Microsoft is considering making changes to its SME reseller programme after admitting the offer of a free technical support call had received a disappointing take-up rate.
One free technical support call is offered to all resellers that sign up to Microsoft's Direct Access package, a programme targeted at dealers that specialise in the SME market. Since its introduction, Microsoft has been disappointed with the low percentage of resellers that have taken advantage of the free call, which is worth £250.
Kate Batson, channel development and small business manager at Microsoft, said the software giant was considering making changes to the programme's structure to help encourage dealers to take up the offer. "The technical call was targeted at the channel, but we didn't drive enough awareness.
Resellers tell us they want it, but they just don't use it."
One reseller, who declined to be named, said: "The problem is that the technical support is so expensive to use in the first place, and everyone is scared to use it all up. They want to save it for a rainy day. You need to ask why it's got to be such a draconian amount when one call may not even solve a problem."
Meanwhile, Batson said the latest round of Direct Access quarterly briefings, which begin this week and run until the end of September, have been further modified to give more specific technical and marketing information to resellers in niche markets.
"We still have a lot to learn, and we've introduced categories targeted at different types of Var based on reseller feedback."
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