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Microsoft Expands Scope Of U.S. Influencer Program

Microsoft extends compensation eligibility in its U.S. Partner Influencer Program to its entire base of active channel partners.

The move means that partners that don't sell products, but whose influence on buying decisions includes Microsoft products, can be compensated for their contribution to Select License and Enterprise Agreement volume licensing deals that are fulfilled by Microsoft's Large Account Resellers (LARs).

Until now, partners have been clamoring for insight into how Microsoft measures their efforts.

To enable influence measurement, Microsoft unveiled Influence Bank, a Web-based reporting tool that tracks the Enterprise Agreement and Select Agreement licensing revenue partners have influenced, based on reporting from LARs.

LARs that have agreed to report partners' influence in deals include: Compucom, ASAP Software, GTSI, Hewlett Packard, Insight, PC Connection, SHI, Softchoice, Softmart, Software One, Software Plus, and Zones.

In a Thursday blog post, Mike Marshall, group manager for TS2 events at Microsoft, provided details on the program, the pilot for which was unveiled for selected partners in March at CMP's Xchange Solution Provider conference by Robert Deshaies, vice president of the U.S. partner group.

Customers typically buy licenses for Microsoft software through a volume license agreement (VL), which can be an Open License, Select Agreement, or Enterprise Agreement. While partners can buy Open License agreements from distributors and sell them to customers, customers can only buy Select and Enterprise Agreements only directly from LARs.

"By participating in the Influencer Program, you can now be recognized for your involvement in driving Select and Enterprise Agreement transactions," according to the post.

Open License isn't part of the Partner Influencer Program because revenue recognition is already factored into the license acquisition model, Microsoft said, noting that partners should continue to obtain Open License through the vendor's authorized U.S. distributors.

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