Leveraging Azure CSP instead of SPLA

Azure is just a data center outsourcer.  Designed for both enterprise customers and service providers, it provides solutions that fit both business models.  In this article, we will review four scenarios on how different solution providers and end customers can leverage CSP.

Scenario 1

An end customer has many vendors in which they purchase various technology services from. They would like to outsource their IT infrastructure to Azure but are concerned about adding another vendor to their already complex portfolio.  The ultimate goal is to consolidate vendors and work with one strategic partner.   How would CSP work for this customer?

The customer could purchase Azure from a Tier 1 CSP partner who has a platform to manage consumption and make recommendations based on spend.  Secondly, they can use the CSP Tier 1 partner for support.

Scenario 2

A hosting provider who has a signed SPLA agreement would like to resell Azure to their end customers.  The hosting partner has very limited resources internally but would like to still control the billing.  How would CSP work for this customer?

The hosting provider can partner with a  CSP Tier 2 partner and resell Azure to their end users.  The Tier 2 partner will provide the support, while the hosting partner provides the billing leveraging the Tier 2 partners platform.  Because the hosting provider is leveraging Azure, there is no need for SPLA.  All Windows and SQL would be provided by Azure.

Scenario 3

A hosting provider has an application that they lease from another company.   The hosting company  would like to provide this application as a service to their end users leveraging Azure.

The hosting partner can buy an Azure agreement (through CSP or any other program) and use Azure as a platform to host the application.  Again no need for SPLA, they are purchasing the licenses from Azure.

Scenario 4

This last scenario is not CSP per se, but another example on how a service provider can leverage Azure.  Let’s say a customer has an application that they developed.  The application uses Excel to deliver data from the server environment.  The hoster purchased Windows with Software Assurance and would like to use the Windows HUB benefit to pay a lesser amount using Azure.  In other words, the hosting provider would like to outsource their data center environment but leverage the licenses they already purchased to provide software as a service.

Unfortunately, the hosting provider cannot use the Windows HUB benefit in this scenario. Although Windows HUB does allow customers who purchased Windows Server with SA the ability to pay a lesser amount, the fact remains they are using their own licenses (Windows Server with SA) to host an application that does not qualify for self-hosted.

The hosting provider could purchase Azure in the same way as  previous scenarios but they cannot leverage the benefits of perpetually owned licenses because the product (Excel) is not self-hosted eligible.

Clear as mud?  We are just getting started my friends!

Thanks for reading,

CSP Man