You’ve got until the end of the week to enter for the Australia Microsoft Education Partner of the Year award. And I know that every year a bunch of you sit down with your keyboards and screens, and craft a carefully worded entry to give it your best shot – something I see because every year I read every single entry, alongside the education team members who act as judges.
But I know you are busy people. And there are plenty of other competing priorities. So this year we have aimed to make it as stress free as possible. We’ve taken out all of the tricky questions that some of the other categories have in their entry forms. And we’ve removed as many of the entry criteria as is reasonable (all we ask is that you’re a registered Microsoft partner, and that you have a PinPoint profile – both of which 99.9% of partners have already done).
So all that is left is the task of telling us your best customer story, using the five headings we’ve given you, to help us recognise the way that your partnership with Microsoft helps our joint customers in the Australian education market.
And because I like making your life easier, you don’t even need to download the Award Guidelines – because here they are:
The Education Partner of the Year Award recognises a partner organisation that excels at providing innovative and unique services or solutions based on Microsoft technologies to education customers. The successful submission for this award will demonstrate industry knowledge and expertise, as well as consistent, high-quality, predictable service or solutions to education customers. Successful entrants will also demonstrate business leadership and success through strong growth in new customer additions and revenue by integrating with Microsoft cloud-based technology such as Windows 8 Apps, Office 365 Education and Windows Azure in addition to the Windows Phone platform.
Partners applying for this award should demonstrate effective engagement with Microsoft by taking advantage of the Microsoft Partner Network to develop, create demand for, and sell their software solutions or services.
(These are the headings you need to respond under on the website)
1. Is your solution specific to one particular customer, or does it have broader market potential? Upload or provide outside references or data sources that illustrate exceptional customer experience or satisfaction (links to published articles, case studies, videos, customer testimonials, etc.).
2. Did your company partner with any other Microsoft partners in designing, developing, implementing, and/or integrating this solution? If yes, please describe your partnering story and how it benefited the customer.
3. Describe how using Microsoft technologies in your solution helped you win against the competition in a customer situation from a technical and business perspective.
4. Describe which Microsoft technologies you have used.
5. Describe the problem your solution solved for customers. If possible, identify the impact of the customer’s pain points, contrast before and after scenarios, and provide metrics on benefits received by the customer.
And, err, that's it. Hopefully, we’ve done everything we can to make it as easy as possible to enter the Awards, and give you the chance of telling us your story. Now it’s over to you to do the hard bit – finding an hour before the end Tuesday 28 May to enter.
Enter the Microsoft Australia Partner Awards 2013
PS Want some tips on writing your entry? Then I’d recommend reading "How to win the Microsoft global Partner of the Year Awards"
PPS If you know an easier way of getting your case study read by the whole leadership team from the Microsoft Education business, then go for it. But if not….