Microsoft to extend rebate schemes

Microsoft to extend rebate schemes

Microsoft Australia will announce a number of new rebate schemes for its channel partners in the coming weeks, following the success of a sales incentive scheme for its Small Business Server (SBS) product.

In October 2002 the vendor announced a rebate scheme whereby resellers could score a one-off reward of $1000 if they sold three copies of Small Business Server (SBS) between October 1 and December 31, 2002. SBS is a bundled software suite that includes a server operating system (Windows 2000 Server) as well as Exchange Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, Front Page 2000, and several other related Microsoft software products.

Microsoft channel sales manager, Kerstin Baxter, said the success of the rebate scheme has compelled the vendor to extend the offer until the end of February.

“We got some feedback from our partners that some of them needed an extra month or two to close some business so that they can meet the target for the rebate,” she said. “Many of them have deals in the pipeline which are not quite there yet.”

Within the next few weeks, the vendor will announce similar rebate schemes for other Microsoft software products. The first of these is likely to be aimed at spurring the growth of Windows XP and Office XP on the desktop.

“We want to take the [SBS rebate] model for use in future campaigns,” she said. “And not just the handing out of the rebates or the co-op marketing funds, but also the helping out with some of the more difficult things resellers face - such as how to run a successful marketing campaign for a product.”

Baxter said the SBS rebate scheme had succeeded in terms of the number of partners trained and actively selling the SBS product, and the sales generated as a result.

A hands-on lab day for the product attracted over 1200 attendees, she said. During the campaign, the number of partners selling SBS increased by more than 50 per cent. Sales of the product grew by 40 per cent.

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