More Administrative Hassles Hit Microsoft Partner Program
A few weeks back, when we innocuously asked
for some feedback
on the Microsoft Partner Program, we had no idea that
we were taking a can opener to a container
full of worms
. But now that the can is most
, the worms are spilling out and we're hearing more and more
about administrative problems (among other hassles) involving the Partner Program.
And now this week, Barbara Darrow, legendary channel journalist who, as it
happens, hired your editor to his first real job as journalist years ago, reports
for RCPmag.com that due to a glitch in a Microsoft payment system, partners
have been getting underpaid for sales of customer relationship management
applications. Microsoft folks say they've fixed the problem, but it's another
in a long string of glitches, gaffes and goof-ups that seem to plague the MSPP
Now, we'll say it here again, as we always do, that Microsoft is generally
very good to its partners, and many of the problems we've heard about, while
obviously frustrating for those involved, haven't sounded like the end of the
world. Still, partners rely on Microsoft for their livelihoods, and vice versa.
It would behoove Microsoft, then, one would think, to keep the Partner Program
running like a fairly well-oiled machine. We're sure that Microsoft has that
goal, but clearly there are some glitches in the system right now -- and we're
not sure why.
Maybe Microsoft's Partner Program has finally become too big (the latest total
number of Microsoft partners, according to Redmond, is 400,000). Or maybe the
many shakeups in partner program leadership -- there's another coming, as the
first link in this entry explains -- have led to a bit of confusion. Maybe,
too, most of the problems -- especially the administrative hang-ups -- lie with
temporary workers who don't work for Microsoft at all, as we've heard suggested
here and there.
Whatever the cause, though, we've heard so many complaints now that we're actually
looking much deeper into this situation for a story in RCP magazine. So, if
you have a gripe with the partner program, please share it -- and, if you're
willing to talk about it in the magazine, please let me know. We're especially
interested in hearing about administrative snafus and the like, but if you've
got a rant, go for it. You know where to reach me: email@example.com.
And with that, let's move into one more e-mail about the MSPP, this one less
about administrative stuff and more about procurement of products -- but interesting
"For years now, I have run a one-man operation. For the most part,
I have not experienced the level of frustrations that others have regarding
being a Registered partner or an Action Pack subscriber. I do, however, have
a concern over our ability to adequately compete with larger organizations.
I realize that our niche is to provide value-added services atop our expertise.
What I would really like to see is an ability to provide Microsoft products,
purchased from national vendors, which can compete with what's available in
the retail chains. I constantly find myself making purchases online, from
retail, rather than from national vendors, because saving our customers money
makes sense. Many times I have raised this issue with whatever Microsoft rep
was calling me this week, or what rep was in town for a TS2 event. I would
prefer to be able to take advantage of my role as a Microsoft Partner, or
any reseller program I am involved in, as opposed to being forced to seek
the lesser expensive alternatives available."
Daniel, that's a legitimate concern, and you're probably not the only partner
who feels that way. Anybody else want to chime in? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And thanks to Daniel and everybody who has taken time to write.
FYI, there will be a special edition of RCPU on July 2 -- special because it'll
be out on a Monday, and we don't usually do that. So don't be surprised to see
it hit your inbox.
Posted by Lee Pender on 06/29/2007 at 1:20 PM