Microsoft has invited Gartner and Forrester Research to pilot a channel focused analyst relations initiative to help Microsoft Gold Certified Partners gain access to the same research and analyst inquiry expertise Microsoft uses to analyse IT markets, position our solutions, and gain greater awareness of our competition.

The Analyst Relations for the Channel (ARC) pilot is available to the first 500 Gold Partners who sign-up before August 31st 2009 to participate in the pilot. The cost for participating in the pilot is $2,500 USD for the Gartner service and $5,200 USD for the Forrester service. Because this is the first initiative of its kind being offered by these firms for channel partners, the cost of participation is significantly less than partners would normally pay to access these firms research services.

The 500 partner pilot limit provides each firm the opportunity to sign-up 250 partners each for the duration of the pilot which will run from September 1st 2009 until August 31st 2010. The fees for the services the firms provide vary based on the level of access participants will receive. The Gartner Subscription service provides access to summarized research reports and month 1:many tele-briefings and analyst interactions. The Forrester Subscription service provides unlimited access to written TI research and unlimited 1:1 analyst scheduled analyst briefings, as well as monthly tele-briefings.

Partners who wish to participate in either of the offerings should contact the firms directly: Gartner: lee.jiles@gartner.com Forrester: msftpartnerteam@forrester.com Partners are also encouraged to visit www.Gartner.com or www.forrester.com to review the research topics covered by each of the firms.