Microsoft on Thursday named the third and, for now, final member of its Dynamics Master VAR program: Tribridge, a Tampa, Fla.-based business application partner with 350 employees.
Tribridge joins SBS Group and Socius, both of which were announced as Master VARs on Microsoft's Dynamics partner-only portal on Oct. 24.
As Master VARs, the three companies will be able to create their own Microsoft-sanctioned networks of smaller Dynamics partners, called Sales Affiliates, throughout the United States that will leverage the Master VAR's centralized marketing, support, operations and training.
In a public blog entry formally announcing the three Master VARs on Thursday, Jeff Edwards, director of Channel Strategy, Microsoft Business Solutions, detailed why Microsoft chose SBS, Socius and Tribridge.
"These three partners best exemplify the qualities we are looking for in Master VARs. Each has a strong reputation within the Microsoft Dynamics ERP channel, a proven ability to drive growth and a commitment to the small and medium sized business (SMB) customer segment," Edwards wrote.
Edwards noted that all three companies had been involved in alliances and partnership programs before the Master VAR program was conceived. "They have collaboration in their DNA. This gives us confidence that they have what it takes to create win-win relationships within the Microsoft Dynamics ERP channel," Edwards said.
His entry also acknowledged that there has been criticism of the program, but reiterated that the Master VAR program, as first publicly discussed in late September, is intended as a way for well-capitalized growth partners to foster rapid sales growth among smaller partner companies with fewer resources.
"The Master VAR program is designed to help smaller partners achieve their business goals, and we conducted an evaluation process to find Master VARs that have the resources required to achieve that objective," Edwards wrote.
He also noted that aligning with a Master VAR is in no way mandatory. "The Master VAR program was introduced to provide greater choice for our Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners. We will continue to do everything we can to support partners focused on growth, whether they want to grow organically or explore an alternative option such as affiliation with a Master VAR," Edwards noted.
According to the Microsoft Pinpoint partner directory, Tribridge has nine Microsoft competencies. It has gold competencies in Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Portals and Collaboration, and Virtualization. Tribridge's silver competencies cover Application Integration, Content Management, Server Platform, Software Development and Web Development. The company is also a Small Business Specialist and a Cloud Accelerate Partner.