Microsoft Promises $5.8 Billion In Partner Spending In Fiscal 20124:44 PM EST Wed. Jul. 13, 2011
Microsoft will spend $5.8 billion on its partner ecosystem in the fiscal year that began July 1, including new incentives for partners to sell cloud solutions.
Microsoft is also starting a new communications competency in which partners can obtain Gold or Silver competencies, the company said Wednesday at its Worldwide Partner Conference. The software giant is also combining its systems management and virtualization competencies into one.
The Microsoft Partner Network program "is a great resource. But some of you are not taking full advantage of it today," said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group, in a keynote speech.
Roskill also said the new incentives reflect the changing way IT is sold today. "We're moving from a world of transaction to life-cycle solutions. We're moving from a world of one-time revenue opportunities to revenue annuity streams. This brings real benefits in terms of revenue stability and business resilience," he said.
"A significant portion" of the $5.8 billion would be devoted to partner incentives, Roskill said. Those include rewards for Windows Azure Circle program members for increasing sales of that cloud platform, for Gold certified partners in the Management and Virtualization Solution Program for boosting private cloud systems, and for Gold certified partners in the SQL Server Solution Incentive Program for driving application platform and business intelligence sales.
Microsoft is offering monetary incentives and license mobility through Microsoft Software Assurance for Hyper-V, System Center and SQL Server to help software hosting partners boost sales by allowing customers to deploy server application licenses with Software Assurance either on-premise or in the cloud.
The company is also offering Dynamics CRM partners an increased Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Advisor Program compensation of 40 percent on new Dynamics CRM Online subscriptions.
Also new are a series of instructor-led workshops, complementing existing online courses, that Microsoft will offer to help partners transition to cloud business models. And as announced Monday, Microsoft is providing partners in the Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate programs with more Lync and Windows Intune licenses for internal use. "Use the cloud to sell the cloud," Roskill said of the strategy.
"Each of these benefits adds substantially to your business," Rosskill said. "That's what we're investing. But your investments make a big difference too. Partners who investment more, make more." The channel chief said such partners generate 28 percent more revenue per employee and sign 68 percent larger deal sizes.
Microsoft had previously disclosed plans to split its Unified Communications competency into separate communications and messaging competencies. The move is intended to let partners differentiate their expertise in Exchange, the core of the Messaging competency, and Lync, the focus of the Communications competency.
Rosskill called Lync "Microsoft's next billion-dollar business."
Microsoft said merging the Systems Management and Virtualization competencies, which will occur in May 2012, will help partners sell private cloud solutions based on the company's System Center and Hyper-V products.