The head of Microsoft’s enterprise licensing channel has split to take on a newly created role for cloudy partners, in what could be seen as a signal of where the partner power base is shifting.
Edward Hyde, director of the licensing solutions providers (LSPs), formerly the large account reseller network, is to become operations director for the small and mid-market solutions and partners (SMS&P) team.
In a statement, Microsoft confirmed the move, saying Hyde will “initially focus on emerging channel priorities, particularly cloud solutions providers (CSP)".
There are currently only a handful of CSPs in the UK including Outsourcery, Phoenix IT Group and Softcat, but this will change. CSPs are able to sell the service and provide the billing to help reduce the admin mountain facing Microsoft each month.
The role of the LSPs is expected to become less important over time and will likely be phased out within a few years: Microsoft has moved to simplify licensing with MPSA, and in the cloud era, navigating the dark art of multiple SKUs should become less of a problem.
LSPs built up knowledge of licensing but weren’t reputed for technology implementations, say sources.
According to sources, Microsoft has tapped up Symantec’s director of new routes to market, Jay Epton, to replace Hyde, although Microsoft refused to comment on this.
In other related moves, VMware has scalped Microsoft’s partner chief Scott Dodds to run its channels and alliances team for EMEA.
Once believed to be groomed as top dog for Microsoft in the UK, Dodds didn’t ever quite get to the MD’s office and has clearly decided to further his career outside the company.
In his last role as Western Europe GM for SMS &P, Dodds looked after channel partners in countries including Spain and Italy, but under Microsoft’s classification of regions, this did not include the largest territories of the UK, France and Germany.
Dodds has some big boots to fill, replacing VMware veteran EMEA partner veep Andy Hunt, who left the world of virtualisation to pursue personal interests. This is often a euphemism for somebody leaving after a less-than-spectacular stint on the job, but in the case of Hunt it's not - he's very well thought of by partners.
Microsoft confirmed the Dodds exit, and VMware refused to comment. ®