WPC 2012: Partners to bill direct for Office 365

News Jul 10, 2012

Microsoft lets partners sell Office 365 through open licence programme

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) yesterday issued a crowd pleasing announcement with the news that its partners will now be able to sell Office 365 through an open agreement, meaning they can now bill their customers directly.

Making the announcement, Kurt DelBene, president, Microsoft Office Division (pictured, centre) told partners: “You get to present a single package or single solution to customers because you can take your own services and you can package that together with the Office 365 service and say this is your total invoice, this is your total bill for Office 365 plus all that value-added that you guys create.”

Janet Gibbons, Microsoft’s director of partner strategy and programmes said that while some partners were fine with customer billing going to Microsoft, “there was a lot of discontent in the partner base.”

She explained: “They wanted to own the billing relationship with their customer, and they wanted the customer to have one invoice for all the services they would wrap around Office 365.”

Now, she said: “Partners will be able to bill their customers, provide one invoice and also count that revenue towards their turnover, which they hadn’t been able to do previously.”

In addition, partners will receive an increase in their incentive payments on Office 365. They will be able to earn up to 23 percent, depending on the number of seats they sell, up from the current figure of 18 percent.

“We think partners are really going to love these changes we’ve made, and they're a direct response to what we've heard from them over the past year,” said DelBene.

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