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The New Microsoft Action Pack Subscription Debuts February 24

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October 2014 Update

Thank you for your interest in the Microsoft Action Pack subscription. The new Action Pack has been in market for several months now. You can learn more about your Action Pack opportunities and benefits on the partner portal. The short video below also provides an Action Pack overview.

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Original post

The Microsoft Action Pack subscription has long provided many Microsoft Partner Network members with cost-effective access to internal use software licenses and technical, sales, and marketing resources. A few years ago, the Action Pack was updated to offer a choice between two editions, based on whether your business model was as a solution provider (build, install, service) or in the design and development of applications and web-based solutions.

As the market rapidly evolves, and as Microsoft shifts to its devices and services strategy, the Microsoft Partner Network is changing to better position our partners to build Microsoft-based practices that meet customer demands. There are program-wide changes that will take effect in February, and there are changes to our two primary membership options, the Microsoft Action Pack and MPN competencies. For competency requirements updates, read Julie Bennani’s blog post. For information about the new Action Pack, please read on.

The Microsoft Action Pack has been redesigned, and on February 24 we’ll switch on this new, robust, universal subscription model. Your subscription will help you capitalize on the growing cloud opportunities in small and medium businesses by providing you with access to marketing, technical, and readiness tools aligned to these partner business models:

  • Application development and design
  • Device design and development
  • Hosting
  • Managed services
  • Professional services
  • Reselling

Benefits

  • Internal-use Microsoft software licenses to support up to a 10-person organization, deployed through Microsoft Cloud Services or on-premises software.
  • Access to online and telephone support for presales, technical, and deployment issues.
  • Developer tools, including Visual Studio, and MSDN subscriptions to support development across Microsoft platforms—desktop, phone, server, and web.
  • Bing Ads credits for you and your customers, to market products, services, and solutions.

Pages 10-12 in the downloadable Microsoft Partner Network disclosure guide provide you with more details about these changes.

Pricing

The new Action Pack subscription will be priced at US $475.

Guidance for Current Subscribers

If you are already an Action Pack Solution Provider or Action Pack Development and Design subscriber, you will have access to the new benefits and resources starting February 24. No action from you is necessary until your next subscription renewal.

Guidance for Renewing Subscribers

If your Action Pack renewal date is approaching, you can renew your subscription up to 30 days prior to that date. If you are in your 30-day renewal timeframe, and complete your renewal before February 24, you’ll pay the current price and save on the first year of your subscription. You’ll have access to the new benefits and resources starting February 24.

If you need assistance with your renewal, the Partner membership forum in the Partner Support Community can help. You can request 1:1 communication with an agent.

Guidance for New Subscribers

Subscribe to the Action Pack before February 24, and pay the current price. You’ll save on the first year of your subscription, and get access to the new benefits and resources as soon as the new model goes live, on February 24.

If you need assistance with your new subscription, the partner membership forum in the Partner Support Community can help. You can request 1:1 communication with an agent.

Comments
  • This has nothing to do with Customer Demands or Partner Requirements. Microsoft wants to treat partners as customers when it comes to billing them, but still off-load most of Microsoft's responsibilities to these same partners when it comes to customer support. Truth, Honesty, Ethics and Morality seem to have no place in Microsoft. Discussing them may cause laughter at the water cooler. At lease use some Reality when making these types of announcements. Please do not insult our intelligence. For a 30% increase in cost, we get to purchase stuff we don't need. That's reality.

  • Significant increase in cost with little to no benefit to the partner...

  • We do networking, we are not programmers. So - I don't really need MSDN stuff. The MAP stuff has been very useful in setting up internal servers to test before making changes on clients' systems. However, the price increase is SUBSTANTIAL, with no real benefit to my organization.

  • Too expensive now.

  • Honestly why should we continue selling your software without benefit to us. This is ridiculous. Were the one that sell your software not you. So you decide lets stick it to them again. Well you do realize that Linux has made huge strides and could now almost be considered a deployable software. Why would we both to spend another 200 dollars and get less. I think this might be the straw that broke the camels back. I can see a number of people switching to selling linux

  • Not all of us are cloud providers nor are we pushing our customers to cloud services. The simple fact is that the cloud is NOT a fit for all customers all the time. Microsoft seems to have forgotten that. Us providers and our customers that are not moving to the cloud are being left behind and neglected by Microsoft. Also, as another commenter mentioned, not all of us are developers! I'm anxious to see who and what products are going to step up to the plate to fill this void Microsoft is creating.

  • MAP was an economical way for us to assist occasional clients having problems with MS software. Over the years client interest in MS software has declined. Meanwhile the cost of MAP steadily increases. At $200, MAP was easy to justify to make a few clients happy. At $500 plus the steadily declining usefulness of MAP it becomes difficult to justify the expense. It will be better for us to advise clients to simply not use the MS product and steer them to better alternatives. Is MS so hard up for cash that it needs to cannibalize its support network?

  • We are well accustomed to the Microsoft Way by now, as are most MS partners (or "frenemies" as we are now being treated). It is incumbent upon us to decide very simply; is the cost worth the benefit. For us it certainly still is but I strongly agree that the endless Politburo level of nonsense, where all communication is in the form of a press release, is incredibly insulting and just plain exhausting. The Cloud as a solution is attractive to many, viable for some and has been adopted by a few. Microsoft has developed such overwhelming myopia that they cannot even see their own naked refection in the Cloud.

  • I’m a consultant helping my customers use various products including Microsoft’s. The marginal value of MAP has been getting very iffy for several years now. Simply put, with this price increase it is cheaper for me to purchase the individual software that I use than it is to pay for MAP. This announcement just moves the transition up a year. I will not be renewing MAP. It’s not worth it.

  • Microsoft is slowly killing itself.

  • I've been a subscriber for years but it looks like this will be my last year. Apparently Microsoft is not aware there are other products out there that do the job as well or better than many of their recent releases. Microsoft has always practiced blackmail marketing. They start you with a free or reasonably priced item then once you become dependent on it, they raise the price. We've tolerated this practice in the past but now it's become ridiculous. I can't wait to see what the price of Office 365 will be once they get a large customer base signed up.

  • I have to agree with all of the posters (so far) in what they are saying about the dimishing value of the MAP program. I go way back to the 80's as a Microsoft partner . . . then it was called NFR (Not For Resale) Software. It was a great opportunity to try new software in a production environment (our office) and also help serve our customers better by testing different sceneros for them with NFR software in our lab - so that the solution we came up with was a good "fit" for them. In those days we paid for NFR Software from Microsoft, while other vendors provided it to us FREE of Charge. I thought it was well worth the small investment though for BOTH us and Microsoft. The early days of MAP Program continued this value for us. I remember when we switched to Electronic Distrobution from Discs . . . and the price stayed the same. The price is now almost double the figure we paid back then when discs were produced and shipped. I understand the push you have for the cloud. I get it. We have a lot of customers that have enbraced the cloud for a large part of their processes. If we are truly "Partners" then help us learn as we seek to offer value in a cloud-centric world that this is becoming. Don't gouge us with this. You will recieve far greater return on your investment if we are treated like partners, rather than "frenemies" the one poster described. MICROSOFT: Are you reading these posts? If you don't then please just disable comments as they don't really matter anyway.

  • So this is the reward we get for trying to sell your products? Ubuntu is free, and a lot of clients are asking about it trying to find another solution than Microsoft. Most of my clients and myself dont do clouds. Security has always been an issue. Does the name Target bring back any thoughts? You want to help the smaller business like mine and my clients? Quit raising the cost of your products and stay away from the cloud. Clouds are nice to look at, but they cannot hold anything since they have no mass. I gave up trying to build systems since the operating system is too expensive. I can buy a motherboard WITH CPU for around $100.00 and the entire system, less OS, for around $250.00, but add Windows for an additional $100.00 and my profit margin is no longer there. So how about leaving things as they are? You use to send up disks, then you stopped and wanted an additional $100 to do so. WOW i got one disk one year for $100! The disk cost you 5 cents so this is one heck of a profit margin. Sure wish I could make this margin in my business.

  • I see I'm not the only one who feels left out in the cold. Microsoft for me at least seems to be going backwards. My customers want nothing whatsoever to do with anything called W8. On the contrary, they insist on W7 and wish they could have XP. [They use XP in simulation.] By its own reckoning, MS has now admitted that W8 is the new ME/Vista - a loser. The product will be ushered out of support as quickly as possible, and we are to just take it on some rumor that W9 will be saner and more of a retro move. [I won't hold my breath, and besides we have a new CEO; let's see what he likes about how many of us are abandoning MAPS. Here's some free advice to him: Customers do not like to be needlessly uprooted and have to learn a new GUI that is merely a distinction without a difference. All this does is create chaos in the trenches that WE have to solve, no thanks to you. Here is some programming 101 for you: 1) Well designed software separates the notion of the kernel of the system from the GUI. Clearly, you knew how to do that when you wrote OS/2, and first praised it until IBM demanded ownership fro what they funded, then you decided to badmouth it. Many of us go back to those days and see it as two-faced to say the least. But the point is that OS/2 allowed the "gui" to be ANYTHING you wanted from a DOS-like prompt and text-only through every version of a windows-gui that was ever supported. This was started in the early 1970s with unix. Anyone here feel that ANYONE has the right to dictate which SHELL someone MUST use simply because they open their mouth? When Windows post W3.1 came out, it STARTED with these correct prinicple; the file names show the attempt at competent design. But over the years, the lines blurred between these modules and as such we now have institutionalized the notion of just ignoring this; the main reason new systems come out is to saisfy the dictates of someone higher up; witness the "executive decision" to RIP OUT OF VISTA the classic GUI that went back to Windows 95 through Vista [and available at all stops along the way] capriciously and clearly for no technical reason that makes any sense, and then so salve all of our savage beasts, toss back in the XP simulator, thus a high-overhead way to get back what we had, etc. If you like your GUI, you can keep it, period. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to happen here either. Additionally, let it be known there is a project that needs more support called REACTOS. It is a 100% rewrite of Windows designed to be slavishly compatible with XP at the call level; GUI considerations start with XP but these people are writing clean modularity. When it is completed, you can have it all internally and externally. Pushing customers away will make them eventually flock to supporting these people, etc.

  • In order to sell and support MS software, "partners" need to assess and familiarize ourselves with MS products. Requiring $475 yearly to do so, just does not make sense to me.

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