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Microsoft Rolls Out Partner Subsidy for Cloud

A new "Cloud Easy" partner subsidy similar to the recurring Big Easy incentive is now available for Microsoft partners in the United States.

Cindy Bates, vice president for U.S. Small and Midsized Business and Distribution at Microsoft, announced Cloud Easy in July at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

The Cloud Easy program consists of a 15 percent subsidy check, sent by Microsoft to the customer and made out to the partner of the customer's choice. Customers can use the checks for partner services or software.

Intended primarily for small-business customers in the United States, the products that trigger the subsidies include Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and Windows Intune. Subsidies cover customer orders in the range of 5-200 seats made between July 1 and Sept. 30, although the program could be extended.

In an e-mail statement announcing availability of Cloud Easy Wednesday, a Microsoft spokesperson noted, "This is the only new partner incentives offer for Office 365 currently running in the U.S."

One of the most frequently cited benefits of the similar Big Easy incentive was a multiplier effect that occurred on the subsidy checks. With their Microsoft checks in hand, customers would often invest in solutions worth many times the subsidy amount.

While this incentive is less generous than a 50 percent subsidy Microsoft was handing out for Business Productivity Online Suite sales last year in the dead period just before the Office 365 launch, it scales much higher. That program cut off at 25 seats, while Cloud Easy's seat limit is eight times higher.

Details on Cloud Easy are available here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on August 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM