3. Shutting Down Solutions Incentive Program
Microsoft shut its Solutions Incentive Program (SIP) on Dec. 31, putting a major -- if not unexpected -- crimp on partner profit. Under SIP, which launched in 2011, partners could register deals and get up to 30 percent extra margin provided they held Microsoft Partner Network competencies for the products.
Some partners had hired entire departments of employees to process SIP rebates. Now they're laying off these staff members. "There are no more registrations to get rebates on. With the SIP program gone, we're not getting the payments we used to," one partner told CRN earlier this month.