WHAT IS THE MICROSOFT CSP PROGRAM?
CSP stands for Cloud Solution Provider and the CSP program enables partners, like Opal Business Solutions, to sell Microsoft’s cloud services to its customers. However, it is more than a licensing program. The CSP model is designed for the partner to add value to its customers’ cloud experience via support, billing flexibility, and expertise. With this program, a customer effectively has a buy or pay-as-you-go consumption arrangement with their partner, rather than directly with Microsoft.
CSP Key Customer Benefits
There are numerous benefits to customers, but we see the following as most important:
Flexibility is our biggest benefit to our customers. You only pay for what you want or use. Let’s use Microsoft 365 as an example: If you have 100 Microsoft 365 licenses and wanted to add 50 licenses for a specific project and then get rid of them two months later, you can. You will be billed in a completely logical way that follows your license usage e.g. 100 then 150 for two months and then back to 100. In the case of Azure, you simply pay for what you used the previous month.
By procuring through a Microsoft CSP, you will be gaining access to Microsoft’s strong service level agreement which defines the crucial aspects of the service like responsibility, quality, and availability between the service provider and the customer.
Going the CSP route opens up opportunities to gain discounts from the Registered Refurbisher Program (RRP). CSP partners need to take on a level of support, billing, and license/subscription management duties. Potential discounts from RRP are dependent on the wrap-around services you are procuring from Opal.
As a CSP provider, we are the point of contact and receive your support calls in relation to the service. We triage these calls and pass them on to Microsoft if required. We are also the point of contact in case of a problem (technical and billing & subscription support). Contact us to discuss our enhanced cloud support services offering which complements CSP.
You can have one partner looking after all your Microsoft Cloud licenses and drawing on their expertise and skills to enable you to maximize the benefits of your investment.
Each month you will receive a bill for the Microsoft 365 licenses you are using and/or the Azure consumption you have used. No need to use your credit card anymore. If you do want annual billing, please contact us!
NO UPFRONT BILLING
There are no upfront licensing costs.
What is the New Commerce Experience?
Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) aims to simplify the license purchasing and management process between customers and Cloud Solution Providers (CSP). The NCE for Microsoft Azure launched in 2019 and now includes Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Windows 365, and the Power Platform. With the NCE, Microsoft hopes to reduce licensing complexity and provide cost savings for long-term commitments. To learn more about the New Commerce Experience, contact our team at Opal!
FAQS REGARDING THE CSP PROCESS
Will I still maintain admin control?
Yes, you can still have full admin control over your Microsoft 365 tenancy and Azure subscriptions.
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 e.g. Backup Vaults and Express Route. 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 discuss options for items that are not so easily moved between Azure subscriptions.
Who will invoice me?
Opal 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 license my on-premise licenses via CSP?
No. You currently can only license cloud services via CSP.
Can I see billing information in Azure ARM portal?
No, as a CSP customer, this area will not be accessible. Some billing information is available via a separate portal.
Can I change CSP providers?
Can I leave CSP?
Will access to my tenancy or subscription be terminated if I do not pay my bill?