We are excited to welcome SBS Group, Socius and Tribridge to the Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR program. These three partners best exemplify the qualities we are looking for in Master VARs. Each has a strong reputation within the Microsoft Dynamics ERP channel, a proven ability to drive growth and a commitment to the small and medium sized business (SMB) customer segment.

But what truly separates these partners from a very competitive group of applicants to this program is their ability – and desire – to deliver value to their Sales Affiliates. SBS, Socius and Tribridge have all been involved in various alliances and partnership programs long before the Master VAR program was even conceived. They have collaboration in their DNA. This gives us confidence that they have what it takes to create win-win relationships within the Microsoft Dynamics ERP channel.

Early Feedback

Jeff Edwards 2009 01After formally announcing the Master VAR program in September, we had the opportunity to gather feedback from numerous partners. Many partners expressed a great deal of interest in the program and have been looking forward to starting conversations with Master VARs.

However, in the course of gathering this feedback, it became clear that there are a few common misconceptions about the Master VAR program that we’d like to address.

We have heard concerns that the selection of the Master VARs favored large partners at the expense of smaller partners. Although Master VARs are required to meet minimum revenue and operating capital requirements, the intention was not to preclude smaller partners from participating, but instead to ensure that Master VARs have the financial resources to invest in the success of their Sales Affiliates. The Master VAR program is designed to help smaller partners achieve their business goals, and we conducted an evaluation process to find Master VARs that have the resources required to achieve that objective.

In addition, contrary to some rumors, aligning with a Master VAR is in no way mandatory. No partners will be forced to participate in the Master VAR program. The Master VAR program was introduced to provide greater choice for our Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners. We will continue to do everything we can to support partners focused on growth, whether they want to grow organically or explore an alternative option such as affiliation with a Master VAR.

Next steps

We strongly encourage Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL partners interested in learning more about these Master VARs to reach out to them directly – contact information is below and on PartnerSource. For partners that would prefer to weigh their options before initiating discussions with a Master VAR, we have briefed a number of third-party consultants on the program and have posted their contact information on PartnerSource as well.

Additionally, we are hosting a webinar on November 18, 2011 at 10:00 AM PST to provide our partners the opportunity to hear from these Master VARs directly. Each will provide an overview of their company and specific details about their unique program, including their value proposition to Sales Affiliates, their targeted Sales Affiliate profile, and how to begin working together. You can register for this webcast by clicking here (must be a current Microsoft Dynamics partner to access).

For many of our partners, we believe the Master VAR program will provide a welcome and accessible path to growth. SBS, Socius and Tribridge are uniquely positioned to help those partners grow.

SBS Group: http://www.sbsgroupusa.com/partnernetwork
Socius: www.usmastervar.com
Tribridge: http://www.tribridge.com/About/Contact.aspx

If you have additional questions, please email: MasterVAR@microsoft.com.

Jeff Edwards
Director of Channel Strategy, Microsoft Business Solutions
Microsoft Corporation