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The Big Partner Number for 2012 is $5.8 Billion

Every year at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft lays out the total it plans to invest in its massive channel for its coming fiscal year.

This year, that total will be $5.8 billion, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of the Worldwide Partner Group Jon Roskill said Wednesday during his WPC keynote.

"A significant portion of that $5.8 billion is going into channel incentives. Our old incentive model rewarded just the transaction," Roskill said. "Our incentive model now is designed to reward your efforts across the sales cycle."

In a slide, Roskill showed that Microsoft has defined three other stages of the sales cycle that will receive incentives. In addition to "transact," Microsoft will now reward "sell, deploy and manage."

Microsoft has ramped up its stated investment total in the channel from about $4 billion last year and $3.3 billion the year before.

The company's channel consists of about 640,000 partners worldwide. Earlier in the week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer riffed on Microsoft's traditional claim, made a few minutes earlier by Roskill, that the company gets 95 percent of its revenues through the channel.

"Jon said we have 95 percent of our business through partners, I can't find the last 5 percent myself. So, I'm just going to say we've got 100 percent of our business with partners," Ballmer joked.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 13, 2011


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