Post-pandemic hard-sell under way: Resellers leaned on to convert free trial users into fully paid-up customers

Organisations that took up Microsoft’s offer of a free six-month Office 365 trial to help them enable remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic are about to see the other side of that offer.

The world’s largest technology distributor, Ingram Micro, has introduced incentives for resellers that convert trialists into paying customers.

The scheme’s in plain sight: Ingram has even popped out a press release to announce the “new Microsoft Remote Work Rebate Program.”

The deal is pretty simple: if a reseller can find a freebie user, and get them to buy either Microsoft 365 Business Basic or Office 365 E1, they’ll get rewarded if the user is still a paying customer after a year. But they need to make the sale between May 4 and June 30.

Here’s what resellers stand to make for upselling a trialware user:

50-250 seats $ 2 / seat $ 2.50 / seat
250-1,000 seats $ 4 / seat $ 5 / seat
1,000+ seats $ 8 / seat $ 10 / sea

Clearly the big money is in selling to big customers: a sale to a 249-seat organisation will earn a reseller $498 or $622.50.

And even that small sum won’t land straight into a consultancy’s bank account: Ingram’s asking resellers to use its own Cloud Marketplace to do the selling and will disburse the rebates as credits. So those who chase these post-panic deals will commit further to the distributor’s ecosystem. ®

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