Feeds

Microsoft: OK, Office 365 sellers – you can be customers' 'first contact'

All right, partner?

The Power of One Infographic

WPC Microsoft has relinquished more control over the way third-party suppliers can manage Office 365 and Windows InTune punters, finally making the channel the "first point of contact" for customers.

It is now three years since the online productivity suite hit the streets. It took two years until Microsoft would allow third-party suppliers to handle billing, and now, 12 months later, it has taken things a step further.

The Cloud Reseller programme was launched at this week's Worldwide Partner Conference, allowing disties, MSPs, hosting firms and ISVs to charge customers for their techie services as well as Microsoft licences wrapped up in one monthly or annual invoice.

Channel partners will be able to directly provision and manage customer subscriptions though in-product tools housed in the Partner Admin Centre and own the technical support relationship.

A Microsoft mouthpiece told us, "Partners have requested more direct ownership of the customer relationship through billing and a desire to service the customer purchase, management and support experience as the single point of contact."

"Partners are the first point of contact," the spokesman added.

Channel sellers account for three-quarters of Office 365 sales, the firm revealed at WPC.

Initial participation in Cloud Reseller, as it is known locally, will be on an invitation-only basis over the next 12 months. Microsoft has developed a habit of keeping things exclusive - just look at the Surface devices.

It said: "Partners who have interest should consult with their local Microsoft account representative to determine if the programme is being offering in their market and when they will begin or expand their current invitation process."

So that basically means: if your name is not down already on the list, you likely aren't getting in just yet.

Microsoft told us it is targeting partners with systems set up to provide monthly/annual billing, lifecycle management and 24/7 technical support. Not everyone will fit that bill.

No other details on timing could be tickled or otherwise extracted from Microsoft PR people, though Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and other bits in the portfolio are to be added at some point.

In other related cloudy news, Microsoft has confirmed it will retire three as-a-service competencies – Cloud Deployment, Cloud Accelerate and Azure Circle – and replace them with small and market cloud solutions, Cloud Productivity and Cloud Platform certifications.

The three were due to be replaced earlier this year but Microsoft delayed the process after feedback from partners that they were are still adjusting to new-world tech delivery models. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.