Microsoft says it's not reducing its channel investments, despite Office 365 incentive changes going into effect later this month that will put a big dent in some partners' profitability. In fact, Microsoft says it invests $2 billion annually in channel incentives, and cloud incentives will double year-over-year in terms of dollars and as a percentage of the overall incentives mix in fiscal 2014.
Yet in the past year or so, some partners say there's a trend of Microsoft making changes to its channel program that resemble cutbacks. Some of these changes are minor ones, while others stand to affect a large portion of the Microsoft partner base. While Microsoft would argue that it's not cutting back on the channel, partners say there's plenty of evidence to the contrary.
There aren't many enterprise vendors with a better channel track record than Microsoft. But as the cloud continues to disrupt traditional business models, Microsoft is making adjustments to its channel program, and following are 8 examples.