Posted on behalf of Steven Miller, Business Group Lead, Microsoft Office Division

Late last year, we blogged about some important changes that are coming to the Office 365 channel model in Australia.

I’m writing today to provide some more detail about these changes, in addition to sharing some new developments concerning Windows Intune. To this end, I’m pleased to announce that effective 02 April 2014, we will be launching three new channels for Office 365, giving our SMB customers the choice and flexibility they desire when purchasing.

Customers will now have the added choice of purchasing Office 365 either via an Open License agreement, through the Microsoft Online Portal or via retail partners who support Electronic Software Distribution (ESD). Open License and the Microsoft Online Portal will be available through Microsoft resellers.

Telstra has been an integral part of Office 365’s success to date, and remains an important and valued partner to Microsoft. Office 365 will continue to be available via Telstra T-Suite.

Open Licensing

Open Licensing provides SMBs and our partners with an opportunity to purchase Office 365 in a similar fashion to the traditional software distribution model. For example, as a reseller, you will have the ability to bundle Office 365 with existing services and bill for Office 365 as part of the total service offering. Office 365 Open Licensing will only be available with annual billing.

Microsoft Online Portal

In this scenario, Office 365 is purchased online via the Microsoft Online Portal. This option is subscription based, with the choice of monthly or annual billing. Microsoft resellers will be able to sell via this option by attaching a ‘Partner of Record’ to a customer account.

Retail

We are also introducing a new option for customers who, for example, are purchasing a PC or tablet device at retail and who want to add Office 365. Office 365 Small Business Premium will be available via retail partners who support ESD.

Windows Intune

Finally, I also wanted to share some new developments concerning reseller options for our Windows Intune service. Windows Intune provides companies with the choice of managing PCs and modern mobile devices from the cloud via a scalable and unified management solution. I’m excited to announce that Windows Intune will also be available for resale through Open Volume Licensing beginning April 2, 2014.

Every SMB is unique and with these changes our goal is to provide SMBs with more ways to access Office 365 and Windows Intune, as well as put our partners in an enhanced position to meet the individual needs of their customers. We want our partners be successful with selling Cloud solutions and to support that commitment, Microsoft is launching a new 12 week program. This step by step guide will help partners transition their business to the cloud. For more information and to enrol, visit www.microsoft.com/australia/cloudchampion

Pricing guidance will be available closer to General Availability on 02 April.

Posted on behalf of Steven Miller, Business Group Lead, Microsoft Office Division