The Microsoft Software and Technology train is a long and successful one and everyone seems to want to bring their railroad car and hitch up to it. Fortunately, Microsoft has created requirements for allowing which railcars can come along for the ride and even given these railcars a special name, Direct Partner.
What is a Microsoft Direct Partner?
According to Microsoft, as a direct bill partner, you own the end-to-end relationship with your customer and with Microsoft. What does this mean? This means that you're Microsoft Partner can bill you direct for your Microsoft services. Why is this important? For starters, if you're not working with a Direct Partner your monthly subscription bill might come from a third party that you've never had any dealings with. This third party is also most likely charging your Microsoft partner a small percentage of each sale which cuts into their profit and therefore the expense could possibly be passed off to you, the consumer.
Let's imagine this hypothetical scenario, you're a small startup manufacturing company wishing to purchase 5 Business Central Premium licenses. Your Microsoft partner has informed you that the cost for each license is $100 per month and that your monthly license expense is $500. You're extremely happy because you're getting full ERP manufacturing functionality for a great price, however, your Microsoft partner is a indirect partner and cannot buy solutions and services directly from Microsoft. This means their margin on each license decreases from $10 to $8 because of the Microsoft direct partner's fee. Your Microsoft partner, the indirect partner, is now taking a 20% loss on each license sold and needs to somehow recoup this cost. So what do they do? They increase their hourly fee from $100 to $120 dollars and you as the consumer ultimately end up paying more in the long run just because you worked with an indirect partner. If you had worked with a direct partner such as Solution Systems, you would have saved money.
All of these above requirements are important but I'd like to call your attention to the Support requirement. This means two important things, the first is that your Microsoft partner has the proven capability to support your Microsoft software and the second is that your Microsoft partner has a direct communications line to Microsoft. Once again, this might not seem like a big deal at first thought because Microsoft software is extremely reliable but if there is ever someone or something that makes your software go off-line you and your business will appreciate a quick solution from Microsoft.
Thanks for reading and if you're looking to work with a Microsoft Direct Partner contact us.