Microsoft has announced widespread changes to its 400,000-member partner program, hitting on everything from technical capabilities and partner incentives to business policies.
After announcing a price increase across Microsoft products in the Microsoft 365 portfolio – including popular applications such as Word, Teams, Excel and SharePoint – Microsoft stunned partner businesses of varying sizes and specialties with a premium on month-to-month commitments and a new partner scoring system that replaces the legacy Gold and Silver designations.
The backlash has included at least two Change.org petitions admonishing Microsoft for the changes, the first receiving more than 2,000 signatures and the second receiving more than 600.
Microsoft channel chief Rodney Clark has acknowledged the effect of so much change on Microsoft partners while defending the program changes as necessary to meet customer buying preferences and demands.
“While we‘ve been excited about New Commerce, we also acknowledge that this has been a pretty significant undertaking for our partners,” Clark previously told CRN US.“We get this feedback all the time.”
“While change is tough—we acknowledged that earlier with some things that we put in place—as a partner in the ecosystem, we always have to be open and look for ways to create more value for our customers and then, ultimately, how our partners can deliver on that value.”
Here are the five big changes partners can expect form Microsoft this year.