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Partners To Get Direct Billing for Office 365 Wednesday

  • Read our in-depth coverage of the Office 365 Open launch here.

Seven months after announcing that partners would soon be able to handle customer billing for the Office 365 suite, Microsoft will officially start the program tomorrow.

"We are launching the new version of Office 365 tomorrow, the cloud-based version of Office. And along with that, something we've been talking about since [July], the new Open Licensing program that goes along with that," said Jon Roskill during a public MPN (Microsoft Partner Network) Live webcast on Tuesday afternoon. He added that those viewing the session were the first to hear the news publicly.

"It's another huge opportunity for partners. Partners are going to be able to manage the top-line revenue, they're going to be able to secure the margin, they're going to be able to manage the service and full billing around all of that. So there's a lot of excitement around that in the partner community," Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, said.

Roskill promised viewers that more details would be posted on the Microsoft Partner Portal on Wednesday morning and that another episode of MPN Live would be dedicated to Office 365 billing at 8 a.m. PT Wednesday.

In response to longstanding requests from partners, Microsoft announced plans at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July to offer what it calls Office 365 Open. At WPC, Microsoft said Office 365 Open would work the same way as the Open License works for other Microsoft products.

Previously, the main way for partners to sell Office 365 was through a referral program that kicked back advisor fees to partners. Partners will continue to have the option to sell Office 365 under the advisor model.

Read our full coverage of the Office 365 Open announcement here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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