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Microsoft reverses partner benefit cutbacks

Microsoft has reversed its decision to pull internal use rights for software and other benefits for partners after a backlash from them. The decision has been made on the eve of this week's Microsoft Ignition partner event in Las Vegas, and just a week after the changes were announced.

Gavriella Schuster (pictured), corporate vice president for Microsoft One Commercial Partner, said: “Over the last several days, we’ve heard from many of you about changes we were planning to make regarding benefits included with gold and silver competencies, and those in the Microsoft Action Pack.

“These included benefits related to internal use rights, or IUR — specifically the terms governing the use of product licenses to run partner businesses. I want to thank you for sharing your feedback with us and would like to provide an update on partner benefits.”

Many partners had been astonished at the changes – on cost grounds! - affecting basic access to software use and support around the products they sold, and many presented a petition [ ] against the changes to the world's biggest enterprise software vendor. Microsoft's latest figures showed profits of $8.8bn on sales of $30.6 bn.

Schuster went on in a blog [Updates to program change announcements - Microsoft Partner Network]: “Your partnership and trust matters to us. Given your feedback, we have made the decision to roll back all planned changes related to internal use rights and competency timelines that were announced earlier this month.

“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.

“We listened to you, and we have acted.”

She promised that in future any proposed partner benefit changes would be fully consulted upon in the channel before being enacted.

A number of partners also asked for clarification on whether the new announcement includes planned changes to on-premise support and new competency requirements. “We can confirm those planned changes have also been rolled back,” said Schuster.