I was given a personal tour of Microsoft’s new small business web site last week and was VERY impressed. The web site is RICH in information and solutions focused dead center on Microsoft’s small business customers. Microsoft gets it.
Talking about Microsoft’s new web site redesign reminds me of Staples.com web site redesign
Among the new options in Microsoft’s new small business web site are a Security Guidance Center, and an online forum for small businesses to connect with experts and peers, and an interactive tool that allows users to enter their profile and get a personalized recommendation on the solutions available to meet their needs.
As I wrote in my initial mention of the new site, all of the content is not new, but is newly designed to make it easier for Microsoft’s audience to find solutions. Glaringly, but not surprisingly, all of Microsoft’s new web site features do not work in Firefox but do work perfectly as expected in Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Featured on the main section of the new site are four main areas – security solutions, a section for finding an IT consultant, Microsoft’s newsgroups section and a special section offering advice to women owned businesses (I’m not sure if this advice would be any different than what’s offered to men though).
The menu to the left contains section for technical support, computer security, community (get answers to your computer questions from Microsoft experts and I think others), Microsoft has an extensive section to help users get more out of their Microsoft products (case studies, solutions, etc) including product specific information. There’s much more that Microsoft offers on its updated SMB portal and I suggest you check it out for yourself.
I encourage you to check out ALL the sections on Microsoft’s small business section – but it’s apparent that special attention has been focused on the security section. This beefed up area includes a comprehensive overview of security guides, tips and features. Including multimedia offering more information.
Microsoft’s press release reads – “By listening closely to our customers and taking the time to really learn about the challenges they face in running their businesses, we’ve been able to enhance the Microsoft Small Business Center to serve them as a virtual and trusted business partner”, Doug Leland, general manager of the Worldwide Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partner (WW SMS&P) group at Microsoft.
Specifically, according to Leland, customers have said they want more education, support and dialogue with Microsoft experts and small-business peers to help demystify technology while lowering costs and improving productivity. As a result, Microsoft will provide a series of new tools that will be available globally in the coming months. Benefits of the new features announced today will include these:
* Easy access to expert support:
* The Security Guidance Center provides small-business users with information and resources to help them create a more secure computing environment. Short interactive modules explain the key things small-business owners should know about security and licensing. The site also includes security quizzes and interactive questionnaires that let small-business owners test their knowledge. (Available in the United States and globally)
* A Community of Experts enables small businesses to connect online with Microsoft experts and small-business peers for help with problems and questions. Users can post their questions to a bulletin board and have their issues directly addressed by Microsoft experts and other small-business owners. (Available in the United States)
* Access to technical support will make it easy for customers to find the support options right for them. (Available in the United States and globally)
* The ability to get more from existing technology:
* The site will feature more interactive content, including training videos that demonstrate how customers can get more out of technology to improve business management and a series of templates on how Microsoft Office 2003 can help improve productivity. (Available in the United States and globally)
* Technology demystification:
* The Solutions Advisor is an interactive tool designed to use information provided by a small business to recommend the most appropriate Microsoft technology offering. (Available in select countries)
* The Partner Finder will help small businesses identify the Microsoft technology consultant best suited to their needs, circumstances, growth goals and geographic location. (Available in the United States and globally)
* Small businesses also can take advantage of free seminars designed to help their business succeed by providing information about relevant technology solutions. (Available in the United States and globally)