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Level 2 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

It would be logical if we wake up from this nightmare and Microsoft really meant they are killing off the physical IUR licenses, like for all the on-premise server products. And giving us E5 and piling on the Azure credits... That they just miscommunicated. Maybe that's the clarification that we'll get eventually? LOL...

 

I mean we did everything Microsoft asked us to do, yet we've been stuck with Small and Midmarket competency for a few years because we've migrated customers to exchange online, but when they weren't ready yet (or didn’t want) any of the other cloud services we kept nurturing our clients. Now after many years they've for the most part, gone all cloud now. We couldn't qualify for other, higher level competencies, because we weren't banging out new tenant accounts all day but nurturing the ones we had. And of the new customers we do acquire, they've often been through those other big partners that just bang out migrations... but leave the customers hanging.

 

And for our long-term clients, we've pushed them up the SKU chain from Exchange Online P1, through Office 365 E1 to E3, and now using Microsoft 365 for all our clients, from F1 to E5s... Oh, and sprinkling in Azure here and there, and doing what we can to encourage the adoption of the new Power Platform and the Common Data Service... And the reward is? a few bucks in "incentive" payouts, and a "Thanks for the money, now go sell more."

 

How would we have known to best utilize any of these additional products had we not been given the Dynamics / Power BI / PowerApps licenses to use ourselves? Aside from paying to go to events like Microsoft Business Applications Summit to learn, it's all self-attained. I've never seen or received an invite to anything from the partner program that says, "hey partners, join us for a virtual Power BI course and learn dashboard in a day!"

 

Ironically, we're just now getting to one of the best places our company has been as a Microsoft partner, we're positioned to grow as a company, due large part to the IUR program. And it suddenly feels like someone's taking their foot off the accelerator... 

 

If IUR is in fact taken away, we'll find ourselves lagging on adopting new and shiny, because there will be a financial barrier. Now if the partner competency fees were reduced enough to cover the difference, that might be fair.

 

I think it's important to keep in mind that there are a LOT of third-party SaaS products in market, that do a lot of what Microsoft's more expensive products do... And because as partners we've had IUR and used the Microsoft products, we've had no reason to try these other solutions, and have frequently pushed Microsoft as superior, only because we used it and knew it.

 

Basically, it feels like Microsoft is telling us that SMB is not a priority and they're OK with our customers following us if we find other products that are more economical.

 

This is a weird place to be right now.

Visitor 2

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I suspect that these changes are the result of the industry major players lobbying Microsoft to tilt the playing field in their favour by reducing the number of small partners. Small partners work mainly with small companies, but no big company ever started big, it started small then grew. Some small companies will only ever be small, and the major players have too much overhead to be able to provide small companies with the services they need at the price they can afford to pay. The only people who push Microsoft products into smaller companies are smaller MSPs, so it looks to me like Microsoft are intent on abandoning the lower end of the SME market.

Level 2 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I just had a talk with our CEO regarding the elmination of IUR benefits.  We've been a Microsoft Partner since nearly the inception of the company.  To be told 25 years later that the IUR benefits we've literally built our business around are being "retired" in July 2020 comes as quite the shock.  It certainly comes across as a massive bait and switch.  Having grown from 1 employee to nearly 90 over the years, licensing out the full stack that we're using now is going to be incredibly cost prohibitive.  1 year isn't long enough to plan for this level of change.  This news was received very poorly and the directive I was given was to start researching all alternatives to Microsoft software.  We've been loyal all of these years, but this change is such an attack that the Partner Community will likely respond in kind.

Visitor 1

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

  1. Can you please explain the differences between IURs and how they differ from entitlements granted by achieving Partner competancies?
  2. Will they be equal to IURs, or less, and why?
  3. What will be the affect to Partner environments currenlty utilizing IURs?
  4. Will there be any changes to the cost of Partner renewals because of this cost reduction effort for Microsoft?
  5. How many Partners (ballpark) pay their yearly fees and how does that compare to the savings Microsoft is offloading by removing IURs?
Level 5 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

@lnjackson1 

 

You litterally ignored the question with the most Kudos which was your stated criteria for what would be addressed first!

 

This AMA was a joke! The ENTIRE room of partners was asking the SAME THING and you ignored us all! I don't care about IUR as much as the loss of status. We're NOT a freeloader, we PAY for our services we use internally, we PAY for M365E5! We are not a partner for free licensings LIKE YOU ALLUDED TO IS HAPPENING.

 

  1. I renew in <3 months, how am I supposed to meet the new requirements in that short of time?
  2. Your slides said RETENTION is critical, yet you provide NO VALUE to it towards requirements since retention isn't valued at all?
  3. Your presentation said that you are moving away from a transactional valuation, YET the ONLY factor you are weighing is NET NEW TENANTS!?
  4. Why do we not get any credit on the MANY prospects we pick up who have dabbled in a tenant on their own, but we then upsell them from O365B to say O365BP or M365B/E???? You don't care about that!????
  5. Why are these called COMPETENCIES if you only care about SALES? Why is our demonstrable skill or knowledge not counted here?

The message loud and clear is you simply don't want small partners, PERIOD.

Microsoft

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Hi, thanks for surfacing this!  C


@iknowtech wrote:

Looks like someone either hacked the Partner website or hit it with a massive DDOS attack.   I see this is playing out well for Microsoft already.   404 error on partner.microsoft.com



Hi.  Can you tell me what browser and location you are in so I can let our site team know?

 

Thanks,

Derek

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I’ve seen a post saying Microsoft cant afford the IUR and Support benefits that go with their partner programs. Last I checked Microsoft was making billions. With partners the main way to market surely there are better ways to handle the problem than removing IUR from partners. Why not just place a 12 month qualifying period and say that if you don’t make any sales in that time then you no longer qualify. Our business is a CSP through Dicker Data, we would be making Microsoft thousands of $ a month in profit just from cloud revenue let alone our Dell Server sales.
Surely Microsoft can help the partners resolve this better?
Level 1 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

If we lose our MPN # due to not making some ridiculous new sales target we won’t be able to sell software via CSP.
I’m 100% positive that if I go and talk to all my customers today they will not say that they want us to spend our time finding new Microsoft customers.
Like a lot of partners I have spent 32 years learning new Microsoft products, you learn by installing on your own systems because you don’t have time to do it in a lab. That’s why IUR is critical, I can’t learn Exchange in lab time. I use it in my business then because I know it I can then sell it with conviction and passion. I’m not selling Google, we’re all in with Microsoft as a lot of partners are.
My question to Microsoft is this - do you really not care about the Partners? We’ve been thinking of moving to Silver partner but I’d be crazy to do that now.
Level 3 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Hi, thanks for surfacing this!  C

@iknowtech wrote:

Looks like someone either hacked the Partner website or hit it with a massive DDOS attack.   I see this is playing out well for Microsoft already.   404 error on partner.microsoft.com

Hi.  Can you tell me what browser and location you are in so I can let our site team know?

 

Thanks,

Derek

 

This happened yesterday for a few hours, obviously the site eventually came back but at extremely reduced performance for the first few hours after that.   I confirmed with multiple browsers and multiple other people in multiple other locations.    I have no doubt it was a DDOS attack, too much coincidence, to have the site go down to a 404 page for several hours in the middle of US business hours.   FYI, I'm in Northern California.  

Visitor 1

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I tis funny we just got convinced to sign up as we have become CSP recently and are start to discover more of O/M365, Azure and others and specificaly internal licenses would allow a small business like us to test and be able to learn and support new customers going forward.

 

You remove this option, you will just make our lives more difficult to sell your product. You make money becuase of us, so instead of helping you penalise us for that?

 

That is what you get from letting Microsoft grow this big. I wish google could up their game a bit so we can seel more of their stuff instead of Microsoft.

Visitor 1

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Hi,

I was unable to attend the AMA event yesterday - I was told that the meeting was being recorded. Can you publish the link of the meting?

 

Cheers

 

Tony

Level 3 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)


@Bmartindcs wrote:

@lnjackson1 

 

You litterally ignored the question with the most Kudos which was your stated criteria for what would be addressed first!

 

This AMA was a joke! The ENTIRE room of partners was asking the SAME THING and you ignored us all! I don't care about IUR as much as the loss of status. We're NOT a freeloader, we PAY for our services we use internally, we PAY for M365E5! We are not a partner for free licensings LIKE YOU ALLUDED TO IS HAPPENING.

 

  1. I renew in <3 months, how am I supposed to meet the new requirements in that short of time?
  2. Your slides said RETENTION is critical, yet you provide NO VALUE to it towards requirements since retention isn't valued at all?
  3. Your presentation said that you are moving away from a transactional valuation, YET the ONLY factor you are weighing is NET NEW TENANTS!?
  4. Why do we not get any credit on the MANY prospects we pick up who have dabbled in a tenant on their own, but we then upsell them from O365B to say O365BP or M365B/E???? You don't care about that!????
  5. Why are these called COMPETENCIES if you only care about SALES? Why is our demonstrable skill or knowledge not counted here?

The message loud and clear is you simply don't want small partners, PERIOD.


I’m on vacation and wasn’t able to attend.   I look forward to hearing the recorded session.  Sounds like it went as expected with MSFT basically ignoring the elephant in room, and pushing their own narrative, which is disappointing.    I’m in the same boat as you, up for renewal on my Small and Mid Market Cloud competency in Oct. basically immediately following when the new rules go into affect, with no possible way of meeting the 10 new user requirement.

 

So now I get to spend the next three months making a complete business transition and removing all the Business infrastructure I have in place that relies on my IUR benefits and finding new open source or less expensive alternatives.  

 

Microsoft has made it clear they don’t want to have me as a partner anymore, so my incentive to support them as a company is now gone, infact I’m pretty much ready to take this as an attack against my business and make a full 360.   I’m thinking overtime I’ll start working to basically direct my clients away from Microsoft letting them know they can no longer be trusted as a company not to bait and switch or change pricing models, or service levels, or features that they might rely on at their own whim simply to try and pad their own bottom line.  

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I agree with you 110%.  It kills the microsoft business for small companies and individual consultants.  It removes our life line and makes it impossible to compete with larger partners.  Microsoft will be creating a partner void that another competitor will have the chance to take advantage of in the near future.  It will not happen overnight, but it will happen.  My 15 years as a partner also saw a steady increase because of these benefits.  Now there will be no incentive to sell.  Having a couple big events each year only connects Microsoft with very large partners.  Cutting back on regional partner monthly on-line meetings to montly partner meeting on-line with everyone has put Microsoft out of touch with what is going on with the sales process.  It used to be a 2 way street, but now it is just a one way marketing push.

Level 1 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I also have been subscribing to Action Pack for years.  It is the easy way for me to complete with the larger partners.  Now I will have nothing.

Microsoft

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Hello.  Is there a recording of this call available for partners.  My partner was not able to make the call yesterday.  Thank you in advance for your time. Smiley Happy

Highlighted
Community Manager

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Hello partners,

 

We heard your feedback and are providing clarity on the recent announcement on the blog by Gavriella. Please review the blog link below. 

Please note that the AMA recording will not be posted because the content is now out of date. 

https://blogs.partner.microsoft.com/mpn/updates-program-change-announcements/

Visitor 1

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

Thank you for listening and considering the needs of the partner community. Maybe in the future you provided some transparency in decisions like this by including partners in the decision process. Maybe a select few who act as a sounding board. If you truely cared about the partner community, this would be a good first step towards demonstrating that care.

Level 5 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

@lnjackson1 

 

I, for one, am very grateful for the change of heart. I litterally have a big weight lifted from my shoulders and anxiety erased. Please share the thanks on your end.

 

Also, for the record, I'm supportive of the weeding out of the companies not even in the IT space who are abusing your generousity with IUR. If there is a way to do so that doesn't punish small MSP's I think people would be supportive.

Level 3 Contributor

Re: Ask Me Anything: Opportunities for Partner Investments and Incentives (Live Event: Wednesday, July 10, 11:00am PT)

I'm very happy to see there was a decision to reverse these plans.    I'm still concerned that this may only be a temporary decision, but at least it gives me a lot more time to get a game plan into place, for how exactly I would handle the loss of IUR, and a requirement to go from 4 new tenants per year to 10 for my current Small and Mid Market Cloud Competency.

I really hope MSFT will do some polling with their smaller partners to see how they can maybe address some of their concerns of growing costs for providing IUR, while still allowing smaller partners to be able to participate in the programs they rely on.

I know there is probably a lot of abuse in the Action Pack program, and I think that is probably where Microsoft needs to start with their cost cutting measures. There needs to be additional requirements for Action Pack to prove that the "Partners" participating in that program are actually doing something to benefit Microsoft and and aren't just using the easy to sign up for subscription to get a bunch of services and licensing for cheap. It seems like this could be easily addressed by requiring more than just billing information to sign up.    Maybe something as simple as have a minimum requirement of being signed up as a CSP Indirect Reseller with at least one active Tenant with a minium of 5 Business Premium seats.