Memo to MSPs: Double Check Recurring Revenue Commissions

Memo to MSPs: Double Check Recurring Revenue Commissions

Managed services and cloud computing have a wonderful upside: They generate recurring monthly revenues that can flow directly into an MSP's corporate bank account. But a timely reminder to MSPs: Watch your bank accounts closely because SaaS and cloud commission glitches -- though rare -- can potentially short-change your business. One recent example involves Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite), Telstra (the big service provider) and a few resellers in Australia.

According to CRN Australia, a glitch at Telstra has delayed some BPOS commission checks to resellers. Admittedly, we're not talking about a national crisis here. Nor are we suggesting there's a BPOS channel meltdown in Australia. But some resellers, upset about the Telstra commission glitch, formed a LinkedIn Group in order to discuss the issue and seek out answers.

Discussion about the glitch pops up as Microsoft continues to weigh its cloud billing strategy for Office 365 -- the forthcoming successor BPOS. For the vast majority of VARs and MSPs, Microsoft manages end-customer cloud billing; the approach has upset some channel partners that want to manage billing on their own. However, a few massive service providers manage BPOS billing on their own, leveraging software from Parallels. Microsoft Channel Chief Jon Roskill is listening closely to the cloud billing debate. My best guess: Microsoft will appease partners with some sort of cloud channel billing strategy after Office 365 launches. But that's just an educated hunch.

In the meantime, the Telstra cloud commission glitch seems like a limited snafu. But it's a timely reminder that MSPs should double-check their incoming SaaS and cloud commission checks each month. Make sure the compensation truly reflects what you've earned.

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