Instead of regurgitating the issue and many complaints that we have been hearing from channel partners on the proposed changes to some benefits being taken away, we will just publish the response from Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster, Corporate Vice President, One Commercial Partner.

I would just like to add that it is great to see vendors actually listening to their partners. However, I do wonder why some management make such decisions in the first place. Of course vendors have the right to make adjustments to their partner playbook as they see fit, but shouldn’t all vendors at least consult with their partners before making such changes to their programs? Surly doing things that will actually cost partners more should at least be done with more care and consultation?

This is also proof that partners do have more power than they know, if they are able to unite to push back. As the saying goes, “United we stand, divided we fall”.

Channel partners may need to join forces in order to maintain their piece of the money pie as many things like rebates are getting smaller, harder to get or going away. However, if they want a bigger piece of the pie, then they also need to become better, stronger and smarter. A good first step may be to join a next generation peer group like the Channel Partner Alliance at: Keep an eye on this group as this could become home sweet home many partners who do not want to go it alone! If you are just not sure what may be wrong with your company, then take the free Best Business Practice at: Start building strength from knowing your weaknesses.

Here is the response…
To our partners:

Over the last several days, we’ve heard from many of you about changes we were planning to make regarding benefits included with gold and silver competencies, and those in the Microsoft Action Pack. These included benefits related to internal use rights, or IUR — specifically the terms governing the use of product licenses to run partner businesses.

I want to thank you for sharing your feedback with us and would like to provide an update on partner benefits.

Your partnership and trust matters to us. Given your feedback, we have made the decision to roll back all planned changes related to internal use rights and competency timelines that were announced earlier this month. This means you will experience no material changes this coming fiscal year, and you will not be subject to reduced IUR licenses or increased costs related to those licenses next July as previously announced.

We listened to you, and we have acted.

Each year we review how we engage with partners and evolve our approach to ensure we provide best-in-class support to you and stay ahead of market changes. As we move forward, we commit to providing even more advance notice and consultation with our partner community to mitigate concerns and address issues up front. We will continue to invest in our partner program to ensure we create opportunities for all our partners.

Our decision to rescind these changes required a thorough review, and a key determining factor was the connection and trust we have with you, our partners — a valuable asset we do not take for granted. Together, we can continue to be a catalyst for digital transformation industry wide.

We appreciate your feedback, apologize for the confusion this caused some members of our partner community, and look forward to growing our partnership with you in the months and years to come.



Also: A number of partners have asked for clarification on whether this announcement includes planned changes to on-premise support and new competency requirements. We can confirm those planned changes have also been rolled back.