Microsoft Azure's Direct Play set to hit the Australian channel by June

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Microsoft will introduce a new way for customers to purchase Azure services directly by June at the latest, with a move designed to influence partners across Australia, but not in New Zealand *.

Under the banner of the Microsoft Customer Agreement, the new approach has been seen by many as bypassing the channel in favor of increasing adoption by end users directly.

Despite the contrary insurances of the technology giant, in most cases, the move removes the partners from the buying process.

"We are simply giving the customer a choice and improving an already low-value function in the license transaction, while continuing to rely on our partnerships to generate value," said Toby Richards, general manager of partner go-to-market. of programs to Microsoft.

Speaking exclusively of ARN is Dealer news, Richards confirmed that the new agreement will be available in the first half of the 2019 calendar at local level, by 30 June at the latest.

Dealer news now he understands that the release only affects Australia, not New Zealand, following a clarification from the seller's Kiwi office.

"While we believe in choosing the customer the way they want to make transactions with Microsoft (through our field, self-service or through partners via CSP), our partner strategy is integrated into all three of them," added Richards. .

"This new approach recognizes and rewards partners' contribution throughout the entire life cycle (from pre-sales to post-sales success), as we know that customers consume 6 times more Azure when a partner is hired".

As reported by ARNin addition, direct gaming will provide access to a "single offer catalog", which will host first and third party Microsoft products and services through a new market experience, as well as a digitally stored 11-page customer agreement.

Additional benefits for customers include "consistent purchasing and management experiences" regardless of whether companies buy through partners, the web portal or directly through their Microsoft account teams.

As suggested by ARN at the moment, the move is likely to send waves across the channel both locally and globally, while partners are struggling for relevance with the industry's largest channel provider.

Yet despite the side step, Microsoft has been quick to insist that partners will still play a "critical role" in this new business model.

"They will continue to provide customers with immediate assistance, offer value-added services and offer differentiated solutions combined with Microsoft products and services," reads the statement. "Our partners will be key to helping our customers innovate and prosper."

* This article was updated Friday, February 8th, after erroneously reporting that the new Microsoft Customer Agreement has had an impact on the New Zealand market. Microsoft New Zealand has confirmed to Reseller News that this does not affect Kiwi partners.

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