No commitment. Pay for what you use each month” says the Microsoft Pay-as-you-Go website, which will no longer exist as we know of starting February 1 of 2017. Microsoft will be “guiding” new customers to use the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to acquire any of the Azure subscriptions. Even though you won’t see the pay-as-you-go option from Microsoft, don’t panic, there’s an explanation.

Azure image

What’s the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program?

Microsoft announced the CSP program a couple of years ago as a response from partner’s feedback. The CSP program is a channel directed service, which allows them to directly provision customer subscriptions and provide one monthly bill for both Partner and Microsoft services.

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

Microsoft, when creating the program, said: “We will automate repeatable and consistent elements of deployment, relying on partners to lead onsite work, remediation, scheduling, program management, complex identity work and other tasks. Our goal is to attach a partner to every customer for early onsite services, as well as follow-on work. We expect this new “concierge” style service to significantly increase the opportunity for leads to our best-performing partners.

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Learn more about ➡ VSAN from StarWind.

What Actually Means the Cancellation of the Pay-as-you-Go from Microsoft?

Even though it could actually sound like a horrific update in Microsoft policy, it’s not actually what you think. Microsoft is looking to favor partners, forcing customers to use the CSP program. Instead of paying directly to Microsoft, customers can still use the pay-as-you-go option from partners in the CSP program.

There isn’t a price difference for customers, and new customers will be guided towards CSP from the 1st of February. Existing customers through the Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MSPA) will still be able to pay on the pay-as-you-go model.

Azure AD to cloud apps

Microsoft’s decision to change customers in MPSA licensing model towards CSP is a clear indicator that they realize the value of having a larger ecosystem participating in the Azure transaction opportunity.

The CSP program will allow partners not only to sell the proper cloud product (Azure, Office 365, CRM Online, etc.); but also engage directly with customers to provide professional and managed services.

What we can know for sure is that these are good times to be a Microsoft partner.






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Augusto Alvarez
Augusto Alvarez
Augusto is currently working as Principal Consultant in Dell EMC, originally from Argentina and now based in the US. His role currently is designing customer requirements into specific systems and processes; also performing technical briefings; leading architectural design sessions and proofs of concept. Augusto is also the author from two published App-V books: “Getting Started Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.6” and “Microsoft Application Virtualization Advanced Guide”.