Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and IBM—looking tostoke demand for cloud computing services—are said to beshifting incentives for their sales representatives, pushing themto ensure customers become active users over the long haul.

Microsoft in July revamped the way it pays its salesstaff to tie incentives to how much customers actually usecloud-based software—rather than how many sign a contract for cloudservices, according to sales chief Judson Althoff. Oraclehas been rolling out new rewards for at least some employeesthat also are connected to customers' use of its cloud services,according to people familiar with the matter. And InternationalBusiness Machines Corp. in the past year has restructured its cloudsales team and tied compensation more closely to usage, accordingto other people with knowledge of the matter.

Traditionally, companies would ink large software deals based onfactors such as the number of a customer's devices—and notactual subsequent use of the products.

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