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By | Paul Kunert 1st July 2011 11:56

Microsoft dismisses reseller critics of Office 365

Do you deserve to be in the food chain?

Resellers need to re-engineer their business model for the cloud services era rather than trying to turn back time, Microsoft has warned.

Office 365 hit the market this week but a cross section of the US software vendor's channel remain concerned about the client engagement model: Microsoft hosts the service and bills the customer directly.

Peter King, SMB cloud lead at Microsoft, said resellers relying on purely transacting licences were going to find life increasingly tough, which is a point already acknowledged by some LARs.

"The world is changing; some people would like the world to stay where it was three or four years ago but that won't happen," he told The Reg.

Microsoft has run cloud workshops for traditional resellers during the past year to advise on requisite changes to the business model – compensation plans, training to sell on and off-premise technologies.

Plugging Office 365, King said: "Cloud enables you to build services in the UC or collaboration environment for example, as the cost of entry has got a whole load simpler."

He batted away concerns a number of different sized resellers that last week expressed fears about changes to perceived customer ownership and the slow march towards direct selling.

"The intention is not to change the landscape….Microsoft is largely an indirect organisation ... and we have a huge partner ecosystem of 33,000 [businesses] and I can see no reason why cloud would make that change," said King.

Gordon Davies, chief exec at Microsoft Silver Partner Adepteq, accused some resellers of "whinging" because "they cannot get their head around making a move from on to off-premise".

"He continued: "Do resellers honestly think Microsoft will build an army of [direct sales] people to support tailored code or work flows? If you are not customising or adding value you should not be in the food chain," he added. ®

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