Microsoft's Director, Partner Business & Development, Phil Goldie, says that partners will need to adapt to suit, building their own apps and service offerings within the Cloud.
The key focus for Microsoft's new Cloud Service Provider (CSP) program is driving profitability for all parties involved.
"We're being very deliberate in looking at how our new programs tie back to profitability for partners, no just in the incentives sense, but in terms of how we can shift the market forward," he said.
The new program essentially allows customers to build their own IP on top of Microsoft's Azure stack, and they also own the direct monthly billing relationship with their customers.
He says the problem with products such as Office 365 for partners is that once its deployed, its taken out of their hands customers then have a direct line to Microsoft in terms of features. It's a single deployment opportunity.
Goldie wants to see the platform develop as a Cloud eco-system, similar to an app store, that will allow partners to build their own features and apps in the stack.
Microsoft's new FastTrack deployment program, which has received a lot of publicity over the past few months, essentially means that the company is utilising hundreds of engineers to reach out to potential 365 customers to help them with the onboarding steps.
There has been some pushback from partners that have seen a source of revenue go dry, especially when they've been part of Office 365's success to this point.
"The fundamental reaction has been concern, of course. Ive taken a few calls about it. Help me understand what this means. Most of these discussions take 9-10 minutes," he said.
"Yes, that's been a great opportunity for partners over the past three years, and something we really needed then. But that's now moving towards the wrong side of the customer value equation. Customers just want to get to the service quickly. The more cost effective, in this case, free, we can make that, the faster we can deliver it. Then we will deliver funding back to partners to deploy the other services which is where the real value is to customers.
"We lay out the opportunity and what the program really does. I haven't met a partner that has pushed back after that. Most of the time once the partners once they really understand the context of it, they realise its going to be a really great program."
The risk then for partners is, what if they design an app, a new feature, or a new product that Microsoft subsequently adds to 365?
"The answer is you're going to have to place multiple bets. What we will continue to do - because that's what these platforms are designed to do is operate with massively efficient scale," he said.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.