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Microsoft CSP Program: A Comprehensive Guide for Potential Partners

Introduction to the Microsoft CSP Program


Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program has been a cornerstone in cloud strategy for partners and customers. Over the years, this program has expanded and evolved, offering a robust platform for selling cloud solutions. 

In this blog post, we delve into the CSP program, emphasizing how it works and the benefits of embracing the Microsoft cloud solution.

The CSP program affords partners the opportunity to offer Microsoft products and services, including Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365, in a way that complements their existing offerings and meets the specific needs of their clients.


How the CSP Program Works

The CSP program is designed for businesses eager to resell Microsoft products. The resale of solutions can occur in two different ways:

  • Direct: The partner meets all requirements to purchase solutions directly from Microsoft.
  • Indirect: The partner needs to buy Microsoft licenses through an intermediary, which purchases the solutions from Microsoft.

It’s a flexible business model that allows partners to manage the entire customer lifecycle, from sales to ongoing support. This fosters stronger relationships with resellers and customers by ensuring a positive experience at every stage.

Beyond selling Microsoft subscriptions, complementing your value-added service based on having a closer contact through ongoing support is the key to growing your business. 


Benefits of the CSP Program for Businesses

Once you become a Microsoft partner, you and your company gain access to technical and commercial resources. Below are some of the benefits listed.

  • Benefits for Resellers and Partners: Includes exclusive access to products and services, management tools, and marketing and sales resources, enabling partners to interact with Microsoft. 
  • Customer Relationships: Strategies for navigating the customer journey from the initial encounter to consistent support, aiming for deep and lasting business relationships that increase satisfaction and retention.
  • Access to Exclusive Products and Services: CSP partners have access to a wide range of exclusive Microsoft products and services. For example: Partner Community, Digital Marketing Content and much more to explore..
  • Co-branding campaign: You can also have the opportunity to create a case study in partnership with Microsoft. It can help you to increase your brand visibility and credibility too.

For more details, visit the Microsoft CSP Program.


Requirements: how to become a CSP Partner

For those interested in becoming CSP partners, the process includes several steps:

We will inform you an overview of eligibility and how to meet some of these topics, such as: Having an active account, recurring resale in the last 12 months, support guarantee, and other items, having the legal capacity to sign documents for the company, and more.

Here is a list of some information needed to fill out the CSP application, including:

  • An active membership in the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program and PartnerID for the location you want to sell in.
  • The authority to accept and sign legal agreements on behalf of your organization.
  • The ability to provide the first level of cloud product support to your customers.
  • A Microsoft support plan, either Advanced Support for Partners (ASFP) or Premier Support for Partners (PSFP), depending on your needs.
  • You must pass a credit check before you can purchase a support plan. 
  • Your organization must meet at least USD300K in Cloud Solution Provider program annual revenue during the preceding 12 months as an indirect reseller. 
  • Must transact as an indirect reseller for a minimum of 12 months.

You can learn more about some of the required information on the Microsoft Partner Center website.


Cost Management and Optimization in CSP

Cost efficiency is a very important pillar of the CSP program, highlighting:

  • Cost Management Tools: Recommendations on best practices and tools for monitoring and optimizing your resources.
  • Maximizing Performance: Strategies for leveraging cloud infrastructure to its fullest while keeping costs under control.
  • Recommended Tools: Exploration of tools and techniques for effective cost management.
  • Practical Examples: How companies can implement these strategies to achieve efficiency and optimize performance.
  • Microsoft Cost Management: You will have greater visibility over your Azure infrastructure spending, with reports, but it's not yet possible to view your margins and profits on a single screen. For this, it's important to use other tools like CloudCockpit.


Support and Resources Available for CSP Partners

The Microsoft CSP program offers comprehensive support, including:

  • Technical Assistance: Access to specialized technical support to ensure uninterrupted solution delivery. The possibility of opening tickets in various languages
  • Marketing and Sales: Marketing resources and tools to help promote CSP solutions and expand market reach.

However, it's important to emphasize that it's not Microsoft's responsibility to interact with CSP’s clients or communicate about the status of a particular subscription. In fact, Microsoft expects direct and indirect sellers to do this since they are the ones financially interacting with the clients.

Note: Communications from Microsoft to clients regarding subscriptions will occur in a targeted manner and only in specific cases, such as in the event of a systemic failure.

Some important requirements when offering support to your client include:

It's crucial to note that the end customer (the solution user) cannot create tickets directly with Microsoft. They need to open the ticket with a direct or indirect reseller, and that reseller must provide the first level of support to the customer. 

What you need: When customers contact you for support, you're required to:

  • Receive incoming support requests from customers.
  • Diagnose issues to the best of your ability.
  • Resolve issues within the scope of baseline support boundaries.

How to prove it: To fulfill your customer support requirement, you can:

  • Outsource all or part of the support structure.
  • Set up a structure to provide support directly.

You can charge for all or part of the support that you provide to customers. Be sure to tell customers the types of support you provide, the service hours, contact method, and the pricing if you're charging for support. In cases of extreme necessity, the CSP may escalate the ticket to Microsoft. Visit the Partner Center to understand more.


The Future of the CSP Program and Opportunities

We investigate emerging trends and how CSP partners can prepare to seize future opportunities. Encouraging innovation and the adoption of new technologies is crucial to maintaining relevance and long-term success in the CSP program.

This guide is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the Microsoft CSP Program, highlighting not just the benefits and opportunities it offers, but also how partners can qualify and thrive within this ecosystem.

By following best practices and staying informed about the latest trends, CSP partners can not only enhance their offerings but also provide solutions that truly meet the needs of their customers. Visit the official Microsoft website for more information on how to enroll in the CSP program.

If you are already a Microsoft CSP partner and want to understand how a tool like CloudCockpit can help scale your business, contact us through the form below.