Microsoft is widely recognized as one of the ‘big three’ leaders in cloud computing, and the corporation’s Azure service is one of the largest and fastest growing public clouds on the market. Who in the IT reseller market wouldn’t want to hitch their wagon up to that train? But Microsoft also has a reputation to maintain and standards to uphold, so the requirements to become a Microsoft Direct Cloud Service Provider (CSP) are quite strict.
Here are the criteria you must meet to attain Tier 1 status:
Microsoft Direct CSP Requirements
I have purchased a Microsoft support plan. The minimum requirement is to buy Advanced Support for Partners which starts at US$15,000 per year. Microsoft packages offer various levels of break/fix support. Find out more about the support plan options here.
I can provide at least one managed service, IP service, or customer solution application built around Microsoft cloud services in order to add value.
My business has enabled a billing and provisioning infrastructure.
What are the advantages having Direct CSP status?
Direct CSPs own the end-to-end relationship with the customer and with Microsoft. This allows Direct CSPs to provide continuity in the customer experience, making it easier to build better business relationships longer term.
By investing in growing your CSP model to qualify for CSP Direct partner status you can also advertise the benefits of a robust order management infrastructure, quality support capabilities, your own value-added services and operations of scale. These attributes and the Direct CSP label are likely to attract customers (and especially larger enterprises) looking for the guarantee of a high-quality, end-to-end cloud management service.
What if I don’t yet have the required billing and provisioning infrastructure?
Direct partners are required to use automation to manage their billing, provisioning and customer support. And, while this requirement might sound like a tall (and expensive) order – it doesn't have to be.
Cloudmore is a CSP bespoke, SaaS delivered, multi-tenant cloud brokerage enablement platform that streamlines price management, billing and provisioning processes.
The Cloudmore solution provides a consolidated user experience that consists of two parts:
A cloud aggregation and brokerage platform that allows you to view and manage all of your users and services.
A cloud marketplace for your customers to discover, buy, manage and deploy their new products and services.
Importantly, Cloudmore is very simple and quick to set up. The platform can be running in sync with your existing business systems in a matter of hours, plus there are no upfront costs to contend with. This means that, even if the CSP Direct requirements deadline is looming, you and your teams can make the systems switch without the headache. Our team helps you from start to finish.
How will Cloudmore support my CSP business?
One of the topmost reasons a growing number of direct CSPs choose Cloudmore, is the company’s 15 years of experience successfully working with Microsoft. Our developers have used their in-depth knowledge of cloud subscription services over years to create a platform that is continually evolving so that we can help our customers stay on the cutting edge of CSP automation development.
In broad terms, Cloudmore helps you to manage the full customer life-cycle, including sales, service delivery and billing from a single pane of glass.
If we pin down some of Cloudmore’s most important features for direct partners, they are:
The platform’s ability to automatically sync with the Microsoft Partner Center to update pricelists and subscriptions, making it easy for you to reconcile supplier costs and view margins at a service and customer level.
The facility to sell any product in the platform, including those supplied by other vendors, distributors, as well as your own personal range of services. The platform supports one off purchases, as well as subscriptions, free trials and bundles.
The growing Cloudmore catalog of services that you can import instantly to expand your online portfolio and increase customer adoption and utilization.
Cloudmore does more than just help you meet Direct CSP requirements
Cloudmore doesn’t just optimize your operations, drive efficiencies and give you the in-house capability to bill and support customers at scale.
The Cloudmore platform is designed to help you and your customers move beyond traditional network offerings such as security or VoIP and equipment-based sales, to an expanded roster of new managed and cloud services.
In a recent IDC study, Microsoft partners reported earning US$9.64 in revenue for every US$1 of Microsoft revenue generated in 2017. This is expected to continue through to 2022 and includes a mix of software (45%), services (50%) and hardware (5%), that are sold in relation to Microsoft solutions.
Cloudmore recognizes that in order to compete in a crowded market, CSPs need to have the facility to easily procure, provision and manage their full solution (including hardware) and their processes, people and financial transactions in one place.
We make sure that all product configuration, pricing, quoting, order management and contract lifecycles are a one-time activity, freeing up more of your teams’ time to focus on growing and refining your expanded offering for a greater number of customers.