Microsoft is merging its infrastructure and CRM/ERP channel programmes to encourage its partners to work together.
The Microsoft Partner Programme (MSPP) will incorporate the Microsoft Business Solution (MBS) partners (selling Navision, Great Plains and Axapta solutions) from 1 July. The programme is based on points, and partners can amass them in 11 competencies.
Jon Hughes, director, authorised solution partner group at Microsoft, said: "The MBS channel will be incorporated into the MSPP scheme as a competency."
Hughes added that MBS partners will remain an "identifiable community" and will still be directly supplied by Microsoft.
"There is a lot of value in the generic partner programme. MBS partners will get access to benefits they haven't had before, as well as gaining competencies in other technologies," he said.
MBS partners have until June 2005 to migrate fully.
Mike Dickson, managing director of MBS partner Cedilla Systems, which focuses on Navision, said: "We are looking at moving into servers, networking and business intelligence. It will simplify things for customers and partners, and hopefully break down barriers between partners."
Bob Tarzey, service director at Quocirca, said: "MBS is a small part of Microsoft's overall business but it wants to gain ground on Sage and SAP. Merging the channels will help combine partner skills."
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