Microsoft's Solutions Incentive Programme (SIP) has been axed, the vendor has confirmed.
The programme, which was introduced in 2011, was a deal-registration initiative designed to give eligible partners extra rebates in high-growth areas of its portfolio including Management and Virtualisation, Windows Enterprise and Lync.
Channel sources told CRN they were told about the SIP scrap this week, and Microsoft said it made the decision in order to do what was best for its partners.
"In FY14, our focus is to ease our partners' transition toward capitalising on high-growth industry trends around devices and cloud services," it said.
"In keeping with this strategy, we are making some adjustments within our incentive portfolio to ensure incentives deliver the most positive business impact possible for our partners."
It added that its cloud-based Windows Azure Circle incentive would not be affected by the recent SIP changes as it relates to a different partner selling model.
"Windows Azure awards partners for the customer's Windows Azure consumption through services and solutions they provide on top of the Azure platform, whereas SIP is awarded for pre-sales activities," it said.
"The Windows Azure Channel incentive for eligible Azure Circle Partners will continue as per the current incentive business rules and policies, for the remainder of the incentive program effective dates 1 July 2013 to 30 September 2014."
Microsoft has been keen to emphasise its cloud proposition to partners in recent months after at its Worldwide Partner Conference held in Houston this year it revealed only three per cent of its global partner base is actively selling cloud-based products.
Last year, Microsoft accidentally overpaid what is believed to be some £20m in SIP rebates following a calculation error.
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