Update – Microsoft Response Point’s Future: Answers In Two Weeks?
Are they in denial or do they really have reason for hope? The Microsoft Response Point VAR Council was “encouraged” by a call with Microsoft to discuss Response Point, a small business VoIP system whose future direction remains uncertain. Here’s a recap of the call, plus The VAR Guy’s observations.
First, a little background. According to a May 21 blog entry, The Microsoft Response Point VAR Council is:
“a group of Partners that were invited early on in the development cycle of Response Point to collectively and periodically meet with the Microsoft management and team to give feedback and direction on Response Point from a Partner’s perspective.”
Microsoft stirred concern across the Response Point partner channel on May 5 by announcing layoffs, which allegedly impacted the Response Point team. Response Point GM John Frederiksen on May 7 wrote a cyptic blog post that raised more questions than he answered.
More than 20 reader comments have since been posted on Frederiksen’s blog entry but he has yet to post a reply. Plus, he hasn’t returned The VAR Guy’s voicemail.
Now, the Microsoft Response Point VAR Council is appealing for calm. And based on a call with Microsoft’s X.D.Huang, the council is encouraging VARs to continue marketing and selling Response Point.
The VAR Council’s blog entry offered five key points:
- Microsoft will continue to support partners and customers running all current 1.x versions of Response Point;
- Microsoft is NOT shutting down Response Point, and does have non-mgt personnel assigned to the product;
- Microsoft is currently discussing what to do as far as Release 2 of Response Point
- Microsoft plans to release more information about the future direction of Response Point soon, perhaps in one or two weeks
- The best way we as partners can help the Response Point team is to continue to SELL the product.
Ironically, John Frederiksen, the GM of Response Point, had offered to join the call but had a conflict, according to the council. Hmmm… … …
Put Customers First
Forgive The VAR Guy for sounding confused: But why would council members continue selling and promoting Response Point right now?
If Microsoft really plans to offer future direction information in one or two weeks, it’s far wiser for VARs to wait for that clear information rather pitch products that currently suffer from uncertainty.
The key point: VARs’ first loyalty should be to their customers — not vendors. And if Microsoft can’t articulate the future of Response Point right now, does a VAR really feel comfortable recommending and selling that solution to customers? Would you?