Birmingham City University's Technology Innovation Centre's growing partnership with Microsoft - as one of its major UK IT academies - has brought further recognition.
After five years as one of the US computer giant's top UK university-academies, TIC has gained further Microsoft Certified Partner status in the field known as 'information worker solutions'.
The new award is additional to its established partnership role in the field of Microsoft's Business Intelligence activities. It is based on TIC's e-business training in the use of Microsoft Groove software with Midland companies.
The Groove virtual office programme promotes highly efficient team-working across organisations, no matter what size and type they are.
The software, enables work and projects to be shared by people located anywhere in the world through the internet.
It is the means by which advanced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is being successfully introduced across companies, whether they are single or multi-sited, without investing in expensive computer networks.
The off-the-shelf Groove package, avoids network infrastructure costs yet enables teams to share documents, manage projects, hold adhoc meetings, and access every type of data, with total security.
Team members have access to up-to-date information at any time, anywhere. Shared documents can be up-dated without using e-mail attachments, and the team has access to project tools and information, without needing to contact colleagues or suppliers directly.
TIC's head of e-Business, George Squires, said: "We introduce Groove to a company, train staff to use it effectively, then help make it fully operational and effective. The Microsoft award has recognised our high level of competence in doing this."
Among TIC customers benefiting from Groove is a well-known niche vehicle manufacturer. With TIC's Groove training and guidance, the company has successfully implemented fully coordinated, real-time, supply-chain management using Groove.
George Squires' team received its award from Karl Noakes, UK director of partner development group at Microsoft, who said: "Only companies that have demonstrated high levels of customer service, proved their experience and attained advanced certification receive the designation of Microsoft Certified Partner.
"Microsoft recognises TIC for its skills and expertise in giving customer satisfaction with Microsoft products and technology."
* Companies wishing to find out more contact George Squires on 0121 331 5400.