May 29, 2019
Cloud services make many things easier, but it’s important to find the right solutions for your organization. Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners can help organizations through the process of planning and deployment. They enable you to make the transition to the cloud, keep your customers happy, and have a seamless experience along the way.
What is the Microsoft CSP program?
CSP stands for Cloud Solution Provider, and the CSP program enables partners like Convverge, to sell Microsoft’s cloud services to our customers. However, it is more than just a licensing program. The CSP model is designed so that we can add value to our customer’s cloud experience via support, billing flexibility and advice. With this program, a customer effectively has a pay-as-you-go consumption arrangement. Further, Microsoft is shifting away from individual service and is encouraging companies to work with CSPs. Cloud adoption requires the utmost care in planning and deployment and working with a CSP like Convverge provides certain advantages and benefits.
What benefits do I receive?
There are numerous benefits to working with a Microsoft CSP, but the following are the five most important:
- Flexibility: This is probably the biggest benefits to our customers. You only pay for what you want or use. In the case of Office 365, say you had 700 Office 365 licenses and wanted to step that up by 50 licenses for a project or peak in business, and drop it again two months later, you can. You will be billed in a completely logical way that follows your license usage e.g. 700 then 750 for two months and then back to 700. In the case of Azure, you simply pay for what you used the previous month, much like a phone bill.
- Monthly Billing: Each month you will receive a bill for the O365 licenses you are using and/or the Azure consumption you have used. No need to use your credit card anymore. Also, there are no upfront licensing costs, unlike traditional licensing options (enterprise agreements etc.). If you prefer annual billing, then please speak to us.
- Discounts: Going the CSP route opens up the opportunity for you to receive discounts on your Microsoft services and licensing. This is a huge upside from pay as you go services obtained directly from Microsoft. CSP partners like Convverge need to take on a level of support, billing and license/subscription management duties, but discounts are available across most Microsoft Cloud services and licensing options.
- Local Microsoft Support: As a local CSP provider, we become your primary point of contact and receive your support calls regarding your Microsoft services. Where necessary, we will deal directly with Microsoft on your behalf, where our support requests are returned and addressed in a very timely manner – usually hours. As your CSP partner we are the point of contact in case of a problem (technical and billing & subscription support), which relieves you of this task.
- Expert Advice and Guidance: As you are already likely aware, Microsoft’s service offerings and licensing can be complex. With Convverge as your CSP, you can have one partner looking after all your Microsoft cloud licenses and are able to draw on our expertise and skills to enable you to maximize your technology investment.
Will I still maintain admin control of my tenant? Yes, you can still have full admin control over your Office 365 tenancy and Azure subscriptions.
Who will invoice me? Convverge will invoice you monthly. We get invoiced indirectly from Microsoft on a monthly basis for all the CSP spend attributable to our customers. We just take this data and generate an invoice for your specific spend.
Can I migrate existing Azure Services to CSP Azure? Yes, we will first need to undertake a review of your environment to understand if there are areas that will not easily move. We then schedule some engineering time to move you to the new subscription. This would all aim to be done without loss of service. We would obviously discuss options for items that are not so easily moved between Azure subscriptions.
Can I license my on premises licenses through the CSP program? No. Currently you can only license cloud services through the CSP program.
Can I change CSP providers? Yes, you are free to transfer to any other provider of your choice, at any time. However, we hope the complimentary services offered by Convverge are of value to you, and therefore encourage you to stay.
Can I leave CSP? Yes, since CSP is a monthly subscription you can join CSP any day, during any month of the calendar year, and likewise you can stop participating at any time. Remember, CSP gives you the flexibility to alter your subscription, in numbers and services, per month.