5 Companies That Had A Rough Week


Microsoft is preparing to slash the fees it pays partners from its Online Services Advisor incentives program. And partners are not happy about the move.

The fee cuts, which go into effect Jan. 25, are happening in Microsoft's Advisor Enterprise Agreement Deploy program, in which partners steer customers to purchase Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud service subscriptions as part of EA volume licensing contracts. In return, partners get a one-time payment based on the full-year value of each seat when the customer deploys the services.

The fee cuts mean that partners will have less incentive to tout Microsoft's cloud services over competing products, such as Google's online applications. Partners interviewed by CRN questioned the wisdom of cutting back on the commissions at a time when competition in the cloud services arena is intensifying. It's even leading some to consider selling competing services they don't currently offer.