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That's in Office 365 today or in an upcoming release?
It's in the next release of Office 365, which you're going to hear more about this summer. It's an impending release.
We've actually been doing a lot of direct digital advertising for Office 365, driving it to our trial Web site, and then working as hard as we can to attach partners at that point. Because what we learned was, every opportunity that we're able to attach a partner to, we saw a larger deal size and we saw faster activation. It was very clear from early on that partner involvement in these deals was good for both sides. So we've been driving that with the Advisor model and I think the fact we've been driving that volume of leads out to our cloud Advisor partners has been a really positive thing. I think it's settled down some of the noise around this. They saw we were genuine, [that] we were trying to drive the leads to them.
This new model, Office 365 Open, is going to open up the broad, classic channel to the cloud in a way that nobody has done yet. You talk to the guys from Ingrahm or Tech Data and they are very excited about this. What percentage of volume is going to go through that channel, versus Advisor, versus EA, remains to be seen. But I think we're opening them all up – I said the other day [in a keynote], we've got the broadest array of business models of anyone. I think the channel should feel good that we've been receptive, we've listened – and in a way that's the thing to take away from this whole conference.
Our pitch to partners has always been that we are a platform company, we build extensible platforms, and we look to partners to build their intellectual property on top of our platforms and then take it to markets and customers. And I think they are really getting it at this conference that we have taken this same model to the cloud and [partners] believe that we're going to be successful with that.
Broadly speaking, how can partners make money with Microsoft today, given all the changes going on in the industry?
It's really no different than in the past. To answer that question fully you need to start with, well, what kind of partner are you? You can start with disties, and I'd say, in some ways, it has been the most unclear of how disties participate in the cloud. We've now made it super clear. You can resell the Office 365 Open offering and the distie can fully participate.
SIs have been participating through Advisor, the LARs through EA. The hosters, we've had our [Service Provider License Agreement] program for a long time and we've also opened that up to some syndication.
And for more traditional VARs?
More traditional VARs will join in with the disties under the Office 365 Open. That's the way to think about that. And what's cool about that, the thing that's really lightened it up, is Intune. The latest release of Intune that went out in early June, the momentum for that is really kind of spectacular. It's delivered a set of features that helped [partners] manage desktops and manage mobile devices. And not just Microsoft mobile devices, but non-Microsoft devices. We've seen a very high attach rate of Office 365 to Intune. So it's sort of a way for a VAR that's trying to move further up the services stack, starting to be more of a managed service provider, to a small/medium business.
[Partners] can come in and say, 'Hey, you really don’t want to be managing all these desktops, you should be concerned about what's going on with these phones, if one gets lost it's got data on it, you've got no security policy, no ability to do remote wipe. And at the same time we can help you with moving into some of these cloud solutions.'
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