At Sikich, we go through the process of helping companies switch to us as their Microsoft Partner of Record (Dynamics 365, GP, CRM) quite often. The process of switching your VAR (Value Added Reseller) is much simpler than most may think. Typically, companies will start off reaching out to other VARs they would like to work with and gather information about what that company has to offer. They may even do a project or two to get a feel for how this Microsoft Partner really is to work with. The bulk of the work to switch VARs is in that phase while the company is evaluating these partners and making sure they are choosing the right one for their business and needs in the long run.
Once a company has chosen Sikich as their official new Partner, it’s as simple as filling out a short form and returning it to Sikich for processing. You won’t need a reason to give for switching partners. You won’t even have to tell us who your VAR was. All the form requires is the following:
- Contact name and contact information (phone number, email, address),
- Registered Company name,
- Microsoft Product Line,
- Account Number,
- Microsoft Authorized Number,
- existing Partner Contact information, and
- signature for final approval.
Bumps in the VAR Change Road
The only bump we see in the Partner Change Process is when the contact who filled out/signed the form is not listed as a contact in their Microsoft CustomerSource Account. If that is the case, there are two options:
- We will let the client know what contacts ARE listed in their CustomerSource account and have one of those contacts fill in their contact information and sign the form instead.
- We will have the contact send us an email from their company domain that requests to have them added to the account along with their contact info included. Once we receive this, we will add the contact to the account, thus allowing us to continue with the request.
If the client does not know their account and authorized numbers, we can work around that.
Another issue that can come around is the timing of the renewal when changing VAR partners. It is easiest to switch partners if the client isn’t close to its renewal due date. If the current partner has already sent an invoice for the renewal, when they switch to us, it can be messy. If they switch to us and their renewal date is very soon after (within 60 days-ish), then we have to rush to get them set up in the system and send in the renewal ASAP so they don’t lapse. (That would go against us, not the other partner.)
However, we don’t get credit (revenue- wise) as the new partner until the client’s renewal comes up. For example, if a client just paid their renewal on 3/15/20, and we did the Change of VAR on 3/30/20, we would not get the Microsoft revenue until the next renewal date on 3/15/21.
In addition, the client has the option of letting their existing Partner know before hand. If they do not inform them, then the partner will get informed after we submit the VAR change form mentioned above. Microsoft will automatically update them via email that this specific company has done a Change of VAR to a new company. If you’re concerned that Microsoft may not approve your VAR change request, be rest assured that they do not have any say about your VAR.
However, Microsoft does have a say in whether you have to have a partner. Microsoft CE online allows customers to purchase licenses directly through Microsoft. ERP clients must have a partner, including Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations clients. Having a partner is the only way you can access the system.
Lastly, submitting this Change of VAR form does not cost any money, so overall it is free to change partners. Microsoft also typically processes these change requests within a day, so there is no real “limbo” period a client will have during this process.