Ingram Micro's cloud referral program has landed in Australia, allowing partners to sell Office 365 without investing in the technical staff and billing engine required to run their own practice for Microsoft's cloud productivity suite.
Resellers that refer their customers to Ingram Micro's cloud store through web banners or e-commerce URLs can earn commissions on Office 365 sales. Ingram will manage direct customer billing, provisioning and post-sales support for resellers.
Ingram was one of the first distributors to be announced as an indirect Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) with Microsoft. The distie went live with its cloud marketplace in Australia in June 2015, and has since boasted signficant gains, including adding Microsoft Azure, Symantec, Acronis and BitTitan.
Resellers can also become direct CSPs, though this requires them to meet a number of goals set by Microsoft, such as taking responsibility for customer billing and directly provisioning cloud software. Direct CSPs include Rackspace, Datacom, Dimension Data and Data#3.
Ingram's referral program can be seen as a replacement to Microsoft's Office 365 Advisor program, which offered commissions to resellers for direct referrals to cloud solutions. Microsoft canned the program last October.
Ingram said that the cloud referral program allows partners to continue earning commissions on existing Office 365 subscriptions that were sold previously as Advisors, while having the opportunity to sell new subscriptions through the distributor.
Ingram launched the program in the US in April 2016 and since then, nearly 90 percent of its US partners using the program had transitioned from Microsoft Advisor. The distributor offers 14 percent on commissions until June 2017, and 7 percent on commissions thereafter.
“Designed for partners looking for quick and seamless entry into the cloud services market, recurring revenue streams, or a way to establish a Microsoft cloud practice without the financial investment, the Ingram Micro cloud referral program delivers the expertise, resources and tools to convert existing website traffic into cloud sales,” said Ingram's executive vice president of global cloud Nimesh Dave.
Microsoft vice president of worldwide SMB David Smith said Ingram's program would help build on the success of the CSP program, which allows resellers and distributors to transact its cloud suite. Along with Office 365, Microsoft CSP also includes Azure infrastructure-as-a-service, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Dynamics CRM Online.
The cloud referral program is now live in 16 countries.