Last year at the Worldwide Partners Conference (WPC), microsoft announced thier Office 365 Open program to include a broader range of offerings. The response we received greatly exceeded our expectations, with the number of partners selling Office on Open growing 16 times year over year.
At the same time, we also heard feedback that partners want to engage at every part of the customer lifecycle – from sales to renewal, from billing and provisioning, to support of their customers.
To address this feedback, we are announcing the expansion of capabilities for cloud partners under the new Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program, unveiled today at WPC. Partners in this program will be able to directly provision customer subscriptions and provide one monthly bill for both Partner and Microsoft services. They will also directly manage their customer subscriptions with in-product tools in the Partner Admin Center and own the technical support relationship.
The new program will open up interesting opportunities for our partners including distributors, MSPs, ISVs and hosting providers to package their solutions with Microsoft cloud offerings. Beginning with Office 365 and Windows Intune, the Cloud Solution Provider program will be rolled out to select partners in 48 countries over the next 12 months. We will continue to expand this platform to all of our cloud offerings, including Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and more.