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Worldwide Partner Conference
Office 365: Open Letter to Partners
Jon Roskill
Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group, Microsoft
2/27/2013 5:00 AM
Dear Microsoft Partners,
In my last letter to you, I spoke about the power of partnership and the unrivaled growth opportunity we have together in the cloud.
Today, we stand at an exciting moment together, the launch of Office 365 and the availability of Office 365 Open and Full Packaged Product (FPP), which I announced back in July at the Worldwide Partner Conference. Your feedback was instrumental to adding Open and FPP licensing subscriptions to Office 365, and the benefits of these selling models for partners are clear:
  • You capture top-line revenue and margin on the resale
  • You earn partner incentives (rebates and co-op funding)
  • You sell and service customers in the ways that so many of you are accustomed to doing
  • You own the billing process with your customers
I’m very excited about the opportunities Office 365 Open unlocks for partners – and you can start taking advantage of the launch with three simple actions:
  1. Use it! Sign-up for Cloud Essentials and get 25 seats of Office 365 to deploy internally and access to delegated administration to better manage your customers. Use the cloud to sell the cloud!
  2. Promote it! Use our Office 365 Best Campaign  and the Productivity/Discover Days Campaign syndication assets to drive demand and trial.
  3. Sell it! Familiarize yourself with the new Office 365 Open & FPP sales process to sell as a standalone solution or bundled with your own products and services.  
Join us for a Virtual Launch Event for the new Office 365 for business today at 8am or 5pm PST or view on demand.
A big thanks to all of you who have already joined us on our cloud journey. The momentum is truly inspiring, but not at all surprising. The excitement I hear from partners I meet during my travels only reinforces my view that we are on the right track, and our cloud numbers tell the same story:
  • Office 365 is on track to be one of our fastest growing businesses in Microsoft history. In fact, 1 in 5 enterprise business customers have Office 365, up from 1 in 7 last year and in the past 12 months, there’s been a 150% increase in small and medium sized businesses using Office 365.
  • More than 20,000 of you have already sold Microsoft Cloud based solutions to our customers, and over 80,000 of you have signed-up for Cloud Essentials.
  • Due to your efforts, Office 365 now outpaces Exchange in new deployments, and the trend continues to accelerate. In the Enterprise space we see our biggest customers choosing a hybrid model.
  • The recently launched Cloud Deployment Program is specifically targeted to those of you specializing in Office 365 in the enterprise space. More than 550 partners participate in the program worldwide, enabled through a differentiated partner support team and a wealth of deployment planning resources.
  • Over 130,000 of you have taken advantage of the training at our WW Distributor Bootcamps, getting your teams equipped to sell, service and support Windows and Office solutions.
There’s good reason Microsoft continues to lead the way with cloud computing and MPN continues to be the industry’s leading partner program. It’s because we are partner-led company, through and through, and you all are the best sales force in the industry, bar none. Here are just a few examples of what other partners are saying about the Office 365 opportunity:
“Office 365 is all about the full suite capabilities. Nobody out there, including Google, can compete directly with the full capabilities of Office 365.” Drew Jones, Director of Software Solutions and Services, CDW
“Office 365 Open makes it more familiar and easier for our customers to make the choice and make the move to Office 365 because it keeps their billing and vendors consistent.” James Baker, EMEA Product Management Director, Insight
“Office 365 was the right choice to build our business on. Fundamentally, it has the most powerful e-mail solution in the world, and that is the first step for many of our customers to the cloud.” Evan Richman, co-founder, SkyKick
“Our customers feel that Exchange Online is a superior collaborative system versus Google Apps. It integrates seamlessly into many corporate environments where Google Apps does not. Google Apps lacks “user-friendly” interface and functionality.” Riyaz Lalani, Account Technology Strategist, Itergy
We expect thousands more partners will join the Microsoft Office 365 business opportunity with our new cloud services and licensing program offerings. We also expect our cloud acceleration to quicken as our products continue to evolve. My commitment to you is that Microsoft will invest big in your success in the cloud - creating profitable business models, increasing partner incentives, and developing cloud specific programs and sales and marketing support to help you attract new customers.
Partners are Microsoft’s best business decision. My goal is always to reward your partnership by making Microsoft the best business decision you can make as well. Office 365 and Office 365 Open is another important milestone in our emerging position as outright industry leaders in the cloud. Together.
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