Microsoft is once again plumping up the cheques it dishes out to channel folk across the globe as a sweetener to dealers as they try to push its Office 365 cloud services to customers.
The software titan already pushed up advisor's fees to 18 per cent at last month's Worldwide Partner Conference and vowed to pay top accredited dealers up to 23 per cent in rebates for shifting over 2,500-seat sales.
At the same time, Microsoft overhauled the billing mechanism, so that rather than having multiple invoices sent to resellers and their customers by the vendor, users will now receive one bill – from their channel supplier.
Redmond is clearly still on the hunt for additional partners and looking to cement ties with those already on board as it confirmed resellers will get $2 per seat for selling Office 365 to managed customers.
Microsoft said it realised the "upfront investments" required of resellers in the Office 365 sales process and was giving up a further $2 per seat until 30 June 2013 to get more resellers to throw their weight behind the cloud services.
"By using this incentive partners are able to invest more in helping customers understand and get the most from Office 365," said Martin Neale, boss at Microsoft partner ICS Solutions in a PR statement.
Back in March, Microsoft hacked chunks from Office 365 pricing claiming economies of scale had enabled it to do so. All prices dropped by double-digit percentage points with SharePoint Storage down 92 per cent.
Clearly Microsoft is sticking it to rivals, well trying to at least, but a Google Apps reseller that spoke on the condition of anonymity claimed Microsoft was "losing ground" to his paymaster.
"Google Apps created a set of tools for collaboration, information creation and sharing that is accessed through the web browser anywhere at anytime. Google has a different approach and it seems to be working".
Of course Microsoft has a huge installed base of fat client software and the Google guy said it was not easy for some of these customers to jettison the vendor.
Neither Google or Microsoft make public the exact number of people using their respective cloud services. ®