Microsoft Allots $5.8 Billion to Partner Tools, Training, Incentives for Cloud Solutions in FY 2012

Vendor offers solutions, incentives and tools to reward partners for driving cloud growth, assists partners to transform business model.

Microsoft Corp.’s Jon Roskill, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group, said that the vendor will allocate some $5.8 billion in FY 2012 to partner tools, training and incentives that map to key priorities such as customer projects, cloud computing adoption and tools.

Roskill told attendees at the vendor’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference held last week in Los Angeles, CA, that the “right partner incentives, tools and training…will ultimately drive business growth” for them.

“We are bringing our partners to the cloud with us,” he said. “They can use the tools and skills they have now to take their clients to the cloud.”

Accordingly, the vendor said it had moved to better align partner competencies to customer projects by separating its Messaging and Communications competencies, a move it said will help differentiate partners with the explicit set of skills for voice and video unified communications solutions.

In addition, it intends to merge its Systems Management and Virtualization competencies in May 2012, which it said will strength the ability of partners to bring customers to cloud computing.

A variety of cloud incentives for partners

Among Microsoft’s cloud computing incentives for partners, with its new Software Assurance Planning Services the vendor will pay qualified partners to deliver deployment services to customers of Microsoft’s private cloud, Windows Azure public cloud, SQL Server and software development. The program begins next month.

The vendor also is offering incentives for partners in the Windows Azure Circle program and for Gold Certified partners under a Management and Virtualization Incentive program that influence customer adoption of Microsoft’s private cloud platform. The latter offering adds to an existing Hyper-V Cloud Accelerate program to fund partner and customer private cloud assessments, proofs of concept and production deployments.

Gold Certified partners can also gain incentives under a SQL Server Solution Incentive Program for driving application platform and business intelligence solutions to customers, particularly for the impending Dinali offering.

For its Microsoft Dynamics CRM product, the vendor is offering partners 40 percent compensation on new subscription sales as part of the CRM Software Advisor Program.

To encourage partners to transform their business model to the cloud, Microsoft said that it is investing in in-person coaching and online self-serve to help high-potential partners make the move. The vendor said it will help partner organizations build specific plans, analyze profit and loss and staffing needs for integrating cloud technologies and frame the shift.

Microsoft also said that it will offer more Lync and Windows Intune licenses for partners. Cloud Accelerate partners will be allotted 100 licenses from the current two, and Cloud Essentials partners will be granted 25 licenses from the 10 now allowed.

In addition, new partner toolkits and opportunity guides are available to help partners navigate a path to profitability with public and private cloud solutions in the small business market, midmarket, enterprise and public sector.

“We understand that partners have a choice in working with us,” said Kevin Turner, Microsoft chief operating officer. “As they evolve their businesses to embrace cloud technologies, partners can count on Microsoft to provide the tools for cloud training, the resources to generate sales leads, and the ability to boost revenue and increase value for customers,” he said.

TAGS: cloud computing,Microsoft,channel partners,Worldwide Partner Conference,incentive

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