Microsoft plans to allow its reseller partners to start selling Azure cloud services as of August 1.
On that date, Microsoft's channel partners will be able to sell Azure to customers via Microsoft's Open Licensing program. Currently, users can purchase Azure directly from Microsoft and through Enterprise Agreements.
Partners interested in offering Azure services will purchase tokens from their preferred distributors and then apply the credit to the customers' Azure Portals in increments of $100, Microsoft Senior Director of its Cloud Partner Strategy, Josh Waldo, explained in a May 21 blog post. The credits can be used for any "consumption-based" service in Azure. (There will be no refunds for unused credits and no rollover between years.)
Partners will have the ability to manage customers' portals, handle setup services and manage direct billing relationships. All commercial, academic and most government organizations that are eligible for Microsoft Open Volume Licensing — and where Azure is available — are authorized to buy Azure in Open Licensing from partners.
Microsoft enabled partners to begin selling Office 365 in March 2013.
Microsoft will make a price list preview for Azure in Open Volume Licensing on July 1, 2014, a couple of weeks ahead of the Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 show in Washington, DC.