South African companies with enterprise licence agreements with Microsoft for its SharePoint product range may have credits for free planning and deployment services for the software that they have not used and are not aware of.

So says Jimi Lutz, MD of the Solutions Division at Microsoft business partner, 3fifteen, which has just been accredited as a SharePoint Deployment Planning Services (SDPS) Provider.

Lutz says that Microsoft bundles such services with enterprise licences to help its customers maximise their use of the SharePoint software and the value they get from their investment in the solution. Many clients are not aware of this value-add and do not make use of it before it expires.

The SDPS are available at no charge to customers from selected Microsoft business partners, of which 3fifteen is one of the largest and most qualified in South Africa. SDPS allow Microsoft customers to use their Software Assurance Benefits to cover the costs of engaging with qualified providers for SharePoint deployment and upgrade planning services.

Customers can use SDPS to help cover the cost of engaging with a qualified consultant who will provide them with a plan or proposal for deploying SharePoint. Depending on the number of days the customer qualifies for, the engagement may include benefits such as:
* Understanding basic functionality provided by Microsoft SharePoint;
* Access to a qualified consultant for deployment planning activities and questions;
* Understanding of architectural and operational aspects of Microsoft SharePoint; and
* Next steps to continue planning efforts.

3fifteen is a Microsoft Managed Partner with Gold and Silver Partner status across a range of competencies, and has helped many of South Africa’s largest organisations to roll-out SharePoint-based collaboration, communication and commerce solutions.

Says Lutz: “Our accreditation in this programme reinforces our standing as a trusted advisor and implementation partner for customers who wish to drive real value from their investments in Microsoft software. We look forward to helping clients access the latest best practices in the planning and deployment of SharePoint projects through this programme.”