Microsoft opens up Office 365

Vendor aims to make cloud services more attractive to resellers
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Microsoft will make its Office 365 software available under open licensing in order to make it more attractive to resellers.

The vendor, which made the announcement at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference, is aiming to make the service more profitable for partners as well as allowing them to invoice their own customers.

The news was apparently well received by Microsoft partners, many of whom had been calling for the changes for some time.

In the previous model, although partners could sell it, customers would go directly to Microsoft who would then bill them directly – a process that left many partners feeling cut out of the equation.

“We’ll still have the provision to allow partners to continue to put customers directly through to Microsoft, but if partners want to own the billing relationships then they can sell it under open licensing – which is what they’ve been asking for for a long time,” Microsoft’s director of partner strategy and programmes, Janet Gibbons, told PCR.

The added bonus for Microsoft is that it will enable the vendor to really push its cloud platform forward.

“It will really open up the Office 365 market to small and medium businesses in particular,” concluded Gibbons.

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