How tight are Microsoft? Who thought pissing their sales guys off would help increase revenue?
Faced with continued rumbles of discontent from its reseller network on the eve of its Inspire conference, Microsoft has climbed down from plans to pull free software licences from its channel chums. Doubtless fearful of a keynote sabotaged by a baying mob of angry resellers, Microsoft corporate veep for commercial partners …
The partners are external sales organizations. Some marketing moron did not realize what they do and how they help Slurp sell to small businesses. Internal Slurp sales staff would not want to service these relatively small accounts but a local partner does.
As you see Idiots.
"Some marketing moron"
More likely the moron would be a beancounter totting up the "losses" on the licenses - price of everything and value of nothing etc. Much as I expect marketing to be staffed entirely by morons I suspect that this time it was marketing who realised the consequences.
Those of us considered smaller resellers keep going through this where a firm thinks they can internalize the profitable sales, not lose very many sales that were a result of those smaller resellers, and extract some extra income in one form or another (e.g. internal licenses) and off said firm goes with a better balance sheet. From decades of experience, it never works out that way. It always has the opposite effect. I've no idea where they get this idea, it certainly isn't from historical data of IT firms. I used to think that MBA programs were about using case studies but somebody seems to have black holed the ones on this.
I severed ties with MS a long time ago as I saw the iterations of this already looming. The funny thing is that they approached me concerning becoming a partner, with all the supposed benefits, rather than the other way around. I've never lacked for clients, just by word of mouth alone. Adverts, promotiional material, &c? Nope.
[Final straw for me with Microsoft: Never had a competency nor a certification, outside the military, in my life. Demonstrated results seems to matter more to clients. Frag off!]
"I used to think that MBA programs were about using case studies but somebody seems to have black holed the ones on this"
No, you thought correctly. This was obviously something put together by the money men - they do degrees in accountncy and generally don't do MBAs because they think that their accountancy qualification means they already know it all. The ones with MBAs will be marketeers or others without accountancy qualifications (eg engineers), and are precisely the people whom the accounts types would not listen to and would not consult before taking the supreme accountant vision to the CEO so as to bamboozle him into accepting their crazy scheme by not letting engineers, marketeers, or customer support people (all of whom would be absolutely appalled by it) know about it and object before he'd given them them go ahead for their wonderful (well, it certainly made me wonder how even an accountant could believe in such stupidity) scheme.
Actually pissing off users with forced updates was certainly a fine idea, particulary since "forced" is rather an overstatment, they can easily be evaded. I certainly forced updates (both Microsoft updates and our own updates) on customers when I was Technical Director of Neos. I had seen Neos lose a customer before I had control because the incompetent idiot who made decisions about applying updates to the OS decided never to apply them (everything I had control of was updated as soon as my review of the update indicated it would cause no problem - I don't believe in blindly accepting updates, but blindly rejecting them is far worse) - if the MS update had been applied the customer's system wouldn't have been converted into a pornography advertisement system.
Being old and weary now, I've retired and only have to worry about my own computers. But so far as iving with windows 10 is concerned, I read the documenttion about any update before it gets applied, and if I like the look of it (ie it doesn't risk affecting areas that my non-MS software relies on) I apply it and test - and I haven't yet rolled back to an updated version (except when testing to make sure my rollback still works) - and that's a lot of updates, as I switched to windows 10 from windows 8.1 as soon as it was available,
It's often hard to argue against money making / saving proposals without hard evidence of negative impact, but still surprised this one saw daylight. Regardless that there was actually a rebellion you would have thought having as many incentives as practicable to be a partner that has to retain X number of Microsoft certified staff and keep them busy was a no brainer.
'We wondered if maybe, just maybe, some of those sign-ups might be only after the goodies rather than winning the company more customers.'
Ummmm I think you hit the nail square on with that comment.
If they brought back real perpetual licenses for Office and I hate saying this but SBS (with outlook licenses included) maybe retention would be easier.
As it is now I'm stuck between recommending Libre Office and thunderbird with cpanel mail accounts... Then comparing the price with Office 365 or Google solutions that seem to deny any responsibility regarding your data. At least if its on site or I control the servers / VPS I can have reliable backup and ownership of any issues that arise.
Most of my customers are SMB or charities, moving to monthly subscription per user is not economically viable.
Thanks for the licenses though ;)
Charities and not-profits get O365 or GSuite for free and unlimited storage too. I also run a small business and the subscription costs per month for Google are tiny compared to the costs of implementing and maintaining server(s), server software, office client licenses, etc *and* I can buy Chromebooks a lot cheaper than a laptop. Plus you get benefits of collaborative working, easy remote working, etc.
As for denying responsibility for data, that's rubbish - I ran an estate of 45,000 users for years using Google and never lost any data.
Sounds to me more like you are protecting your own income stream rather than using technologies with a lower TCO and which are more effective.
"As for denying responsibility for data, that's rubbish - I ran an estate of 45,000 users for years using Google and never lost any data."
Denying responsibility and you not experiencing data loss are 2 different things.
If something did happen to your data, you would see what that non-responsibility would mean.
Finally, someone on The Register who talks sense. I can only assume you won't be hanging around long.
I honestly feel sorry for a lot of the customers of some of the so-called consultants that I meet. Outdated skills, prejudiced and lacking the integrity to propose what would be best for the customer vs what maintains the status quo.
O365 doesnt need on premises server software, and includes the office client license. And it's way more fully featured than Google Apps. Just for instance fully DRM protected files that will still work in a secure environment without internet access. The best Google can do is controlling access to a web link for your file. Presumably why there are books on Amazon for migrating from Google to O365 but not visa versa!
for students it is hands down better to use G Suite, anyone else doing the MS thing is just a 100% idiot. Chromebooks do not get stolen, are cheap and do not get kooties... Windows is great if you like to have an entire army to support your users and poorly written software that in some cases runs on someone else's computer. Do you get WAN bandwidth for free? Microsoft says everyone now has a 1 gig connection...
Are you stuck in the dark ages or something?
I'm not Micrsoft shill, but comparing an O365 Business subscription to Thunderbird, Libre Office and a webmail account isn't exactly apples and apples.
As for Microsoft playing fast and loose with your data? Well, apparently a swan can break your arm with its wings, but in 44 years I've never met anyone unfortunate to get their arm broken by one.
It certainly not like the quarterly CD-ROM deliveries of old, or where the first Action Pack was a big box of software, that was like xmas.
But still a good value for a small organization.
The article focused on Action-Pack, but I suspect that the big action was really on the Gold and Silver level partners and the IUR that they have been granted that really starts to add up.
YMMV, but for me:
5 users O365 E3 with 5TB storage for each account
10 Windows 10 upgrade licences
bunch of Windows Server licences (I don't really understand the licensing of Server)
SQL Std (only 2 cores, ok for internal which is the intention)
$100 per month Azure credit (worth it just for that IMHO)
Bunch of stuff I don't use
As a small business, we also hate regular subscriptions or payments to anything - our business is extremely spiky, so we prefer to buy things outright when we've got money.
But we've got a worse problem, in that our aging Novell Netware servers are overdue for replacement - but I can't bring myself to move to Microsoft for them, yet haven't found a viable alternative path.
A totally fuss free experience. We started with Samba, but now use NFS, and you can use both simultaneously. No buggering about with licences, great documentation, ZFS baked in and a knowledgeable community. What's not to like?
So if the product still does what you need it to do ,why upgrade?
Netware was so many years ahead of M$ products that it's still a viable solution.
I see Fry's still uses Netware for their POS system.
Lightning fast and as stable as ever.
The problem was Netware was too good ,so there was never enough reason to rip and replace the product.
No, it would never be anything this subtle or involve the required effort to create a cost/benefit spreadsheet in the first place.
Someone has looked through partner subsidies and decided that if MS didn't provide them as subsidies they would instantly turn into revenue because MS partners all love MS products so much and would never consider alternatives for themselves or their customers.
Based on other companies doing this (there are so many examples but HP server firmware/driver updates is similar) it's only really a sensible move when your business has started to decline and you don't see any other way of extracting more revenue.
Can't say I'm surprised they've backed down, as unlike HMRC they listen to the people making money for them.
I expect they will trim the free licensing at some point, which I'm OK with TBH, I only use Office 365, some Windows Servers, System Center & SQL backend and some Windows clients out of my allocation.