In conjunction with its new software licensing programs, Microsoft overhauled its large account reseller (LAR) program.
LARs that sell Microsoft products under the companys Enterprise Agreement licensing program will now be called Enterprise Software Advisers (ESA). And Microsoft is taking over the sales function and leaving ESAs with service and support responsibility.
Starting Oct. 1, Microsoft will begin selling direct to customers and will pay ESAs a fee for their services. "We will set the price and invoice the customer and still have a partner involved in every sale," says Brendan OConnor, manager of channel strategy for worldwide licensing at Microsoft.
The fee structures, OConnor says, have received positive reviews from LARs, but at least one LAR is uncertain. "Their program is set up so there is a way for us to get some compensation in the model," says Mark Thacker, director of software sales at Comark. "But we havent heard the timeframe on when that will be given out to LARs. We know the revenue part is going away."
Microsofts goal is to penetrate the Fortune 500, says Will Zachmann, an analyst with the Meta Group. "Expect to see more of this from Microsoft. We are expecting to see Microsoft take more and more of their business direct, since they want to play in the large enterprise space."