Microsoft is to simplify its Volume Licensing structure in an attempt to make it easier for its partners to do business.
The new singular contract – a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) – replaces the current multitude of programmes, which vary depending on the type and size of each partner.
The ‘one for all’ contract will allow every partner to sign just one deal, and aims to improve the experience of both partners and customers.
“We are listening,” said Richard Smith, GM of Microsoft World Wide Licensing and Pricing, in a blog post.
“While today, new agreements allow volume purchasers to deploy traditional and emerging technology with greater ease, we are aiming even higher; our vision is to make it even easier for customers to acquire and manage their Microsoft volume licensing.”
“We are taking careful, deliberate steps to introduce a next-generation approach to commercial licensing with a new, more flexible and simplified purchasing experience across all solutions.”
The vendor will also introduce online tools for use by partners, allowing them to make payments, view their purchase history and view assets.
“Based on a comprehensive pilot program during the past year, feedback from our customers and partners has been invaluable as we bring our vision for volume licensing into reality,” added Smith.
“Initial impressions have been very positive and are living up to the expectations and standards we are committed to meeting.”
Richard Gibbons, software manager at reseller Bechtle, responded to the news.
"Simplifying the overall structure and making it easier to manage on a day-to-day basis are two key things that most, if not all, Microsoft customers ask for, so this is definitely a move in the right direction," he said.
"It isn't going to solve all the problems on day one – this is the first comprehensive, overall change to the volume licensing structure since the days Ballmer had hair so it's going to be a long process – but I really do think this signifies a big change within Microsoft."