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Microsoft Stuffs Partner Pockets with 'Big Easy' Program

And it's a big hello from RCP Editor Scott Bekker, who checks in with channel news:

Keeping track of the customer promotions and partner subsidies on the Microsoft Incentives page used to be a full-time job for Microsoft partners. Maybe not anymore. Next month, Microsoft is launching a single partner subsidy program called the Big Easy Offer. Microsoft is putting $10 million behind the program, which offers partner subsidies for customer purchases of nearly all of Microsoft's main SMB-targeted products, with the exception of Windows Vista. Partners who can upsell, cross-sell or sell more expensive licensing options see the subsidy go up on a sliding scale.

According to Microsoft, the subsidy checks, which are sent to the customer but made out to the partner of the customer's choice, often lead to secondary purchases of hardware, services, training or additional software from partner companies ranging from five to eight times the value of the subsidy itself. Granted, a program with sliding benefits covering dozens of SKUs against a handful of licensing options is, itself, fiendishly complicated, but Microsoft is providing an online calculator so partners can just enter the numbers rather than learn all the rules.

Bekker talked to Christopher Large -- who should be a rapper of some sort with a name like that but is, in fact, Microsoft's group manager for U.S. Sales Programs -- to get all the details on the Big Easy promotion. They are here.

Posted by Lee Pender on 01/24/2008 at 1:21 PM


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