Microsoft puts money and resources into fostering a global network of what it calls its "independent software vendor (ISV) partners".
This is a network of tens of thousands of software businesses around the world which use Microsoft products to develop software or to service their own customers.
Microsoft's dominant position in the global software arena has been harshly criticised by some. But there is no doubt the ISV relationships it encourages - which involve providing benefits including training, support and cheaper software to ISVs - are seen as benefiting both Microsoft and its partners. Encouraging the growth of software development businesses that use its products makes good business sense for Microsoft.
For ISVs that meet the requirements, there are business advantages in qualifying to move up the relationship ladder to become a "gold certified partner".
Microsoft says its gold partners "represent the highest level of competence and expertise with Microsoft technologies, and have the closest working relationship with Microsoft".
But for the chosen few - including Hamilton-based NetValue - there is a much more elite membership, two levels above gold, called "high-potential managed independent software vendor" status.
Only about 400 companies in the world are in the high-potential partner club and NetValue chief executive Graham Gayland says he is not aware of any other HPM ISV companies in the Southern Hemisphere.
Microsoft says its HPM ISV partners are chosen "based on strict selection criteria including revenue growth and an established track record of success working with Microsoft".
The company says it will "devote key resources to help to accelerate the adoption of NetValue's Slim technology in the marketplace".
This support will include appointing a "personal Microsoft architect evangelist and a partner account manager to accelerate the adoption of NetValue's products globally".
The only step up for a partner from HPM status is to become one of only about 40 global "deep" Microsoft partners, a group which includes technology giants such as Dell and IBM.
With only 40 staff at present, NetValue has a lot of growth ahead of it before it can move into that very top tier.
But being propelled into the HPM tier is good enough for now. As Gayland says: "We're running with the big boys. It's kind of a special accolade."