What is the Cloud Solution Provider Program?


What is the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program?

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program enables partners to directly manage their entire Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. Partners in this program utilize dedicated in-product tools to directly provision, manage, and support their customer subscriptions.Partners can easily package their own tools, products and services, and combine them into one monthly or annual customer bill.

How do I participate in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program?

CSP is an invitation-only program. Work with your local Microsoft contact to understand the CSP business and technical capability requirements and submit a nomination. Upon invitation, you will be asked to sign a contract and complete the CSP onboarding process.

What are the benefits of CSP?

By participating in the CSP program, you can benefit from the following:

  • You are the first point of contact for your customers’ needs
  • You own and control the billing cycle
  • You sell integrated offers and services – one sales motion to drive services, attach, and upsell
  • You receive in-product tools to directly provision, manage, and support your customers

Are there partner investments required?

New investments will vary based on your current practice. Areas to consider:

  • Ability to transact billing on a monthly and/or annual basis
  • 24/7 end customer billing and technical support in local language
  • Local tax implications of selling a subscription product versus a service
  • Adjustments to your sales incentive programs to reflect monthly revenue recognition
  • Management of credit risk and collections
  • Risk of transaction fraud

How does this benefit customers?

Customers can more easily purchase partner tools, products, and/or services with their subscription in one predictable monthly bill. Beyond the inherent benefits of the cloud, customers will have more frequent partner interactions which can serve to deepen the relationship. Studies show that 67% of customers expect to purchase a wide variety of cloud services from a single vendor and 84% of customers want an established relationship with a vendor to trust them as their Cloud Service Provider*.

How does this impact the way I sell today?

The cloud and product value of Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Intune, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Azure are exactly the same. This is simply one of the business models partners can consider when selling Microsoft cloud subscriptions. If you have the resources to provide complete customer lifecycle management and want to own the customer billing and support relationship, this model may be a great fit for your business.

Is this a new channel model?

The Cloud Solution Provider program has two models of enrollment available for partners. Partners should evaluate and choose a program that best meets their business requirements.

The 1-Tier model is a high capability model where partners work directly with Microsoft and they sell to their customers. If you select this model, you will take the responsibility of providing your end customers’ product and billing support.
If you don’t have support and billing capabilities today, and you currently work with distribution partners, the 2-Tier model is the right choice for you. In this model, you will own the customer relationship and the CSP distribution partner will provide the end customer billing and product support.

Which customer segments can I sell?

You can sell to any commercial customer. Enterprise Agreements may offer additional discounts, but this will vary based on your value added services offering. Although pricing pressure may be felt at deals with larger seats (e.g., 1,000), there is no seat cap.

Which products can I sell in this program?

You can sell all major commercial suites and standalone products for Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Intune, Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. Details on available and future markets, platform capabilities, new services, and associated product sections are updated on the Microsoft Partner Network Cloud Solution Provider resource portal.

For more information, please feel free to contact First Distribution on: microsoft.csp@firstdistribution.com

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