Moving from a Microsoft direct partnership to an indirect partnership

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Announced back in October, Microsoft has introduced two new requirements that direct Cloud Solution Partners must meet before their next enrolment period after August this year (2018).

Direct CSPs must now purchase a support plan from Microsoft and demonstrate a few key capabilities. The support plan options are Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners or Microsoft Premier Support for Partners.

The Advance Support provides problem resolution, response time SLA of less than an hour for critical issues, and the ability to manage support incidents on a customer’s behalf. Premier Support is a more expensive and comprehensive solution that is fully customisable and provides cover across multiple geographies.

There are also two notable capability requirements. One is that partners provide at least one managed service, intellectual property service or customer solution application. The other is that the partner must demonstrate a billing and provisioning infrastructure.

What’s the Difference between Direct CSP and Indirect CSP?

As you’d expect from the name, Direct CSP partners work directly with Microsoft, buying all SKUs from Microsoft and reselling them to their customers. A decently resourced support function is essential as a Direct CSP, as historically there’s been little technical support available from Microsoft on this programme (this has now changed with the support plans required and mentioned above).

In addition to being able to provide 24/7 support to customers, Direct CSPs must have a billing system in place and now purchase one of the support plans from Microsoft and offer a capability solution as defined by Microsoft.

In contrast, if you work as an Indirect Partner, the process and requirements are much less onerous. SKUS are purchased from a CSP distributor such as Giacom, so there’s no need to be an expert in technical support issues. On top of this, you’ll be offered billing support, and white label marketing collateral to help you grow your business, without the need to liaise with Microsoft.

Deciding which CSP Distributor is right for you

If you’re one of the many Direct Cloud Solution Partners who are now looking to move to an Indirect model, it’s worth checking that your potential distribution partner can add value to your business in the areas that matter most to you.

For Managed Service Providers or Value Added Resellers (VARs) looking to resell Microsoft solutions, the Giacom Cloud Market offers an easy way to provision licences – it’s simple to use, provides a streamlined way of monitoring, controlling and sharing spend data and offers a wide range of solutions from leading vendors.

With best-in-class technical support, migration support and a marketing hub that provides free sales and technical collateral to help you grow your business, we believe Giacom is well placed to help you transition from Direct to Indirect CSP.


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