Long awaited (and anticipated) changes to the Microsoft Action Pack Subscription are coming. The Australian SBSC blog has some details on the changes in this published Q&A:
I don’t know about you but I am loving these changes because they address my long time gripes with the Action Pack: lack of verification and unfair compensation. Lack of verification meaning anyone with an email and a credit card can get MAPS – well, not so easy anymore, you have to pass assesments. Unfair compensation meaning dumping high end enterprise software in the lap of people who at best sell Office and Windows – now they’ll have to prove their business needs development software by taking an exam and proving they actually support the solutions that they demand.
I realize that these items seem quite superficial, just who are they going to stop with tbjs? Well, they will stop your “Jimmy Joe Bob SPF the MAPS Media Collector Consultancy @ hotmail.com” who gives all of us a bad name by bsing themselves to the type of solution they aren’t even qualified to look at, much less administer. They will stop your “only $300 a year for all this and I just have to call the toll free number and tell them I’m an IT shop” business owner that just shot down a proposal due to sticker shock.
Will there still be MAPS fraud? Of course, crooks are crooks and they will always find a way around, but truth is that most crooks are simply lazy and as long as the process is even a little bit inconvenient a huge portion of the fraud we see today will be wiped out. Perhaps this never would have been a problem if we didn’t have eager partners helping businesses obtain MAPS through illegitimate means or accepting to manage it, or if at the very least Microsoft asked a few questions first. At least they are starting to ask them now.