Office 365 to VARs by April, Microsoft Vows

Business SKUs of Microsoft's cloud-based e-mail and productivity suite will be added to Open price this quarter, according to distributors.

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 Editor’s note:  As part of our special editorial partnership, Channelnomics is publishing this recent article from CRN in the UK.

Microsoft Corp.’s Office 365 will be available to resellers to punt as an Open license this quarter, distributors have been told.

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The vendor added the Home Premium SKU of Office 365 to its FPP (full packaged product) price list this month and distributors understand that more SKUs will be made available to resellers before the end of March.

The development comes six months after Microsoft announced it would give resellers the ability to bill customers directly on Office 365 sales through its Office 365 Open program, earning a rapturous reception from those present at its Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Toronto.

Taisha Betz, Microsoft business unit manager at Avnet Inc., said Microsoft had told the distributor to expect more SKUs of Office 365 to appear on the FPP and Open price lists throughout its fiscal third quarter ending March 31.

Like Office 365 Home Premium, Office 365 Small Business Premium, aimed at firms with one to 10 seats, will be made available in keycard format on the FPP price list, Betz said. An Open license version aimed at mid-sized businesses with 11-250 seats is also set to debut before the end of March.

Until now, the vendor has retained control over billing on all Office 365 sales generated by partners, with the partner merely offered a margin cut on the business they refer.

Betz said it will not be possible to ship Office 365 Home Premium keycards until after the launch of Office 2013, which is imminent.

See the rest of the story here.

For more UK channel coverage from CRN, visit www.channelweb.co.uk

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