CSP by its nature is designed to provide different licensing and support options for the channel. In this post, I want to highlight a couple of those options and how you can partner with other CSP providers to satisfy your end customer.
According to the Microsoft Cloud Solution Program Guide, the CSP direct partner must invoice the licenses directly to the end-user. That’s fine in many instances, but what happens if you have customers globally, but only authorized in the USA? In other words, if you are authorized in US, but have a customer in Australia, how can you resell CSP to that end user? In walks our friend ‘Multi-Channel”.
Option 1: The end customer in Australia could set up shop in the US and use an US address to receive licenses leveraging your CSP USA authorization . The problem with this (especially in Australia) is latency issues and billing. The address on the invoice is where the datacenter location will be but the users will still be in Australia.
Option 2: The CSP authorized reseller in the USA could partner with a CSP reseller in Australia to procure the licenses. In this model, the USA CSP partner would provide all the support for their Australian customer, but another partner would provide the licenses.
I like option two the best. Most MSP’s and other solution providers do not make money from the licensing, they make money from supporting the solution. Leveraging another partner will take care of the customer and both parties will be happy. What do you think? Is Multi-Channel a good idea?
Thanks for reading,
Disclosure – There are always updates and revisions to every licensing program. This blog is for educational purposes and will update accordingly.
CSP is one of the few programs (outside of SPLA) in which end customers have access to Microsoft technologies but really don’t know how they are licensed. In the end, that’s one of the values of outsourcing your IT management to a CSP provider. If a CSP provider is doing their job, the end customer shouldn’t know that they are buying CSP. All they should know is they are buying a managed service. The rest is on you, the CSP provider, and with every other Microsoft program, there are rules you must follow to maintain compliance and make CSP as seamless as possible. In this article, we will look at how billing works internationally.
The first thing to remember is you can only sell to customers in your region/market. The good news? There are several countries per region. In other words, if you (as a CSP partner) have an account in a country, you could use the account for every country in that region. As an example, if you have an office in the UK, you can transact with a customer in Italy because by Microsoft’s definition, Italy and UK are in the same region. What happens if you are not authorized in your customer’s region?
Let’s provide an example. Manage IT Services is CSP indirect authorized provider in the US. They have an end customer who wants to switch from their current provider in Australia. The existing domain is attached to the customer’s local physical address in Australia. How can the Manage IT Services support this customer?
They have three options:
- If they are CSP authorized in Australia, they can manage it from their Australia office. CSP is regionally authorized, so a transaction via the partner portal (in country) would be required. The customer’s invoice location listed on the AU tenant would also mean the CSP partner would also have to be listed as a CSP provider in region.
- If they are not CSP authorized in Australia, they can partner with another CSP partner in AU. The CSP partner would provide the licenses, Manage IT Services would provide the support. This is not a very viable solution for several reasons (explanation further in this article).
- Have the end customer use a physical US address (if they have one). CSP is a monthly contract, so they could discontinue the AU tenant and start a new one in the new location. They would have to prove to Microsoft they in fact do have a US location. The problem remains that they are in Australia. There would be concerns over latency issues and support due to challenging time differences.
To sell into different markets outside of your own, your organization must create multiple accounts. Like other Microsoft programs, they require a physical address. In the case of CSP, the physical address must be attached to each domain. In the example above, the end customer has a domain tied to their AU location, making it very challenging for the US provider to transact CSP. If you are a service provider who operates globally, you might want to consider becoming CSP authorized in other regions.
I mentioned earlier that a CSP provider in the US can partner with another CSP partner in Australia to manage the licenses. There would be a two-step process for resolution support. The local partner in Australia would have to be listed as an additional delegated admin on the end customers tenant to be able to escalate to Microsoft for support. The bigger issue is latency and time challenges. To add another layer to this complex solution, the customer would receive multiple bills (CSP and you the MSP). Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Thanks for reading,
This is a new series on csplicensing.com called “Office 365 Scenarios.” The goal is to provide the reader with a licensing scenario for a typical Microsoft enterprise customer. Enjoy!
M & A Corporation is a large private equity firm with 500 employees worldwide. They currently have the Enterprise CAL suite under an Enterprise Agreement. They have one datacenter for mostly Exchange and SharePoint.
- Free up IT resources to focus on other projects besides managing a datacenter
- Identify a cloud partner to outsource their server environment.
- Senior executives need to have both On Premise and cloud solution for the same device.
- Find a collaboration tool to enhance communication between departments.
- Identify a solution for compliance and legal hold and email retention.
- Needed the solution yesterday and do not have time to wait for their agreement to expire.
- Issue 1&2 – Free up IT resources/Cloud Partner – The best way for M&A to free up IT resources without jeopardizing performance is to outsource their server environment to a third party. Office 365 plan E3 provides SharePoint, Exchange, Office Pro Plus, and Skype for Business.
- Issue 3 – On-Premise and cloud deployment for the same user- Office 365 has dual access rights. This means that if an end user who has a USL (user subscription license) has the equivalent of an on premise CAL. It does not include the server license. If M&A wants to continue to run on premise workloads using the dual access right, they must own the server license. Secondly, if they want decide not to use Microsoft datacenters for Office 365, they can use their Office 365 User SLs (as covered above) to access their servers deployed on third party shared servers/datacenters via License Mobility through Software Assurance. Again, they would need the server license with SA.
- Issue 4 – Collaboration tool – Transitioning to Office 365 E3 will give them access to Skype for Business Plan 2.
- Issue 5 – Compliance and Legal Hold – Office 365 E3 will give them Exchange Online 2 which includes Legal Hold; archives email for more than 10 years.
- Issue 6 – Agreement doesn’t expire. Since they have the ECAL, they can use the bridge CALs to transition from on premise to cloud for workloads not offered through Office 365 (Windows/SQL).
Thanks for reading,
The purpose of this article is for informational purposes only. The names are fictional and created by the author’s imagination. Any name or resemblance is pure coincidental.