Jumping on the CSP track is critical to being a “transformed” or “evolving” LSP partner for Microsoft. For a customer in the past, the key to being a good Microsoft LAR partner or LSP reseller was helping the customer manage their “T-36” or the 36 month (3 year) period from the start of a net new Enterprise Agreement (EA) through to the end date/expiration. With every EA, there comes some mandatory steps for the customer, whether it is the annual True-Up compliance, Software Asset Management support or preparing for Renewal in year three.
However, with the evolution to the cloud, subscription-based licensing models, and “Next Generation Volume Licensing” programs such as the MPSA that essentially have no expiration and simply run perpetually, there needs to be a new way of thinking. Microsoft also needs LSPs who are ready to help Microsoft and their mutual customers align to this thinking as well.
What must be understood is that for Microsoft, it is not only selling a license to a product solution (or right to use/access on devices). Most critical is the adoption, use of, deployment of, and consumption of said product solution. It’s not just a “T-36” that must be followed, but even more important, is a T+1. In other words, within one month of the purchase/download of said technology, Microsoft needs the customer to be deploying and actively using the solution purchased.
Customers who purchase cloud seats for solutions like Office 365 or Azure that go unused, non-consumed or non-deployed lead to long-term dissatisfaction and open the door to long-term competition for both Microsoft and the Microsoft LSP partner. Those partners who are aligning themselves to Microsoft’s evolution and transforming themselves clearly will be in the lead and best able to support those customers considering a similar transformation to the “mobile-first, cloud-first” world too. Customers that are considering a similar transformation, want to be sure they are working with a partner who is not just licensing-ready but also cloud solution-ready.
With Rethink we deliver a turnkey solution for Microsoft LSP and CSP partners and enable them to manage EA and CSP agreements in one portal. We enable enables service providers to quickly launch Office 365 CSP services via a cloud marketplace with automated ordering, bundling, billing and provisioning. Combined with our Azure Expert Center that can develop and manage individual solutions, our partners start from the pole position into race about the biggest cloud opportunities.