February 26, 2024

Microsoft Solutions Provider, also known as CSP, is a licensing program that offers customers flexible monthly/quarterly/annual billing for Microsoft cloud services. It enables partners to easily bundle their own tools, products and services with Microsoft’s core cloud products.

To qualify for a Microsoft Solutions Partner designation, you must meet the criteria for each of the three Azure areas. You must also meet requirements in the Performance and Customer Success categories.
Cost-effectiveness

Choosing the right Microsoft solutions provider can significantly cut costs by helping organizations avoid expensive infrastructure, resource and license fees. In addition, a solution provider can provide a cost optimization strategy that is tailored to specific workloads.

A certified Microsoft solutions partner can help businesses with strategic guidance and align technology roadmaps to their overall business goals. They also act as an extension of the customer relationship, managing everything from licensing to deployment to ongoing support. They also offer a single billing transaction, reducing complexity and eliminating hidden costs that can end up costing businesses more than they expect.

Microsoft recently launched a new set of benefits packages, including access to Copilot, GenAI, and Azure tools, for solution providers. These are aimed at solution providers in different stages of growth. The three packages are Partner Launch Benefits, Partner Success Core Benefits, and Partner Success Expanded Benefits. The company is expected to roll out additional benefits over time.
Flexibility

The flexible licensing and billing features of Microsoft Solutions Provider make it a great choice for customers who want to save money on infrastructure and focus on their core business. It also allows them to scale up and down license counts in a flexible manner, aligned with staffing levels. This helps them reduce costs and increase ROI.

The CSP program offers a full end-to-end customer experience with dedicated in-product tools that enable partners to manage all aspects of the customer subscription lifecycle — including billing, provisioning and support. It’s a true reseller model, shifting the traditional relationship with Microsoft from purchasing products and services through an Enterprise Agreement to a trusted partner who manages all of the details on a unified platform.

The program has three benefit packages that can be purchased in addition to the CSP licensing. These are designed to help Microsoft solution providers build their offerings and demonstrate their capabilities. The Launch benefits package is geared for newer partners, while the Core and Expanded benefits packages offer more advanced capabilities.
Security

Microsoft offers multiple security solutions to protect endpoints, applications and data. These include Azure Active Directory Premium, Intune and Azure Information Protection. These tools work together to protect against cyber attacks and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Data#3 can help you decide which solution fits your business needs and budget.

To qualify for the Solutions Partner Designation for Security, you must meet valuation requirements based on both Azure security workloads and Microsoft 365 usage and performance. This metric measures the growth of Azure security services and associated customer deployments across the qualifying categories. Points are calculated based on the net number of new deployments in a qualifying category.

Security is an important aspect of your business operations, and you need to choose a trusted Microsoft solutions provider to keep your organisation secure. A professional Microsoft solutions provider will provide you with comprehensive security measures that will protect your data from unauthorized access and minimise the risk of downtime.
Reputation

When it comes to finding a Microsoft solutions provider, you want to ensure that they have a reputation for delivering outstanding customer service. Their support services should include 24*7 assistance with addressing business issues and operational hiccups. In addition, they should provide technical and business expertise to help you make informed decisions.

The new Microsoft Solutions Partner designations offer incremental benefits to help you stand out from the competition. The six Solutions Partner designations align with specific solution areas. To qualify, partners must meet requirements in performance, skilling, and customer success. New customer-facing badges are also available to qualified partners. These will be available from October onwards in Logo Builder and in the Microsoft Solutions Partner Program website.

Once you find the right MS solution provider, ask them to sign a Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA). The MCA creates a licensing relationship between you and your chosen partner. Depending on their partner tier, they may be able to manage billing and technical support directly (Tier 1 CSP partners) or through a distributor (indirect CSP partners). The MCA includes terms and conditions regarding your use of the software and your reporting obligations.

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