Last week we (ESRI (UK)) managed to achieve our MS Gold Certified Partner status. As well as a useful sales and marketing benefit it is also useful in terms of licensing benefits, we get a bunch of VS licenses and licenses for our training suite. We had to go through a few hoops to get it, getting a product windows certified (Productivity Tools) getting some Reference sites from customers, and having a certain number of people MS certified.

Certification Logo

Management here are pretty pro getting people certified, we get a bonus for getting certification, as well as time to study and take the exams, and the company gets the partner points, free licenses and better trained staff.

Although we have a lot of MS dev skills here I think most of our big customers still tend to have solutions based on Oracle at the back end, even if its on windows but often the web bits are .net. There do however seem to be an increasing number of SQL server sites, and i would see that increasing with 2005 and when 9.2 is released with personal and workgroup ArcSDE based on SQL Express.

There are however still a lot of Java based sites especially the bigger websites and there's a hardcore of java programmers here, mostly based in the Newbury office. A couple of them were at Java One, and said that pretty much every demo had to have a google map in it somewhere.