Microsoft introduced at present that it’s ditching a lot of its huge giveaways of cloud credit in trade for serving to startups promote their merchandise by means of the corporate’s gross sales workforce, in partnership with accelerators and enterprise capitalists across the globe. It’s a part of the Microsoft for Startups program, the most recent iteration of the tech large’s work with up-and-coming corporations.

The tech titan’s BizSpark program, which supplied hundreds of in free cloud credit, together with free entry to Office 365 and Microsoft’s Visual Studio developer instruments, is now not accepting new purposes, and the corporate shall be eliminating it as soon as the advantages expire for corporations already in this system.

Instead, Microsoft is concentrated on working with corporations in its freshly rebranded ScaleUp accelerators and accomplice organizations like Y Combinator to advertise their companies by means of its gross sales workforce and accomplice community. Access to Microsoft’s greater than 40,000 salespeople, together with that workforce’s set of current relationships with companies, might drive vital gross sales for startups which are promoting to different corporations. (Members of these packages additionally get entry to as much as $120,000 in Azure credit.)

But Microsoft additionally stands to learn. Startups that wish to make the most of the co-selling assist might want to construct their merchandise on Microsoft Azure, not one of many firm’s rivals, like AWS, which at present holds the lead within the cloud market. Companies don’t must run solely on Microsoft’s cloud, nonetheless.

Microsoft beforehand supplied entry to co-selling alternatives to corporations backed by its company enterprise arm. Expanding that provide to ScaleUp members brings in additional groups, past those that are proper for an fairness deal. The extra groups Microsoft can get on board with the co-selling program, the extra groups it could get constructing on high of Azure. As corporations develop, their use of Microsoft’s cloud ought to develop with them.

Last yr, Microsoft Ventures chief Nagraj Kashyap advised VentureBeat that the overwhelming majority of startups the corporate invests in are utilizing clouds that compete with Azure on the time of the deal, and the tech titan doesn’t power a change. However, the promise of co-selling was a carrot that the workforce might dangle in entrance of corporations to encourage a migration from one cloud to a different.

Microsoft gained’t simply throw startups within the deep finish. Its program is designed to assist corporations make sure that their product and go-to-market workforce is able to work with the corporate’s gross sales group, in order that it’s a useful expertise. That mentioned, Microsoft will nonetheless must show that the co-selling profit is value switching platforms, or constructing an utility on high of Azure from an organization’s first line of code.

Overall, Microsoft is committing $500 million (roughly 1.7 p.c of its income final quarter) over the subsequent two years to assist startups as a part of this system, by means of joint gross sales engagements, free software program, and expanded Microsoft Reactor neighborhood areas.

This article sources info from VentureBeat