RealTime IT News

Microsoft Dangling Higher Payouts

Microsoft  announced that it is heeding complaints from its partners and will make higher payouts and make a broader set of deals eligible for its Security Software Advisor (SSA) program.

The SSA program, launched in July, is intended to give security partners incentives to incorporate Microsoft's Forefront products into their security practices

Channel partners are Microsoft's lifeblood, and the company is certainly not about to anger such an important constituency during the initial rollout of its new operating system.

Microsoft said it will pay advisory fees to eligible security channel partners of up to 30 percent on most commercial, government and educational licensing programs.

"We are making these modifications to the SSA program to further recognize the critical role of our partners in helping keep customers secure," Steve Brown, director of product management for the Security and Access Products Group at Microsoft, said in a statement.

"To support our security partners in that role, we are committed to continued investment in both the Forefront product line and innovative partner programs like SSA," he added.

All deals consummated since the program was launched in July will be eligible for the higher payouts, a Microsoft spokesman told internetnews.com.

Forefront is intended to help enterprises protect their IT environments against intrusion from all sorts of malware while providing secure access to applications and data.

The company found at least one partner among the 1,700 member of the SSA program who was mollified by the raise.

"As members of the Security Software Advisor program, we are pleased that Microsoft has listened to our calls for a broader advisor fee program," Michael Goldstein, vice president of LAN Associates, said in a statement.

Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint were launched earlier this month to help businesses protect Exchange Server 2007 and 2007 versions of SharePoint Products and Technologies against malware, spam, inappropriate content and unwanted files.

In November, the Forefront Client Security public beta was launched to protect laptops and server operating systems from viruses, worms, spyware, rootkits and Trojan horses.