The company, which, over the past year has brought out a range of new products for both consumers and business, is now trying to win over resellers in the lead up to the launch of Office 365 for the commercial space.
“Last July we called the upcoming year a new wave for Microsoft,” Janet Gibbons, director of partner strategy and programme, told ChannelEye. “Not only was this because of the range of products, including Windows 8, that were launched but also the migration to the cloud.”
She said Office 365 had spearheaded this message with the home version for the first time offering a household licence for up to five devices, including Macs and tablets.
“This was a new way of consuming software,” Ms Gibbons added. “It shows how we’re going to be taking products to market.”
Microsoft says it is doing as much as it can to ensure its partners are ready for the commercial launch of Office 365, on the 27 of this month.
It has also changed the way its resellers can bill clients for the product, meaning that from 1 March resellers will be able to bill customers directly.
The current model for reselling Office 365 sees partners receive kick-back payments for what they sell, with Microsoft controlling billing. However, now resellers will be able to set their own margins and bill customers themselves.
“From a channel perspective we have advised our partners ahead of the launch so they in turn can help their customers,” Gibbons told ChannelEye. “We’re scaling this through distribution channels to target 7,500 partners, offering training and face to face meetings.”
The company has also embarked on licensing training through December to Feb, putting on a two day event targeting 1,700 partners.
This covers other products relevant to resellers including Sharepoint and Link.
“We’re aiming to catch the market when the market is ready for new changes,” Ms Gibbons said. “From what our resellers tell us, their clients are ready.”