Following the expansion of its Authorised distribution channel in October, Microsoft announced it would cull one of its broadline distributors by June. Speculation has been mounting as to whether Microsoft will actually follow through on its plan or make a U-turn.
Alex Tatham, director of commercial products at Bell, told CRN: “The process has involved a monthly scorecard of things Microsoft has asked us to do. It ranks us first, second and third each month. We still have June to complete.
“I think we have done everything that Microsoft has asked of us and more; we’ve done super work on our marketing campaigns. The question is, has everyone picked up the mantle as Microsoft has wanted? The answer is I don’t know.”
Andy Gass, managing director of C2000, said: “The decision is due at the end of June. We still believe they will get rid of one of us. If they don’t then it will be a huge climb down for Microsoft.
“Personally I believe Microsoft is achieving what it wanted from the process. We’ve achieved the focus Microsoft wanted us to achieve and have performed well and that is all I’m prepared to say at this stage.”
Bhavesh Patel, commercial director at Ingram Micro, said: “We have worked very closely with Microsoft in meeting our shared objectives, and the current review focuses on how Microsoft’s distribution partners differentiate themselv es in the marketplace and the value they bring.”
“These types of reviews are not uncommon, and in general we have seen the bar raised in terms of the focus and quality of business in the channel since the review began,” he added.
Robert May, managing director of Microsoft Gold partner Ramsac, said: “The cynic in me wonders if this was an exercise to get the distributors performing as Microsoft wanted them to. It has certainly made all of the broadliners focus.”
Steve Haddock, Microsoft’s partner group manager, told CRN: “We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made since December 2006, and remain on track to provide an update on the outcome of our discussions with distributors before the end of June.”
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