Microsoft's business would collapse without the support of the channel, according to the software giant's new UK head.
Alistair Baker, who was involved in setting up corporate reseller Morse in Scotland in 1995, became UK managing director of Microsoft earlier this month.
Baker said Microsoft's four main assets - intellectual property, powerful brand, staff and the channel - were all equally important to the vendor.
"If you take any of these away the business collapses," he said.
Speaking of the channel, he said: "You can either see the channel as a third party that sells your products, or as an extension to your company, which we prefer."
Baker told CRN that most resellers are on the right track in offering products and services rather than just fulfilment. "Unless you are in the high-volume product business you must provide solutions," he said.
Baker said Microsoft's new partner programme, which starts on Friday, reflects this. But he added that under the new scheme some partners would find it more difficult to make the grade.
"We want to ensure that if you wear the accredited partner badge you can deliver a great solution and experience. The number of accredited resellers will go down, but not by much," he said.
Ross Miller, managing director of Microsoft large account reseller Trustmarque Solutions, said this type of housekeeping is essential to protect reseller investments.
"Pure box shifting leads to a fall in price and decline in service, which is not good for the channel or Microsoft," he said.
"Alistair Baker is a good choice of UK managing director for the channel because he understands it and the customer."
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