Microsoft plans to appoint Ingram Micro, Insight and SoftwareONE as cloud service resellers (CSR) in Australia.
The three channel partners will join Dicker Data and Rhipe as CSRs, bringing the membership of the Microsoft CSR program to five in Australia.
Microsoft hasn’t announced when the change becomes official, but director of partner business and development Phil Goldie said it could be by the end of this calendar year.
Microsoft is not expected to add other CSRs in the immediate future.
The move broadens Microsoft’s cloud channel beyond its public cloud offerings. While Microsoft cloud service providers (CSPs) provide public cloud products like Office 365, Azure and CRM Online, the CSR program is for partners selling hosted or private cloud offerings built on Microsoft platforms.
Key to this is the ability for Microsoft CSRs to sell service provider licensing agreements (SPLA). Ingram Micro has since announced that it will offer Microsoft SPLA licensing later this month.
Once Ingram Micro attains the new status, it and Rhipe will hold the distinction of being the only two-tier CSP distributors also offering SPLA for hosted Microsoft services in Australia.
As an example, partners wanting to both resell Office 365 monthly subscriptions and build complementary hosted services could go to Ingram Micro for the public cloud (CSP) as well as hosted (SPLA) licensing.
Ingram Micro managing director Matt Sanderson claimed the company would become the "only distributor in Australia that can now offer the complete Microsoft portfolio from licensing and cloud services through to mobile devices."
Meanwhile Insight issued a statement claiming it "delivers more cloud options than any other Microsoft partner as the only Licensing Solution Provider (LSP), Cloud Services Reseller and 1Tier Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) across Australia."
Microsoft’s cloud channel was a key focus at its recent Australian Partner Summit on the Gold Coast. Executives encouraged resellers to look for better margins by using the CSP program to package managed services or unique IP with Microsoft products.
With Microsoft pointing to “explosive” growth in cloud, Goldie said the lines were blurring between public- and partner-hosted services.
“There’s a big convergence now between public cloud CSP and hosted platforms,” he told CRN. “Having a channel that can sell both of those thing is important.”
Ingram Micro recently extended a promotion in Australia offering 30 days free of unlimited Microsoft CSP subscriptions purchased through the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace.