New business centre is world first, says Microsoft

Aimed at NZ's small and medium businesses

Microsoft New Zealand has opened a business productivity centre, the second in the world and the first to be largely funded by Microsoft.

Microsoft and its partners will use the centre, located at Microsoft's Auckland headquarters, to demonstrate software and technology to users.

The centre was officially opened on November 19 by Microsoft NZ managing director Ross Peat and Orlando Ayala, senior vice president of Microsoft's global small and mid-market solutions and partner group.

Peat says although the Auckland centre is the second Microsoft business productivity centre worldwide, it differs from the first, in Thailand, in that it is funded by Microsoft.

"The Thailand one is very partner-led and partners have invested a lot in it, but in New Zealand we have different market dynamics and we felt it was important for Microsoft to make the investment."

Microsoft is spending $1.5 million on the centre and Ayala says New Zealand was chosen as a business productivity centre site because of the number of small to medium sized businesses here.

"New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world to have a minister for small business and New Zealand's policies on incubating SMBs are very interesting to us," he says.

"We think it's a great strategy for a country."

Microsoft partners HP, Axon, Gen-i, Computerland and Datacom also had input into the centre.

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