IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Microsoft to Pay Office 365 Rebates to ConnectWise Partners

Users of ConnectWise products in the U.S. who register by the end of the month will get 20 percent back on all new Office 365, SharePoint Online, and Exchange Online licenses sold in the first half of 2017. By Rich Freeman

Under a limited time promotion to be officially announced shortly, Microsoft Corp. will pay partners of ConnectWise, the Tampa, Fla.-based managed services software maker, a 20 percent rebate on all sales of Office 365 licenses made from January through June of next year.

The offer is open in the U.S. only to users of any ConnectWise solution who are also enrolled in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, and applies to any Office 365 edition, as well as SharePoint Online and Exchange Online. It does not encompass Microsoft’s Azure or Enterprise Mobility + Security products.

Discounts will be tallied cumulatively on a per-month basis, so licenses sold in January, for example, will generate half a year’s worth of rebate payments.

Partners who wish to participate in the promotion have until the end of the month to complete a one-time registration process, during which they’ll be asked to enter their Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) number and ConnectWise ID. Microsoft will then automatically track all sales of eligible products completed during the first half of 2017, and distribute a check for the total rebate amount no more than 90 days after the promotion period expires.

To receive full credit for their sales activity during that time span, Microsoft cautions, partners with more than one MPN number should be careful to supply the one associated with their CSP membership.

ConnectWise expects to launch the registration page shortly, pending completion of backend preparations by Microsoft. In the interim, ConnectWise partners can sign up to receive further information and be notified when registration starts.

“It’s going to be a very short, very easy process to get registered and some people are going to make out with a lot of extra money,” says Gavin Gamber, ConnectWise’s vice president of channel sales and alliances.

For Microsoft, he continues, the rebate program is a smart way to accelerate sales of Office 365 seats to the many SMBs served by ConnectWise partners.

“Microsoft is trying to get to all those small businesses and they see that the best way to do it is to partner with us and to partner with our partners,” he says.

ConnectWise, for its part, views the discount program as both a reward for partner loyalty and a potential spur to increased usage of its CloudConsole SaaS management and invoicing tool. Though partners are not required to procure or administer Office 365 licenses covered by Microsoft’s rebates through that system, Gamber expects the logic of doing so anyway to be compelling.

“It just makes sense that eventually folks are going to want to monetize this even more to be able to manage, monitor, and bill these seats more successfully and with greater accuracy,” he says.

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