Skip to content

Microsoft, its partners, and the ‘last-mile problem’

Microsoft has always had an interesting relationship with its channel partners. For many years, there has been a bit of a demilitarized relationship between it and the software providers and the consultants that sell and implement software for Microsoft. Like many industries, Microsoft has a “last-mile problem.”

The company can develop the product, but it’s that last delivery mile that can be hard to manage. Early on, Microsoft had a tiered program where better partners were called gold partners, and the lesser partners were called silver and bronze. Then, around 2003, Microsoft developed a product that bundled many of the items a small business might need. Combining a Windows server and an email server (along with a copy of Outlook for each licensed user,) the company dangled its new-fangled small business suite with a deep discount — if you migrated from any other server-like platform. You could sign up as a Microsoft partner, and by purchasing a copy of cheap, modem-sharing software, you could get your foot into nearly any small business by providing it with a cheap software suite. (Granted the software would put shivers into any Active Directory Security guru, but it not only catapulted small business networking, it also grew the Microsoft partner platform nearly overnight.)

To read this article in full, please click here

Source:: Computerworld