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Planet Pilots New Office 365 Licensing Model for Government Partners

As Microsoft experiments with broader routes to market for the channel with Office 365, one Microsoft National Systems Integrator (NSI) is trying out a new licensing agreement model for government clients and their partners.

Planet Technologies announced this month that it is the first Microsoft partner authorized under a new licensing model called the Microsoft Office 365 Agreement for Online Services for Government (AOS-G).

The Germantown, Md.-based NSI is a five-time Microsoft Federal Partner of the Year and has a robust and growing business based on packaging services around Microsoft's cloud services for federal, state and local government customers. While Planet has been supporting the public sector on cloud since the Business Productivity Online Suite days and has client deployments ranging from 50 users to more than 50,000 seats, licensing always went through a Microsoft Large Account Reseller.

"Now I can offer my clients a one-stop shop and make the procurement a lot more efficient," said Scott Tucker, CEO of Planet Technologies. "They can get the license and services from me, and there's additional margin to it."

Tucker says he's expecting the arrangement will bring more incremental revenue on individual deals for Planet even as the overall number of Office 365 opportunities is increasing.

"Our Office 365 business today is going through the roof from a services standpoint, and we're hiring people rapidly to support it. I'm confident that this will augment our growth because [selling licenses] isn't something we're able to do today," Tucker said.

The pilot program for government partners comes as Microsoft is also readying new direct billing options for partners serving the private sector.

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM


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