After blistering criticism of Microsoft, partners to retain cloud competency benefits
Solution providers around the world successfully pressured Microsoft into reversing course on the planned discontinuation of internal use rights (IUR) — or the free use of software — as part of the cloud competency and Microsoft Action Pack (MAP) packages.
The Lowdown: In a blog posted this morning, channel chief Gavriella Schuster wrote that Microsoft heard the concerns and criticism of partners regarding the changes to IUR policy that would’ve gone into full effect July 2020. Schuster says the decision to rescind the policy change came after a review that concluded the cost savings are not worth the loss of trust with the partner community. The reversal comes just days ahead of the annual Microsoft Inspire conference, where partners were planning to make an issue of the IUR changes.
The Details: In early July, following the start of the Microsoft fiscal year, Microsoft announced the discontinuation of IUR benefits to Gold and Silver cloud competency partners. Microsoft said the not-for-resale licenses would apply only to specific product competencies and be limited to product development purposes.
Just two days ago, Microsoft defended the changes, saying that they could no longer afford the expense of IUR while maintaining and expanding upon other partner benefits and enablement resources.
The Impact: The change means partners will retain access to free licenses that offset the cost of doing business, at least for the near term. However, the IUR will likely remain a hot-button issue at Inspire next week in Las Vegas.
Background: The Microsoft partner community was quick to condemn the discontinuation of IUR. Many partners say it was the best benefit they received from the cloud competencies. Others said the discontinuation was a sign that Microsoft is devaluing its partners as it continues to shift focus toward co-selling and ISV partners.
The issue became so heated that thousands of partners took to online forums to express their displeasure. Thousands of Microsoft partners even signed a petition on Change.org calling on Microsoft to reverse course.
Some partners that defended Microsoft’s policy change said there are many customers and partners that abuse the system — particularly by buying MAP packages. Some blamed Microsoft for turning a blind eye to the abuses.
The Buzz: “Our decision to rescind these changes required a thorough review, and a key determining factor was the connection and trust we have with you, our partners — a valuable asset we do not take for granted,” wrote Microsoft’s Schuster in a blog post. “Together, we can continue to be a catalyst for digital transformation industrywide.”