Microsoft has reversed its decision to pull IUR for partners, leaving US partners "thrilled".
In a blog post today detailing the U-turn, corporate VP, One Commercial Partner, Gavriella Schuster said that based on partner feedback from the last few days, the tech giant has decided to roll back all planned changes related to IURs and competency timelines.
"This means you will experience no material changes this coming fiscal year, and you will not be subject to reduced IUR licenses or increased costs related to those licenses next July as previously announced," Schuster wrote.
Microsoft partners are, naturally, delighted with the decision. Amy Rutt, president at Alexandria, VA-based Ciracom - a Silver Microsoft partner - told CPI that she was "very pleased" with Schuster's reversal.
"The IURs are critical to building our competencies and training our staff, which, in turn, provides our customers with a more elegant and tested digital transformation. This decision is wonderful for the partner community and really makes me so much more thrilled to be a Microsoft partner," Rutt said.
The power of community
In detailing the reversal, Schuster noted that Microsoft had listened to partner feedback and that the decision was made based on the "connection and trust" Microsoft has with its partners, which she described as a valuable asset the firm doesn't take for granted. And it shouldn't. With a petition of over 6100 signatories calling for the firm to reverse the decision, the vendor rightly sat up and took notice.
Michael Goldstein, CEO at Fort Lauderdale, FL-based LAN Infotech, a Gold and Silver Microsoft partner, told CPI on hearing today's news: "The partner community spoke up and Microsoft listened. [It's] the power of community."
Others question whether Microsoft was afraid of "partner blowback" at its forthcoming Inspire event in Las Vegas, NV this coming week and so rescinded to avoid a showdown. Whether this was the case or not, the decision was "the right thing to do", according to Vince Tinnirello, managing director at Denver, CO-based Anchor Network Solutions, a Silver Microsoft partner.
"This is the absolute right thing to do for competency partners who have invested in Microsoft. I'm pleased to see that a company as big as Microsoft listened and reversed course so quickly. Whether it was fear of blowback at Inspire or not, they listened and made the right call in an expedient manner. I think Microsoft deserves some credit for that as not many companies would truly listen and act the way they did.
Schuster said in her blog post that Microsoft's decision was made after a "a thorough review". She went on to say that the vendor reviews how it engages with partners on an annual basis and evolves its approach based on this. In further good news for partners, the VP said, going forward, Microsoft would consult more with its partners before announcing any big partner program changes.
"As we move forward, we commit to providing even more advance notice and consultation with our partner community to mitigate concerns and address issues up front. We will continue to invest in our partner program to ensure we create opportunities for all our partners," she wrote.
The post ended with an apology for the confusion the announcement had caused, as well as a post script saying that last week's announced changes to on-premise support and new competency requirements "have also been rolled back".
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