At last, confirmation from Microsoft that it plans to cut the number of VARs offering its ERP lineups came last week from Bob Scott, who covered Great Plains software long before it morphed into Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Jeff Edwards, Microsoft’s director of partner strategy, told Scott that there are now about 950 such partners in the U.S. while Microsoft needs just 300 to 400 stronger partners. Scott’s post came out Microsoft Convergence 2010 in Atlanta this week.
Sources have said over the past year that Microsoft is trying to weed out non-productive partners.Microsoft also wants to build a small network of very profitable, strong ERP VARs to take on Oracle and SAP in upper midmarket accounts.
This is part and parcel of Microsoft’s new partner programwhich will try to address the proliferation of Microsoft Gold VARs who are Gold in name only. Because there are so many Microsoft Certified and Gold VARs competing for deals, margin erosion is a persistent problem.