The news of Microsoft® threatening to change their support for Partners has caused quite a stir. In service provider channels around the web, Microsoft Partners are banding together to discuss a path forward and evaluate directory alternatives. When you read through the story summarized through the quotes below, ranging from Bill Gates to the Microsoft Partners themselves, it’s fairly obvious why so many managed service providers (MSPs) are upset with the recent treatment. Let’s trace the narrative arc from the situation to the response to the backtracking in an effort to find an optimal path forward.
Most people believe in the end, it’s about solving customer problems. If you do that well, the thought process is that everything else will follow. This raises the question: how can MSPs evaluate alternative solutions and partner programs that truly prioritize their client needs?
Mounting Pressure on the Microsoft Partner Network
One way to follow the storyline here and understand the perspective of Microsoft Partners is to read through quotes. What better place to start understanding Microsoft’s optimistic, progressive motivational approach than a quote from Bill Gates in 2017:
“Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self.”
Fast forward two years to Microsoft’s 2019 Inspire Conference, and their tagline reflects Bill’s conscientious sentiment. It was important that Microsoft thanked Partners for their contributions to the $8.8 billion in net revenue earned in Q2 2019. As such, the corporate rallying cry rang out as, “Together, we achieve more.”
Around the same time, however, Microsoft Partners woke up to this sobering message in their Azure dashboard inbox: “You must increase your customer base by 10 new Office 365 customers within the previous 12 months.” Otherwise, the Partnership would be terminated. This more than doubled the previous tenant growth requirements, and what’s more, Microsoft announced that they were removing much of the support that Partners relied on. Specifically, this included 25 free IUR (internal use rights) licenses, $100/mo in Azure credit, and on-prem product support incidents.
Hearing the Train (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by George Lattimore. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/microsoft-partners-evaluate-directory-alternatives/