News has spread that Microsoft will delay the LAR deal registration program launch that was slated for on Oct. 1, 2011 until March 2012.
While some LARs who rushed to get trained on T-36 online certifications by Oct. 1 may be irked by the late notice, some think this is good news, and that Microsoft may even be responding to channel feedback.
“The thing is the processes behind all the registration programs for incentives and proofs of concept are not easy,” said Josef Hans Lara, business development manager at LAR Long View Systems. “Microsoft needs to develop the process to make it smoother for partners.”
Lara explained that the amount of paperwork required for opportunity registrations with Microsoft is a full-time job, and welcomes any effort to smooth out the kinks. Interestingly, Microsoft has not made any official announcement to its channel partners about the change yet.
“We haven’t received any official notification per se. They have to prepare a nice email,” said Lara, who relied on a colleague’s discussion with a Microsoft executive for confirmation following news from Channel Register.
While it certainly is one component, the deal registration program goes beyond getting LARs not to compete for big clients. It’s asking the LARs to offer services, which is a big portion of this new incentive program.
“Microsoft wants to make sure the LARs offer services so the clients can actually use what they buy,” said Lara. The deal registration program ensures that the Microsoft partner is actually promoting all of the products while providing services. For companies like Long View Systems that have their roots in services, this is a win.
Lara also said, however, that partners in Europe may struggle the most with this new regime. This is mainly because of the high costs associated with T-36 online training, which is required to get their shops up to speed on providing customers services.