Microsoft: Here's some cash, channel. PLEASE sell Office 365
Resellers bunged $40 per seat for first 3,000 sales
Microsoft is hurling cash at enterprise channel partners to persuade them to convince customers to sign up to Office 365.
Under an Enterprise Agreement licence promo, large account resellers get $40 per seat for the first 3,000 seats they sign up and $5 for each additional one.
The offer, which applies to a minimum order of 250 users, will run until the close of June when Microsoft's fiscal 2013 ends.
The latest margin-boosting effort comes less than a year after Microsoft upped the fees paid to partners selling Office 365.
"Microsoft is not getting as big a take up as they thought," said one LAR that tried to explain the emergence of the promotion and its continuation.
In terms of transacting business, however, some say the lure of extra dosh is a motivating factor and report a rise in sales of Microsoft's cloudy wares.
"The pipeline is very healthy. The promo is a good incentive," said another channel source, who added Office 365 was being seen by some customers as "credible".
Microsoft has tried to remove hurdles facing partners trying to promote Office 365: it no longer asks customers to designate a "partner of record" before the LAR gets paid.
Office 365 licences sold under an EA do not need to be logged directly onto Microsoft's portal, so the partner keeps control of the whole process - including customer billing.
Microsoft has not detailed how many customers are using Office 365, but in a marketing blurb it told partners that giants such as Coca Cola, Royal Mail and Qantas are already on board, though it did not detail the number of seats sold.
A Microsoft spokeswoman told us Office 365 is on track to be "one of our fastest growing businesses in Microsoft history".
She added that one in five enterprise customers have Office 365, up from one in seven last year and in the last 12 months there has been an 150 per cent rise in adoption among small business customers. ®