Office 365 gets more channel friendly 10 Months, 1 Week ago
Surprisingly the big news from day one of Microsoft's WPC in Toronto didn't have anything to do with Windows 8 or its newly announced Surface tablets. It wasn't a partner program update or a new product offering either. It was a simple shift.
Let the VAR bill customers directly for Office 365.
But my guess is that for most attendees, the news was more than welcome.
From the press release:
Office 365 Open is a new way for partners to sell Office 365. It establishes a traditional reseller model, enabling partners to realize more revenue, deliver packaged services with a single invoice, and own the customer relationship.
The importance of owning the customer relationship couldn't put strongly enough, and in a market where more services are being driven to the cloud, this simple change in approach from Microsoft should endear Redmond to the channel.
However, I can't help but ponder the reasoning behind the move. How has Office 365 been preforming for Microsoft, and was the channel hesitant to move the product under the old billing method. Hopefully we'll find out a bit more this week when Channel Insider Canada visits WPC and speaks with Microsoft executives.