Mastering Microsoft CSP

A Guide to Unlock Customer Subscription Success

Mastering Microsoft CSP: A Guide to Unlocking Customer Subscription Success 

This guide delves deep into the essence of managing Microsoft customer subscriptions, pretending to offer unique insights and strategies.

Leveraging our expertise into this market, we aim to simplify the complexities of the CSP program, empowering partners to proceed with assurance and confidence.


The Foundation of Customer Management in CSP 


  • Establishing a customer record in the Partner Center or using a platform such as CloudCockpit to do it, is the first critical step, as it allows partners to sell subscriptions to their customers. 


  • This step is essential to ensure that partners can provide personalized solutions, leveraging the extensive catalog of Microsoft Software as a Service (SaaS) products published by independent software vendors (ISVs) in the commercial marketplace (Azure Marketplace), thereby maximizing business opportunities and will try to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • In addition, some offers are limited to one subscription per customer, a restriction that can be verified on the Partner Center Price Lists page. 

It is important to note that only direct-bill partners or indirect providers can sell subscriptions to customers.

Steps for Creating Subscriptions 

  • Customer Selection: Choose from a list of registered customers. 
  • Subscription Addition: Choose from the available offers in the SaaS market. 
  • Available Filters: To refine the search for desired subscriptions. 
  • Understanding Restrictions: Important for choosing the correct offer. 

Exploring Offers with Unique Constraints 

  • Multi-geo Add-ons: Require a minimum number of seats based on the percentage of the customer's base seats. 
  • Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365: Maximum seat limits based on the quantity of base seats. 


Customizing Subscriptions: Beyond the Basics 

This section explores the strategic importance of selecting the right billing type, understanding the nuances of enterprise, small business, or trial categories, and navigating the constraints of unique offers.  

The ability to customize and update subscriptions with add-ons reflects the program’s flexibility. The new commerce experience offers CSP partners flexibility in managing their customer subscriptions, particularly in adjusting license seats. 

Here’s a breakdown of what partners need to know: 

Increasing Licenses:

  • Licenses can be added at any time, with billing adjustments reflected in the subsequent invoice, providing partners with the agility to respond to customer needs promptly.

Decreasing Licenses:

  • A decrease in license seats is permissible within the first seven days of adding seats, whether at the initial purchase, upon renewal, or at midterm, ensuring partners can correct or adjust license allocations quickly. 

Trial subscriptions:

  • The new commerce experience (NCE) have fixed 30-day terms and 25 licenses, cannot be cancelled, or suspended but allow disabling auto-renewal anytime within the period.
  • After expiration, they enter an "Expired" state with 30 days of retained access.
  • If auto-renewal is not disabled, trials automatically convert to paid subscriptions. ClouCockpit automatically disables auto-renewal to prevent unexpected charges. You can easily enable it if needed. Read more.

Steps for Adjusting License Seats 

To modify license seats within the permitted timeframe, partners should:


  • Sign in to Partner Center or a platform such as CloudCockpit and navigate to the 'Customers' section. 

Select a Customer:

  • Choose from the list for whom the adjustment is needed. 

Update the Subscription: 

  • Choose the relevant subscription and modify the license seats on the details page. 

Submit Changes: 

  • Confirm the adjustment by submitting, with the system automatically calculating any prorated refunds if licenses are decreased within the allowed period. 


  • You can ensure that new subscriptions or renewed subscriptions align with your term end dates. Read more. 

Note: Partners are reminded that license reductions are subject to proration, and any attempts to decrease licenses outside the seven-day window will be met with an error message. 

Upgrading Subscriptions 

New commerce also introduces the ability to upgrade subscriptions, moving customers to higher-tier services seamlessly: 

Types of Upgrades:

  • Full and partial upgrades are supported, allowing partners to tailor the upgrade path to the customer’s needs. 


  • Upgrades are initiated from the Partner Center or CloudCockpit, with partners selecting either a new subscription or an existing one for the upgrade.
  • The choice of subscription, term duration, billing frequency, and license seat are all selectable options. 

Note: Upgrades are immediate for active subscriptions, with no cancellation windows applied, signifying that decisions are final once submitted, have this in mind. By mastering these elements, partners can unlock new avenues of growth. 


Subscription Management with Coterminosity in New Commerce Experience (NCE)

Understanding Coterminosity 

Coterminosity is a feature enables CSP partners to align the end dates of new or renewed subscriptions with existing term end dates, providing a streamlined approach to subscription management.

This capability is particularly useful when managing add-ons or aligning subscription renewals with fiscal years. 

Benefits of Aligning End Dates: 

  • Simplifies add-on management by synchronizing terminations and renewals. 
  • Aligns subscription renewals with fiscal years for better budget allocation. 
  • Offers a consistent and efficient invoicing experience by standardizing the billing period to a calendar-month charge cycle. 
  • Provides flexibility in setting custom term end dates for groups of subscriptions. 

How to Align End Dates 

Aligning end dates can be achieved directly in the Partner Center, through Partner Center,  APIs or using a platform like CloudCockpit, offering flexibility in how partners manage their subscriptions. 

In Partner Center or CloudCockpit: 


  • Specify the End date Alignment value when purchasing a new subscription or managing renewal settings for an existing subscription. 

Calendar-month charge cycle:

  • Opt to align the end date with the calendar month during purchase or renewal. 

Using Partner Center APIs: 

  • Utilize the Get Custom Term End Dates API to see valid end dates for new subscriptions.
  • The customTermEndDate field allows for setting a precise end date at purchase or during renewal settings adjustment.

Price List Preview and Change Frequency 

Microsoft updates CSP price lists on the first day of every month, covering various services: 

  • License-Based Services: Includes Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security E3, and Dynamics 365. It offers both current and preview pricing, along with an offer list matrix detailing market availability. 
  • Usage-Based Services: Covers Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio, supported by the Azure Services in CSP Pricing Calculator for accurate cost assessments. 
  • Microsoft Azure Reserved Instances: Offers pricing for Azure Reserved Instances in all supported currencies. 
  • Software Subscriptions: Provides term-based software subscription pricing. 
  • Azure Plan Pricing: Includes information for Azure plan consumption and reservation pricing, with data refreshed daily. 
  • Marketplace: Features pricing for ISV solutions from Microsoft's commercial marketplace. 

Strategic Insights for Pricing Management 

  • Stay Updated: Regularly review price lists and offer matrices to stay informed about the latest pricing changes and special offers. 
  • Use Available Tools: Leverage tools like the Azure Services in CSP Pricing Calculator to accurately forecast usage-based service costs. 
  • Plan for Changes: Anticipate and plan for price changes by utilizing preview pricing information, ensuring budget alignment and customer satisfaction. 

Pricing and Special Segments 

CSP partners must navigate the pricing landscape intelligently, considering: 

  • List vs. ERP Prices: Understand the difference between list prices and estimated retail prices (ERP) to accurately convey costs to customers. 
  • Billing Frequency: Adapt to customers' billing preferences, whether monthly or annually, and understand the pricing implications of each. 
  • Foreign Exchange Rates: For partners billing in currencies other than USD, staying updated on daily foreign exchange rate changes is crucial for accurate billing. 

Add-On Offer Types

Add-on offers provide CSP partners with opportunities to enhance their service offerings: 

  • Align Offers with Customer Needs: Tailor add-on recommendations to fit the specific requirements of each customer, enhancing value and satisfaction. 
  • Stay Informed About Market Availability: Utilize the offer list matrix to understand which add-ons are available in your market, ensuring relevancy in your proposals. 

Navigating Marketplace Pricing 

The commercial marketplace offers a wealth of ISV solutions: 

  • Market-Specific Pricing: Prices for marketplace solutions are retrieved per market, necessitating a nuanced understanding of regional pricing strategies. 
  • Daily Data Refreshes: With marketplace data refreshed daily, partners should regularly check for the most current pricing information to maintain competitive and accurate offerings. 

Elevating Customer Engagement through Advanced Management 

Advanced subscription management is not just about maintaining the status quo but about pushing boundaries to enhance customer engagement.  

From the intricacies of suspending or canceling subscriptions to the art of managing trial conversions and renewals, each action taken by partners is a step toward solidifying customer trust and loyalty.  

In conclusion, the journey through Microsoft CSP’s subscription management is a testament to the program’s robustness and the opportunities it presents for partners.