Microsoft Channel Chief Opens Inspire Conference with Apology to Partners
“Those are people signing up for Action Packs,” Goldstein said. “When I asked how many of those are converting to gold or silver competencies, it turns out the number is small.”
A decade ago, then-channel chief Allison Watson launched the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), which resulted in many changes to how partners were designated. In another contested effort, Microsoft had planned and implemented a Master VAR program for Dynamics partners, that impacted many smaller Dynamics partners.
Several years ago, under the leadership of then-channel chief Phil Sorgen, Microsoft wanted to require gold certified partners to have competencies in every country where they had offices. Partners and the IAMCP were influential in convincing Microsoft to revisit those controversial moves, Goldstein recalled.
“The Microsoft partner channel is very, very powerful,” Goldstein emphasized. “Many partners, when they speak, have a very strong voice. But Microsoft listens. And because they’re a partner-based company and a channel-based company, you have to do the right thing for the partners.”
In the opening moments of Microsoft Inspire Monday, Schuster gave the same message to the thousands in attendance and those watching the live stream.
“Your partnership means more to us than anything,” said Schuster. “And we value the relationship, and the trust that we’ve built in that partnership, because it is based on commitment, integrity and trust. And it requires us to have ongoing communication, collaboration and accountability. And when I heard your response, and I listened to what you were saying, when I read every single blog and tweet and article, in my mind there was really no choice for us to walk back on that change.”