Yesterday I went golfing, and it was the first day that really had that “autumn turning to winter” feel about it. It was about 8 degrees Celcius when I teed off, and yes, I froze my backside off in the process. But the sun came out and gradually I only needed 3 layers to keep warm. ; ) (Such is life in Canada when you want to golf in October!)
October 1st also is a new season business-wise: the new Microsoft partner requirements officially begin. For my firm, that means I officially do not meet the requirements to be a reseller anymore. This isn't new, it hasn't “crept up” or caught me off-guard… no, partners have been well aware of the changes for many months now.
Am I disappointed? Yes and no. When I started, I was really proud to be a full Microsoft Dynamics GP reselling partner… I had customers who wanted to work with me, and only me, and they switched VARs to demonstrate their committment to my business as I had to theirs over the years. Little did I know when I started, how difficult it is to be a small fish in a big pond. Systems are heavily geared towards larger partners, particularly on the business transaction side of things. I've grown to realize that doing business with firms where I'm such a blip on the radar is not fun, and it's not easy. If you don't have a partner service plan or credit terms, it just takes a lot of back and forth to get business transactions done unfortunately.
Overall it's been interesting, from a business perspective, dealing with Microsoft and a few third party ISV vendors. I don't regret my decision to become a reselling partner in the first place… it's had its share of hassles but I've learned a few things.
Focussing on the future…
I've been living and breathing Microsoft Dynamics GP, Great Plains, eEnterprise, whatever you call it, for over 12 years now and losing my “reseller” partner status is not going to affect that. I've spent FAR too much time with this product to change careers. For all of my venting at Microsoft or others in terms of doing business with them, their products are great, they are well positioned in the marketplace, and they have a tremedous team of people behind the product many of whom I've met over the years and I know they really care about making GP better.
I'll still be a “consulting” partner which gives me access to everything I've really needed. Heck, software was 4.6% of my revenue last year – mostly enhancement revenue at that… hardly worth fighting over. I'm working with a great small GP reseller who is small enough to be a good partner for my firm to work with on the software side of things and large enough that they don't have to constantly worry about meeting new partner requirements. That will allow me to give my clients a quality combination of two solid firms with years of experience to support them in both software and services over the years. I'll give up a little on the software revenue side of things but in the end, the winner will be my clients… and at the end of the day, that's the only thing that matters!