Microsoft's move to the Cloud is publicly acknowledged. They have already moved a majority of their normally on-premise apps and services to the Microsoft Cloud. The hope, of course, is to eventually offer a Cloud alternative for each and every offering – to host everything, 100 percent. This is great for Microsoft, but partners have taken to blogs and social media to complain that, in doing so, Microsoft is eliminating their revenue.
Office 365 has been one of the more contentious products for partners. Microsoft Office has always been a revenue dream, from sales to service and implementation. But, with Office 365 embedded in the Cloud, Microsoft is the only entity to receive revenue due to the subscription model. Even at the World Partner Conference (WPC) only a few weeks ago, Microsoft had no answer for the partner dilemma with Office 365.
Sunday marked the opening day of XChange 2013 with Microsoft's senior partner technical cloud strategist, Bryan Von Alexson, addressing partners' woes over Microsoft-only Office 365 subscriptions. Starting September 1, 2013, Microsoft will be allowing partners to sell enterprise licenses as part of Office 365 Open. Office 365 Open now allows Value-added Resellers (VARs) to bill customers directly for Microsoft's Cloud services. Prior to this, partners could only refer customers to Microsoft and get a referral fee. Now, partners can utilize Office 365 for revenue that is tied directly to the bottom line.
In the end, this a good move for Microsoft, allowing partners to help bear the burden of selling Office 365.