Almost 400 more UK Microsoft partners are eligible for deal registration rebates following a formal launch of the software giant's Solution Incentive Programme.
A pilot of the scheme, which enables partners to bag up to 30 per cent rebates for registering deals, has been running with 30 of Microsoft's top UK SIs since March.
Now Microsoft is rolling it out to select pockets of its wider Gold and Silver partner community.
Partners holding Gold status in competencies relating to Windows 7, Management and Virtualisation and Application Platform products (including SQL) are now eligible for Solution Incentive rebates. This applies to 35, 118 and 200 partners in the UK respectively.
Those holding both Gold and Silver status in the competency relating to Lync are also eligible. This encompasses a further 46 UK partners.
Janet Gibbons, director of partner strategy and programmes at Microsoft, said the extensive testing carried out meant the tool was ready for mass consumption.
"We wanted to test the tool with a few of our closest managed SI partners, so we could hand-hold them through the process and test the infrastructure. All those issues have now been resolved and we feel very confident the operational infrastructure is robust enough to scale."
The Solution Incentive Programme is designed to be used by both transactional and consultancy partners, Gibbons stressed.
"A lot of partners are advising and consulting customers on what to buy," she said. "Because they do not transact, they do not always get to benefit from our rebate programmes. If they are evangelising our technology, we want to reward them for that influence revenue, even if the customer then goes off and buys from a LAR or local dealer."
There are 38 competencies in the Microsoft Partner Network, which was launched a year ago – about which an anniversary blog post by Microsoft vice president Jon Roskill can be viewed here.
Gibbons said some 1,500 unique partners in the UK had obtained at least one Silver competency under the new regime, with nearly 600 unique partners obtaining at least one Gold competency.
This compares with the 2,500 Gold Certified and Certified partners that operated under the old partner programme.
The competencies Microsoft makes eligible for the Solution Incentive Programme are governed by their growth potential, Gibbons said.
"Of all the products that Microsoft has to offer, these are the areas where we see huge workload growth," she explained.
"Our focus now is to make our channel community aware that there is a significant new benefit for them that we have invested millions of dollars into worldwide."
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