Gartner et al
"Microsoft's strategy is influenced by the supposition that customers now have a preference for more specialist resellers/ integrators, according to a slide presented that was credited to Gartner and Forrester researchers."
Gartner and Forrester eh? Those well known proponents of independent opinion and research in the race to the bottom of "average"? One has to wonder why Microsoft's strategy isn't based on the influence of things their partners are telling them, since 90% of their revenue is transacted via partners. And none of their revenue is transacted by Gartner (although a chunk of Gartner's is presumably paid for my Microsoft)
"The problem with this narrative is that it ignores the millions of small businesses who look for more generalist help, provided by the small resellers most affected by Microsoft's changes."
Any small partners who took the time to read anything coming out of Microsoft since the OCP changes in 2015 will already know deep down that Microsoft have been ignoring the opinions and needs of small partners for years. We just didn't want to admit that Microsoft were happy to throw us all under the bus. I have heard Microsoft staffers complaining that MPN members do not engage with Microsoft, but we've tried, and tried, and we've failed. At the same time they ask us to wrap new products round their tech and be innovative, then they change incentives to reflect what Microsoft want us to do, stifling any kind of invention in the process. Time to face facts fellow partners, unless you're a gold partner jumping through their hoops and letting Microsoft dictate how to run your business and what to sell to your customers, we're of no value to them anymore. Put simply Microsoft have too many partners and they just want to concentrate on the big tickets, in the assumption that the direct CSP resellers will pick up the pieces, as they already have been for the last couple of years.