Microsoft resellers are unimpressed by SPLA announcement

Channel News

Fear competition from disties

Microsoft’s channel partners are once again up in arms about the company’s strategy.

Some have said the company’s focus on the cloud could cause a “range of problems”, while others fear that new distributors coming on board could create too much competition in the channel market.

The concerns come as Microsoft last week announced that it had undertaken an assessment of its hosting business, focusing specifically on the reach and capability of its SPLA (Service Provider Licensing Agreements) reseller channel in the UK.

As part of the assessment, Microsoft also announced that it was adding Westcoast and Ingram Micro  to its SPLA channel through an RFP process for UK Distributors.

The move was at the time, described as part of a wider review by the company and as a response to the cloud market opportunities in the UK.

However, it’s not gone down well with some of the vendor’s resellers.

One told ChannelBiz: “All vendors are focusing on the cloud now. In some ways it’s a good thing, it means that they are moving with the times, and we’ll be doing so with them. However, with the cloud comes a range of problems.

“We need to brush up on our skills, which of course means money in our partner’s pockets, as well as offer new services that will add value to what we already have. Again, more expense and training. I suppose what we are concerned about is the fact that Westcoast and Ingram are on board.

“They may be disties but they have partners that conflict with us in terms of products and I doubt either companies will treat this deal and their other businesses as separate entities.”

Another claimed: “This isn’t anything ground breaking. It’s re-shuffling its hosting business and adding a few more disties. We don’t really have any comment about this, but what we would say is that we wish the company would look further down and see what was really needed by its channel partners instead of bringing out new shiny announcements”.

Others, despite not agreeing with the company’s latest moves, pointed out the vendor wasn’t the only one making changes to suit it.

“If Microsoft put half as much effort into helping us as it does juggling around bits of its business and sucking up to bigger companies, then we’d all be laughing,” one told ChannelBiz.

“We’re not impressed, despite all the recent announcements but then again, it’s not doing anything different to any other vendor. It’s all just black and white business to all of them.”

However, some were a little bit more conciliatory with one claiming: “There’s not really much to say. Sure it’s making changes and sure it’s got two big disties on board but I doubt the latter will hinder us. If anything I’d say that these were a positive thing and shows the company is finally trying to help.”

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