Microsoft Large Account Resellers (LARs) will now be named Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs), according to Microsoft, which claimed the move reflects the way the cloud is changing their roles.
At the start of its financial year last week, Microsoft unveiled the changes to its newly redubbed "LSP channel", and is taking them through the changes in more detail during its Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston this week.
As part of the move, incentives for LSPs have also been tweaked, and Janet Gibbons, Microsoft's UK director for partners and strategy, said they will now be geared towards selling cloud and online services.
"The reason for the change is because what we are seeing in the UK market is that about 50 per cent of ‘LARs' were building solution practices and so it is in recognition that they are no longer just partners who transact licensing agreements," she explained.
"With the move to cloud, the [idea] of licensing is changing and so I guess those LARs are also seeing that change and are having to rethink what that means for their businesses. If you fast-forward to when everyone is on subscription licensing, the role of the LAR will have to change."
During a breakout session at WPC, Microsoft's vice president for worldwide corporate accounts and sales Geoff Nyheim said that in the past 12 months, the then-LAR channel recorded double-digit revenue growth and signed up 11,000 new Enterprise Agreement contracts worldwide.
The global channel's sales of Microsoft's cloud-based Office 365 and Azure products jumped annually by 184 per cent and 57 per cent annually respectively.
Nyheim added that he wanted to see top-line growth and improved sales closing rates from its LSP channel, while Microsoft will look to work with its LSPs more closely on territory planning. He also claimed the upcoming end of support for XP and Office 2003 offered a huge opportunity for the LSPs in the coming months.
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