Microsoft has ushered volume licensing distributors Bell Microproducts and Computer 2000 into a Value Added Distribution programme to drive the adoption of its virtualisation, security and unified communications software.
As exclusively revealed last July, the software firm was working on a standalone contract covering the newer, more complex technology areas as sales with volume partners C2000, Bell, Ingram and Westcoast had not matched expectations.
At the time, Simon Aldous, Microsoft partner manager said: "If you look at the [three] core area[s], this is a big ask in terms of the investment that distributors need to make in order to understand those technologies and educate resellers."
Microsoft made no further comment this morning but under the VAD scheme, distributors will be tasked with training resellers via boot camps, hands-on-labs, Practise Builder Workshops and technical courses.
The programme was trialled by Infinigate in Germany, a specialistsecurity distributor, but is being rolled out across EMEA with Bell andC2000 - which remain volume partners - the first to sign up to the UKVAD Ts&Cs.
The investment required should match the rebates offered and in astatement, Lee Perkins, country manager at C2000, said: "Thisaccreditation will help us to increase our existing investment andcapability in these areas."
Ed Bateman, EMEA director of commercial business said in preparedremarks that Microsoft "recognised that they need to work with andsuitably reward distribution partners who are willing to invest in thenecessary infrastructure and have the skill set to deliver increasingcomplex technology to the market."
VADs need to have at least four MCP trained staff on any area offocus, and the systems and tools to track leads, register deals, andprovide pipeline management and forecasts.