Microsoft Solutions Partner designation in Azure - concerns

Copper Contributor

Hello,

 

I was recently in touch with Microsoft support querying the calculations for new clients and ACR growth within the Microsoft Solutions Partner Azure designations as I believed the ACR usage calculation in particular was not showing correctly. They confirmed that the calculation is correct and explained how this currently works which immediately flagged concerns for us. They recommended that I raise these concerns with the community as well as with our account managers which is currently in progress.

 

The concerns currently relate to the requirements and calculations for new clients and growth which compare the previous year and corresponding month(s) as well as the fact that you must have more than zero points in each metric to qualify for a designation.  The certification aspect while difficult are known targets rather than moving ones (mostly) and the deployments do not compare to previous years. We are using benefits from the competencies which we previously qualified for, since the changes to designations, we no longer qualify and so are working towards resolving this. If we are unable to achieve a designation by May 2024 then there will be a significant cost increase for us with 365 licenses and Azure usage.

 

The usage growth ACR calculations are based on a comparison for a single month against the previous year equivalent e.g., May 2022 vs May 2023. The calculation looks at total usage across all clients we are working with for that month and if a larger client has had a reduction in usage which can occur for many reasons it can result in 0 or negative points for any given month.

 

The new client calculation is similar and doesn’t factor in us working with our current client base even if we were able to grow there. Even if we were able to add new clients, if in a previous year/month we were more successful, no points are awarded.

 

My understanding is that every month these are re-calculated and so in any given month we may not qualify when we are due to renew our benefits.

 

We can put plans in place to attempt to ensure we meet these requirements when we are due to renew our benefits however currently we cannot guarantee this will be the case as it depends on many factors including how well we did the previous year for that same month and several factors that may be out of our control such as client usage.

 

I found another article also talking about this and other issues here https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/partner-benefits/concerns-related-to-the-annual-changes-micro....

 

I know Microsoft do want partners to succeed and for some partners that continually better previous years this may not be an issue.

 

Any assistance is appreciated.

 

Kind regards,
Dan

 

8 Replies

@DanMo1 agreed, this entire program is a mess. MS support cannot explain how the points are calculated when new clients are added, new growth, new deployments. The reports that MS has for these are worthless as they pull down more data than is needed. Can't there be a simple report? I mean, if we get 8 points for adding 4 new clients, it sure would be good to just pull a simple report to show who those 4 customers are, no? That's not currently possible and MS Support folks can't explain it. My rep admitted that many partners are complaining and training for MS staff has not been properly implemented. I simply want to understand how points are calculated so that we know exactly what needs to be done to achieve. That's currently not possible. It's also not fair that these numbers update once per month. We obtained the Skilling requirements that would have gotten us our designation, but since MS didn't update it for a while and we lost points in other areas, we had to push another month before we had enough points to get our new designation. It's like MS just doesn't want hard working partners to push their products and make more money for Microsoft. Doesn't make sense. 

@Todd McCullough

I am not happy with the Microsoft Partner program at all. It seems the program bears little resemblance to business reality. The explanation to my legitimate question about points fluctuation was that’s how the program is designed. My concern about huge fluctuation in monthly partner points has never been addressed by Microsoft Partner Support. We lost 32 points in one month after steady growth it makes no sense!

Thanks Todd and Daniel,
I had a session with one of our Microsoft account managers to discuss these concerns and their response was also that this is how the program is designed and exemptions are unlikely at this point. They also indicated that the bar may be set to high for some partners and that following the Microsoft Partner Inspire event, the bar may come down or be altered to be more fair. If things don't change then we will likely need to plan when we associate our clients within our agreements to ensure we meet the requirements when it is time for us to renew our benefits. Another option is that we purchase the designation once eligible and then enable the benefits when we need them at a later date. All of which requires more time and effort to manage.

@DanMo1 We had 73 Points in March so we qualified for a new designation by June our renewal date we had 39 points! We lost 34 points in three months so were not eligible to renew the designation. Does seem very strange.

@DanMo1 That does sound like a typical manager non-response. Of course that's how the program is developed by design, that goes without saying, and I could have told you that. Sounds like he's fresh out of manager school. That's just a fancy way of saying "it is what it is", right? And that's exactly what we're complaining about. So that answer is a classic non-answer and of zero value. And I'm not after an exemption, just suggesting some fairness and changes in how quickly you update the scores: like don't sit on it and not update the score for a month after we've worked our asses off and sold YOUR product and made MS more revenue. It's not right and it's not fair. Again, it comes across as a big "f u" to your partners and as if you don't want us to push your products. Unfortunately, with the monopoly on the market that MS has, we just have to live with it, i suppose. Kinda like not being able to choose your power company. It's just sad that MS doesn't seem to appreciate or value their "partners" at times. 

 

Also, the issue on the complexity and inability to run a simple reports that explain the points allocation and from which clients: what about that answer? And why isn't your support staff capable of explaining the spreadsheets? Again, i opened a case for this and the MS rep was completely stumped and couldn't explain it. He also confirmed that many of his tickets and calls are with other partners complaining of the same thing, so i know it's not just me whining. If you're own staff can't figure it out, how can we? And please don't take this back to your manager. Sounds like he's asleep and into the politically correct answers...don't need that, a waste of all of our time. I need someone that can have a real conversation. 

 

Thank you, Dan. I appreciate the response and I know i'm venting, it's obviously not your fault, but it is hugely frustrating. It's one of those things that if we ever see a legitimate OS in our lifetime that can really compete with MS, i can guarantee you that tons of folks are going to bail out on MS. Trust me, i hate to see that as I have MS stock, but "it is what it is".   ;)  Tell your manager we apologize for removing him from break time   lol   Just really burned out on word salad, give me something useful. 

Hi @DanMo1 

 

In addition to posting here on the Partner Benefits community, you might want to consider attending the next office hours where incentive calculations will be discussed. Here's the link for the next office hours - MCILandingPage Listing Page (eventbuilder.com).

 

You can raise your concerns and I hope you're provided with the information/clarification you need.

 

I hope this is a good suggestion. 

 

If this reply answers your question, please Accept as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly. Otherwise, please let me know if you need further assistance on this topic.


Regards,

Microsoft CSP Licensing Concierge

@LicensingConcierge1 thank you for your response. Could you confirm which session you are referring to where the calculations will be discussed? There seems to be only 1 'office hours' session this year which relates to co-op marketing funds and the others don't appear to list that the calculations will be discussed?

 

Following on from my previous note about the 'Microsoft Partner Inspire event' it was confirmed that the legacy benefits can be renewed for another year which for us takes some of the pressure off achieving a designation. My concerns around the calculations still stands as there is no consideration for existing clients that continue to purchase Microsoft services. Surely rewarding partners who help clients continue to utilise Microsoft services should be factored in. I also understand that growth is a key measure however comparing to previous years doesn't seem fair considering there are many factors outside of partners control. Isn't any new clients and growth a good thing for Microsoft and so should be rewarded?

 

Hi @DanMo1 

 

The FY24 incentive guide will be published the first week of September in preparation for the Oct 1st launch. Details on calculation and how net new seats are derived should be included here.

As mentioned, there will also be Business Applications office hours which will walk through calculations in more detail using the link that I previously provided. 

 

If your question(s) are not answered during the office hours, please raise your hand or put your question in the chat during the office hours. 

 

There is an entire list of available times that you can register for, starting as early as tomorrow, September 13th. Please register for tomorrow's office hours and post your question. If the call for tomorrow does not work for you, there is another office  hours the next day, September 14th:

 

LicensingConcierge_3-1694555039811.png

 

 

If this reply answers your question, please Accept as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly. Otherwise, please let me know if you need further assistance on this topic.


Regards,

Microsoft CSP Licensing Concierge

 

 

 

 

Regards,

Microsoft CSP Licensing Concierge