Microsoft’s subscription-based online service, Office 365, will no longer be exclusive to Telstra’s T-Suite in Australia with the product set to launch into three additional channels on April 2. Intended to give small to medium business (SMB) customers purchasing flexibility, the service will be available via both Microsoft resellers by way of an Open License agreement or through Microsoft’s Online Portal, and retail partners which support Electronic Software Distribution (ESD).
According to Microsoft’s Office division business group lead, Steve Miller, the Open Licensing model will allow partners to bundle Office 365 with existing services and bill for the service as part of the total solution. Open Licensing will only be available with annual billing.
Partners which sell Office 365 via the Online Portal (subscription based, with the choice of monthly or annual billing) will be able to do so by attaching a ‘Partner of Record’ to a customer account.
Microsoft Australia partner business and development director, Dean Swan, told ARN that Microsoft expects the move to attract customers from organisations which have mobile workforces and need means of enabling employee communication and collaboration, as well as businesses looking to leverage modern technology across devices and Cloud.
Telstra, which Microsoft credits as being “an integral part of Office 365’s success to date,” will continue to sell the service via its T-Suite, but has no doubt lost its competitive advantage with the three additional sales mediums.
Dean said that the vendor was “pragmatic towards both [Telstra and channel],” and is adamant its existing relationship will be stable.