As we continue to improve the Microsoft Partner Network, we count on input from our partners to meet the evolving needs of customers and help our partners stay proficient on the ever-growing line of Microsoft products and services. When we launched our new universal Action Pack subscription on February 24, we invited partners to offer their feedback and suggestions in discussion groups. By engaging with diverse partner companies, partners had the
opportunity to voice their needs and concerns about the changes to the Action Pack.
In our follow up after the Feb 24 release, we were pleased to find our partners believe Action Pack continues to deliver the value they need and expect.
Harry Brelsford is no stranger to changes to the Microsoft Action Pack subscription.
“I go back a long time with Action Pack,” said Harry, CEO of SMB Nation
, which works as an intermediary to connect partners. In the late 1990s, he joined Direct Access, a small business partner subscription that, over time, evolved into the Action Pack. According to Brelsford, it was a great value then, and remains one today.
“I got in on Action Pack early on,” he said. “It was always the best value for the small business Microsoft partner. For roughly $400 a year, you got a plethora of benefits, like a 10-time value. You got like $20,000 to 25,000 worth of licensing for internal use so you could not only run your own company, but have the experience using it. … It was a real bargain.”
“SMB Nation is not your traditional Microsoft Partner,” Harry said. “We are certainly a Microsoft Partner, and I’m sort of in an analyst role. If being an analyst, being an outsider looking in, is valuable, that’s where I can add value. The other people on that forum were more traditional MSPs.”
The new Action Pack is also valuable to Harry.
“Ten (software) licenses save me a lot of money, so I appreciate that right away,” he said. “And it gets my staff using the products – Visio, for example. Without Action Pack, that might not have been something we would have naturally gone out and bought or acquired. It does let us use the portfolio and know that portfolio. So that’s cool.”
“You know, things are always changing,” Harry added. “Change is ever present. The good news is that Action Pack is still here.”
is a two-and-a-half person company that provides break fix services to small companies and home users, specifically seniors. Being a part of Action Pack gives co-owner Alice Stevenson the resources she couldn’t have afforded on her own.
“It also gave us a little bit of credibility,” Alice said. “(Customers) hear Microsoft, and they immediately give (us) legitimacy.”
is a partner-driven company that works with mid-size companies in the technology sector, helping to deliver cloud solutions, among other services.
Michael said that the discussions were lively, giving partners the opportunity to voice their needs as well as concerns about changes to the Action Pack. “Our needs are ever evolving,” Michael said of VDI Space. “(Action Pack) meets our current needs.”
“I think any partner would be lost without an Action Pack subscription,” Michael said. “We’ve always deemed (Action Pack) as something that is necessary to be able to make sure that everybody is up to speed, able to do demo environments. It’s also necessary for internal use purposes as it allows people to be competent on any of the suite of Microsoft software, whether that’s just with a single piece of software like a client OS, or building out a complete private cloud sandbox environment with virtualization, for VDI, Hyper-V, and more.”
Thank you to all of our Action Pack partners who participated in the evolution of the program. You can find out more about the new universal Action Pack subscription on our Microsoft Partner Network portal