelligence And Cloud Management

Pre-sales Technical Specialist  that is how I can titulate myself after passing two Microsoft assesments in the last days. My best teachers are the kalmstrom.com technicians, who patiently answer my questions and share their knowledge, but I also try to improve on my own, often with the help of Microsoft tutorials.

kalmstrom.com build on Microsoft
As I am selling and marketing the add-ons and applications from kalmstrom.com Business Solutions I need to know a lot about the platforms they take advantage of. In the first place our developers make use of Outlook and SharePoint, but a range of other Microsoft products may also be used with the kalmstrom.com software. I wanted to learn more about some of them, and when I had a few quiet days around the holidays I  seized the opportunity.

Microsoft Sales Excellence Community
In July 2012 Microsoft launched its Partner Sales Skills Excellence program and the Sales Excellence Central web site. The website is a hub for learning and accreditations, in the first place intended for people selling Microsoft's own products. But all Microsoft partners are welcome to follow the courses and do the assesments, and to me this proved to be a good way of learning, and after passing an introductory Sales and Marketing assesment I had many interesting competencies to choose from. This time I took two of them.
Microsoft Pre-Sales Specialist Accreditation proof
Management and Virtualization
My first assessment was in the Pre-Sales Technical program and tested my knowledge about Microsoft's management and virtualization solutions, with emphasis on Office 365, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. I know Office 365 fairly well as we use it within kalmstrom.com, and I also use Hyper-V and virtual machines frequently. It was interesting to learn more about the parts I was not as familiar with.

Business Intelligence
In the second assessment I had to show what I know about using SharePoint and SQL Server for analysis and statistics purposes. During the studies I realized how heavily Microsoft rely on Excel, and I understood better why our CEO and applications architect Peter has decided to use Excel reports in all kalmstrom.com applications. Most of them currently have an OLAP solution, but the Excel reports will be easier to use without giving less information.

Proof of expertise
Besides giving me a better understanding of Microsoft products I meet in my work, the accreditations gave us two more award tiles for the kalmstrom.com About us page. Learning is part of the job description for all members of the kalmstrom.com team, and getting a proof of expertise is just an added bonus.