SMB Nation Blog

SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Action Pack Updates – Harrybbb Style!

A few weeks ago I reported that the Cloud Essentials title was being rolled into the Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS). It was an odd fit coming on the heels of Microsoft announcing a huge gain in cloud-based Office 365 earnings.

This past week, I received some additional insights into that roll-up strategy. Turns out that Microsoft is “cloud,” with its devices and services strategy and, ergo, MAPS is now more “cloudy” so that Cloud Essentials didn’t need to be an outlier. In other words, anything and everything cloud is mainstream at Microsoft. Thus the consolidation.

Photo credit: Microsoft Action Pack

But the real news was the MAPS changes announced this week. Partner’s feedback is mixed. I offered my feedback here, where I fondly recounted the history of Action Pack and, yes, it’s made a difference in building my technology company and driving our successes. However, real world partners are complaining about the pricing increase of roughly 44% at $475 up from $299. My colleague Scott Bekker reported here and reported partners are “not a happy bunch.”

What Bekker found was the 29 out of 30 responses were extremely negative. It makes sense to me. The price went up and some of the benefits changed. The unfavorable response from existing partners would, of course, be expected. If my favorite ski resort increased prices 44% and closed a chairlift, I’d blog my complaint too. Does that make sense?

That said – I’ve renewed my Action Pack subscription because the internal use right (IUR) software benefits are amazing. We're using Windows, Office 365, CRM and more. I’m not giving that up!

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Comments 1

Stephen on Thursday, 06 March 2014 13:06

I use our Office 365 account to troubleshoot customer problems and as a Demo for customers. The Action pack purpose is to get partners to use the software internally so as to be familiar with it and to promote its use to Microsoft's end customers. Much of the current Action Pack is unusable: Win8, Server 2012 (NT codebase 7 should be in 2016, I'll wait), Visual Studio, Office 2013; and this insult goes along with Microsoft wanting to be Apple and abandoning its channel. This seems to correlate with reports of Turner giving mixed messages to internal Microsoft sales people, re Office 365 (not reported by SMB Nation).

I use our Office 365 account to troubleshoot customer problems and as a Demo for customers. The Action pack purpose is to get partners to use the software internally so as to be familiar with it and to promote its use to Microsoft's end customers. Much of the current Action Pack is unusable: Win8, Server 2012 (NT codebase 7 should be in 2016, I'll wait), Visual Studio, Office 2013; and this insult goes along with Microsoft wanting to be Apple and abandoning its channel. This seems to correlate with reports of Turner giving mixed messages to internal Microsoft sales people, re Office 365 (not reported by SMB Nation).
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