Roadshow revelations

Iain Shaw discusses the Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher Programme
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BRIGANTIA members and other invited indies at last month’s Brigantia Members’ Roadshow (hosted and sponsored by Western Digital at the Ramada Hotel near Leatherhead), heard first-hand about Microsoft’s Authorised Refurbisher Programme.

Mark Wilkinson from Microsoft explained how the programme operates. Those who join up can purchase Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher Programme XP licenses from their preferred distributors such as Enta Technology and Westcoast.

The cost, from only £18 for a single XP licence under the scheme, was seen as good, but the key for most was the fact that by joining the Microsoft Authorised Refurbisher Partner Programme, they’d be able to include an official letter from Microsoft with all refurbished machines stating that the Microsoft software supplied is genuine. Those present saw this as an excellent differentiator for their businesses over second user resellers who often provide pirated software and frequently don’t even wipe the original owner’s data properly.

The marketing collateral available from Microsoft for those who partner is excellent and many attendees are now looking forward to receiving POS materials to display at their premises. Wilkinson has already confirmed that he will be speaking at the next two Brigantia Member Roadshows planned for early June in the North and October in the South West.

With 837 members, of which more than 600 are known to operate repair, upgrade and refurbishment departments, the Microsoft Authorised
Refurbisher Programme is a godsend. A recent survey of the Brigantia membership showed that repairs, upgrades and refurbishments came to nearly 50 per cent of member business.

Storage was at the heart of the recent Roadshow, given that it was hosted and sponsored by Western Digital, and all those who attended were encouraged to join the WD Select Partner programme. No matter where technology goes, there will be continued growth in the amount of storage required by end users.

Interestingly, two areas came up at the Roadshow as hot topics: data recovery and data migration. As one of the leading data recovery companies in the UK, ABC Data Recovery was on hand to explain how it can provide its
excellent services. Data can be recovered from all kinds of storage from a USB memory stick through to damaged RAID arrays.

One of Brigantia’s more recent associate members is Laplink. Laplink produces various software titles but the most interesting to the Brigantia membership channel has to be PC Mover – a product designed to migrate programs, files and settings from one PC to another. If the existing computer is running XP and the new computer is running Windows 7 then this software can still move the programs, files and settings from one machine to the other. It can even handle an in-place upgrade from XP to Windows 7.

All-round, the recent Roadshow was heralded as a success by attendees, with everyone taking something useful away from it. It was this enthusiasm that has prompted Brigantia to plan more regional events going forward.

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