New Competencies, Benefits and Incentives

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Microsoft's direct billing of Office 365 is designed to keep control over pricing and comes directly from CEO Steve Ballmer, according to Microsoft's channel chief, Jon Roskill. Roskill also announced a series of improvements to MPN designed to benefit partners.

Other news from day three of Microsoft WPC included changes in the competencies partners can achieve – the addition of a Communications Competency and the merging of the Systems Management and Virtualization Competencies into one.

Roskill announced the changes during the day’s keynote address and urged partners to make sure they were getting all they could out of the Microsoft Partner Network by taking advantage of marketing opportunities, updating their Pinpoint online catalog profile and using the Learning Center. 

In addition, Roskill told partners that Microsoft was expanding the internal use software allowance increasing the Cloud Essentials benefit from 10 seats to 25 seats and the Cloud Accelerate benefit from 25 to 100 seats.

Roskill said Microsoft will invest $5.8 billion in the partner ecosystem in fiscal 2012 with a significant portion of that going to channel incentives. While the old model rewarded just the transaction, now partners will be rewarded along the entire sales cycle from sell to transaction to deploy to manage.  

Microsoft will also introduce a new Lync solution incentive program that rewards partners who lead with Lync, a video collaboration platform.

"We are moving from a world of transactions to lifecycle solutions," Roskill told partners


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com