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Subject: Microsoft Business Solutions Point of Sale Competency

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10/18/2006 3:50 PM Alert 

A nasty news is awaiting for some of the current RMS authorized resellers. Microsoft has introduced a partner competency called "MBS Point of Sale". As for requirements, they list passing exams on Microsoft RMS Store Ops, RMS Headquarters and MS SQL Server (2000 or 2005), and min. 2 elective exams you can chose from some range of Windows-XP and Server 2003-related exams, as well as the Microsoft POS exam. More than that, to meet the requirements a company now needs at least 2 individuals on the company's profile who share some of these five exams passed...

What's in that for the current RMS Partners? Today Microsoft requires just taking the RMS Store Operations exam to authorize a company (or indivdual) to resell RMS, likewise passing the exam on RMS Headquarters secures authorization for reselling RMS HQ. This is in fact a typical MBS approach where the MBS products stand somewhat outside of the regular IT products and services range, such as network setup, customized software, communications etc.

Well, congratulation to Microsoft that they finally recognized that cramming the RMS exam does not yet make a reseller a valued partner to the customer. Many traditional MBS partners read the word "Value" in the abbreviation VAR ("Value Added Reseller") only as if they'd add dollar value to the product's cost. These times are now gone. Dynamics RMS and POS are not just software products, they are essential part of a TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION on which a retail business stands. And that solution encompasses many other aspects of IT knowledge: network setup, computer security, firewalls, remote access, custom software, integration, surveyliance and secure access systems etc. - many aspects, but everything rotating around the same basic requirement: ability of a Partner to firstly set up the network, workstations, servers, databases and other infrastructure at the customer's office/store. To secure that seems to be the target of that new MBS POS competency requirements.

What happens to those current RMS resellers who will not meet "MBS POS" competency? There's no clear indication yet and perhaps Microsoft will allow reselling Dynamics RMS and POS for a while on old terms. However, it is obvious that those who meet the "competency" requirements will receive the lion's share of the leads from Microsoft, and eventually only those with earned "competency" will rule the market. So, do not waste any time, dear Partners...

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