After a "considerable" financial commitment, corporate reseller Teksys has joined the exclusive club of 35 UK firms holding a Microsoft Partner Premier Support (MPPS) agreement.
Microsoft currently has about 4,000 certified partners in the UK. The 35 MPPS partners includes the largest IT services firms, which receive Microsoft's highest level support guarantees.
Shaun Frohlich, executive chairman at Teksys, said the heavy investment took the reseller outside of its usual boundaries.
"It is worth it because it sets us apart from competitors, and the high cost of entry makes it an exclusive club," he said.
Frohlich explained that the costs associated with failures stopped resellers from making money in services.
The reseller will have invested between £40,000 to over £150,000 per year, depending on support levels.
"When we weighed up whether to join we had to consider it will cost about the same as two technical architects," said Frohlich.
"We believe this will be worth it, because all of our migrations will be warranted by Microsoft."
Steve Beswick, enterprise partner director at Microsoft UK, said: "There are no specific requirements that resellers have to meet but there is money involved for support."
Due to this, he said, only resellers of a certain size "want to take this on".
An MPPS agreement ensures the partner receives the highest level of Microsoft proactive and reactive support, as well as inside track information.
"Teksys will also receive a dedicated technical account manager that will ensure support from the vendor fits its requirements," said Beswick.
The move comes at the same time as Microsoft's triple product launch last week, which saw the introduction of Windows 2003 Server, SQL Server Enterprise Edition 64bit and Visual Studio.Net 2003.
These product launches mean resellers will have to build up a new set of product and market knowledge.
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