Office 365 Open: Microsoft Mum on Partner Cloud Billing Details
Office 365 Open will allow Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) channel partners to manage end-customer cloud billing for Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online. But Microsoft hasn’t publicly shared any firm details about the strategy, nor has the software company disclosed exactly when Office 365 Open will arrive. It sort of makes you wonder: What’s going on here?
Microsoft announced Office 365 Open at Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC12) in July 2012. Many partners applauded the move. But back on July 11, Talkin’ Cloud reported that the Office 365 Open rollout could take until July 2013. This week, Redmond Channel Partner reiterated that same statement from Microsoft. In stark contrast, Google Apps has allowed channel partners to manage end-customer billing for quite some time.
It sort of makes you wonder: Did Microsoft announce Office 365 Open before the company had fully baked the strategy? Rumor has it the Office 365 Open announcement took a few Microsoft employees by surprise at WPC12. The topic has been the elephant in the room for channel partners, some of whom refused to embrace Microsoft’s cloud suite until the cloud billing issue was resolved.
For a few days during WPC12, I thought the Office 365 Open announcement had finally killed that elephant in the room. But ultimately, it won’t die until Office 365 Open really arrives…