Microsoft Puts Dynamics Franchising Plan on Hold

Microsoft has tabled a plan that would allow small Dynamics partners to become franchisees of larger integrators.

The company's Dynamics channel team had been floating the idea for several months. As reported in RCP magazine's April issue, the plan would invoke the model of a franchise such as McDonald's that would enable small Dynamics partners to overcome the limitations of the new Microsoft Partner Network.

Under the MPN, partners must have six people certified in either of the Dynamics competencies (ERP and CRM), making it difficult for many smaller partners to achieve Gold competency. Microsoft executives touted franchising as a way to affiliate with larger partners without having to merge.

While the plan is on hold, Microsoft isn't ruling out revisiting it at some point in the future, but certainly not before the beginning of the next fiscal year, said Kristi Hofer, U.S. partner channel manager for the Microsoft Dynamics organization.

"I wouldn't say it's dead," Hofer said. "Microsoft still thinks there's a possibility to be able to launch a franchise model. I would just say we haven't quite figured out what the model should be yet, so we're just re-looking at a lot of different aspects."

Hofer said Microsoft will revisit the requirements of the model it presented. "We just aren't confident it's at a point right now that we could launch it and be successful for the channel," she said. "I do think the franchise model would work within the Dynamics channel. I think we just have to get the formula right."

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.