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Third-Party Office 365 Migration Tool Included with Microsoft Partner IUR

In an unusual move, Microsoft is bundling a third-party tool into the Internal Use Rights (IUR) software and services packages for select Microsoft partners.

The new tool being offered as part of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) IUR is the SkyKick Migration Suite for Microsoft Office 365, which helps partners simplify, automate and speed up the sales, provisioning, migration and management of Microsoft's cloud productivity suite.

IUR, Microsoft's term for not-for-resale licenses, are included in the Microsoft Action Pack (MAPS) and for Silver Competency and Gold Competency partners. MAPS partners generally get enough licenses from Microsoft to run a 10-person partner organization, with Silver-level IUR accommodating a 25-person partner company and Gold-level IUR outfitting a 100-person partner company.

The Office 365 IUR SkyKick Migration Offer was announced Wednesday and runs through the end of Microsoft's fiscal year on June 30. The SkyKick IUR covers a migration of up to 500 seats, regardless of whether the partner has MAPS, a Silver Competency or a Gold Competency.

"The feeling is that partners get the opportunity to leverage it and use it," said Evan Richman, co-CEO of Seattle-based SkyKick. "It's good for them, and if they're using it, it's good for their productivity and it's good for their organization's ability to pass it along to customers in a more robust way."

SkyKick and Microsoft decided to offer the SkyKick IUR at 500 seats regardless of a partner's MPN level for simplicity's sake. For example, Richman said, "If they're a Gold Competency partner with 100 licenses, and they were a 250-seat organization, they could move all 250 seats."

In that case, while the SkyKick licenses would be covered, the partner would still need to pay for 150 extra Office 365 licenses from Microsoft for the seats that go beyond their 100-IUR benefit.

In an e-mail interview, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to say if this is the first time third-party software, services or tools have been included as part of Microsoft IUR.

"The SkyKick Migration offer for our partners is a way to enable a partner to easily unlock the benefits of Office 365. Providing partners access to SkyKick's Migration offer for up to 500 seats is another example of how we're taking new approaches to really engage with and support partners who are helping to lead the transformation to the cloud. This offer is an investment in our partner ecosystem to help them receive the most value from their partnership with Microsoft," the spokesperson said.

Asked if Microsoft intended for partners to use the SkyKick IUR to get familiar with the SkyKick tool and use the regular paid version on behalf of customers in migrations, the spokesperson suggested that the initial goal is simply to get partners themselves onto Office 365.

"As Gavriella [Schuster, general manager of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Group] wrote in a blog a few weeks ago, we know that when partners use their IUR [benefits] for Office 365 in their own businesses they are three times more successful at selling the product to customers. But we also know that many partners are focused on helping their customers move to the cloud right now," the spokesperson said.

"After all, IDC predicts the public cloud market will grow to over $127 billion by 2018. We have many partners who can make migrating to the cloud much easier for customers, and whether a customer uses SkyKick, the Office Fast Track program, or works with another partner, we are confident that now is the time to bet on Microsoft's cloud offerings and want to expose our partners to the many ways they can assist our customers accelerate their own access to Office 365. Providing access to the SkyKick Migration tool is a great example of how partners can get the most value out of their Microsoft cloud IUR benefits," the spokesperson said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 25, 2015 at 9:22 AM