Changes to the Microsoft CSP Direct Program
by Mark Adams, on 1 Jun 2018, 11:28:32
Ten good reasons you might want to keep your CSP Direct Status.
If you are a Microsoft direct CSP partner and have been investing in building your practice, you might have been surprised at Microsoft's latest announcement that will require Microsoft Direct CSP partners to purchase Advanced Support to continue on the program. At $15,000 per annum, this might represent your license margin for 5-7500 Office 365 seats. Microsoft have also stated that Direct CSP partners should:
'Provide at least one managed service, IP service, or customer solution application.' and 'Enable billing and provisioning infrastructure.' From our experience, many Direct CSPs are already meeting this criteria.
Below, we have listed ten reasons why you should consider swallowing this slightly bitter pill and stay as a Direct CSP partner.
1. Your customers are YOUR customers, and you want to keep it that way.
2. Office365 and Azure is only a part of the all-up customer offer, and you need to do everything you can to protect the whole revenue and margin.
3. As you offer more complex Azure-based solutions, you will probably raise more support tickets with Microsoft and so having good quality support from Microsoft is going to be important.
4. This move may remove your smaller competitors, making your CSP Direct offer more unique and valuable.
5. Your existing and new larger customers will want to deal with a CSP Direct provider. (They figure out this is how they will get the best customer experience).
6. Building out your digital portfolio of SaaS and Public cloud will only be possible if you use an automation solution to provision, manage and bill.
7. Having a recognized support escalation path to Microsoft can form part of your unique selling proposition towards `high-quality' customer base.
8. Avoid being a "me-too" Microsoft reseller with limited opportunity for differentiation.
9. If your enrolment period is before August 31st, 2018 you have over a year to get your CSP business growing, automated and profitable.
10. Use a platform like Cloudmore to build Office365 and Azure into your customer self-service offer alongside your other SaaS and cloud offers.
For some partners with a smaller practice, working through an indirect CSP Distributor may be the best choice, but if you have already made investments and intend to grow your Office365 and Azure business, then we hope this positive look at these recently announced changes helps.