What is the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program?
The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program is a new licensing model for purchasing Microsoft online services such as Office 365. This model allows end customers to purchase from their reseller and pay for this monthly. The reseller in turn purchases and pays monthly via distribution. Up until now the only way for customers to purchase Office 365 and pay monthly has been direct with Microsoft through the Advisor model. CSP brings the flexibility of the Advisor model to the channel.
What is the main difference between CSP and Office365 through Open?
The CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) model allows customers to pay monthly for Microsoft Online Services like Office365. Office365 through Open Licensing requires a 12 month upfront payment.
Who will own the billing relationship to the customer?
The Reseller will own the relationship through Dicker Data.
How do Resellers benefit?
The main benefit to Resellers is that they own the billing relationship with the end customer. Resellers are now able to offer the same flexibility that has previously only been offered by purchasing direct from Microsoft. By having access to monthly billing for Microsoft products, Resellers can now include these products as part of a single monthly charge to their end customers, bundled with, or in addition to other products and services.
• Resellers are the first point of contact for all their end customer’s needs
• Resellers own and control the billing cycle (monthly or annually)
• Resellers create unique financing options
• Resellers sell integrated offers and services – one sales motion to drive services attach and upsell
Which products can Resellers sell in this program?
Resellers can sell all major commercial suites and standalone products for Office 365, Windows Intune, and EMS. A full list is provided at
Note: reseller must have a valid MPN ID and current MOSPA agreement.
Which Customer segments can partners sell?
Resellers can sell to any commercial end customers.
Are all of the Office 365 SKUs offered?
All commercial major suites and standalone products will be available. There are currently no Non-Profit, Government or Academic SKUs available at this time.
How does this benefit End Customers?
End customers can more easily purchase Reseller tools, products and/or services with their subscription in one predictable monthly bill. Beyond the inherent benefits of the Cloud, end customers will have more frequent Reseller interactions which can serve to deepen the relationship.
How much revenue can Resellers make?
As the Reseller who will own the billing relationship, it is entirely up to the Reseller to sell the CSP licensing at a price they deem appropriate. Resellers are expected to increase revenue by including their own service and support offerings
How does this impact the way the channel sells today?
The Cloud and Product value of Office 365, Windows Intune and EMS are exactly the same. This is simply one of the business models Resellers can consider when selling Microsoft cloud subscriptions. If you have the resources to provide complete end customer lifecycle management and want to own the end customer billing and support relationship, this model may be a great fit for your business.
Are there Reseller investments required?
New investments will vary based on your current practice. Areas to consider:
• Management of credit risk and collections
• Ability to transact billing on a monthly and/or annual basis
• Adjustments to your sales incentive programs to reflect monthly revenue recognition
When will Microsoft communicate directly with a Reseller’s End Customers?
As a general principle the expectation is that Resellers manage the communications with their end customers. Since Resellers own the end customer billing relationship, Microsoft will not send communications directly to end customers related to their subscriptions. Microsoft may communicate directly with end customers as it relates to operation of the service, such as important information on service incidents. Note that many end customers have existing commercial relationships with Microsoft, and Microsoft will continue to communicate directly with these end customers related to these other products and services.
What prevents Microsoft from taking End Customers direct?
This program was designed to place Resellers at the centre of the end customer relationship. Resellers own the billing relationship and are established as the first point of contact for their end customers. Microsoft will not communicate directly with end customers about the services they purchase through Resellers.
When would I offer CSP rather than O365 through Open?
If there is a lot of change in the end customer’s environment which means that their needs change from day to day or month to month, CSP is a great option as it allows them to have that flexibility. This level of flexibility may also be useful if they are unsure of where to start with their licensing/transition to the cloud or if they are unclear of what their IT needs may be in the future.
Keep in mind, you can also mix and match Open Licensing or Advisor with CSP. This allows even greater flexibility, and allows the reseller to tailor their solution to fit more end customers.
Does the Reseller retain access to the End Customer’s tenant?
Resellers retain all current capabilities to manage and support the end customer’s tenant.
What do Resellers need to know?
Terms and Conditions are per the standard Terms and Conditions of Sale with Dicker Data. These require the Reseller to provide the end user with the Microsoft Cloud Agreement available here:
Dicker Data will also authorize the Reseller e-mail domain. These will be the only email addresses approved to make any adds/changes/deletions for tenants on which the Reseller is the partner of record.