Cards on the table, we know Microsoft’s cloud offerings are transformative. But we also know that with great power comes...great complexity. Which is why it is more important than ever to have a trusted partner to navigate the opportunities and challenges that come with this brave new cloud world.
Especially when it comes to cloud licensing. Licensing cloud services can seem simple and care-free at the start, but like many things in technology initial appearances can be deceiving.
So how does your organization get the benefits of the Microsoft cloud without creating a licensing nightmare? Enter: Cloud Solution Providers (CSP).
What is the Microsoft CSP program?
Essentially the CSP program enables you to purchase Microsoft Cloud services from a Microsoft Partner (like Emergent Software) vs buying them through the Microsoft website.
These cloud services include MS Azure infrastructure and platform services, as well as SaaS products like Microsoft Office 365, Dynamics 365, and PowerBI.
Now, why introduce a CSP middleman if you can just buy direct? I’m glad you asked! Here are 3 Key Reasons to Utilize a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider:
1. Tailored and understandable billing
Cloud licensing and billing are complex and working with a CSP can create clarity because the CSP can tailor the billing to the client’s specific context. For many of our CSP clients we include their Azure costs as line items in their monthly invoice so it is easy to quickly see which services were utilized and how much they cost. And since we are buying Microsoft cloud services in larger quantities than most businesses are, we can access discounted pricing that is much more affordable than the Pay-as-you-go model.
Also, rather than charging cloud services on a company credit card, CSP billing is a more business-friendly invoicing process. You can work with a CSP to tailor that invoicing process so certain charges are monthly, quarterly, or annual based on the specific service/license context.
2. More efficient & effective support
When working with a quality CSP you can get more efficient and effective support because (a) they are familiar with your environment, (b) they are incentive-aligned to keep you happy and growing, and (c) they have access to priority support to open tickets with Microsoft when needed.
Microsoft is operating at a scale that makes it almost impossible for them to provide quality and timely support to everyone using their services, and that’s where CSPs come in. CSPs bridge the gap and enable a much broader pool of organizations to strategically utilize Microsoft cloud services. Long story short, CSPs win when their clients win because client growth and retention lead to that sweet, recurring revenue. And this incentive alignment creates a virtuous cycle where it is in CSPs ‘enlightened self-interest’ to satisfy their clients so those clients will continue working with that CSP which enables CSPs to grow sustainably. Which leads us to the most important reason to work with a CSP:
3. Trusted, long-term partnership
As the saying goes, change is the only constant and that is especially true in the cloud. Which is why engaging with a CSP can and should be a trusted, long-term partnership that enables mutual growth. A quality CSP will lean-in to the ‘trust but verify’ practices of engaged clients through regular candid communication and continuous improvement efforts.
These ‘scale-appropriate’ partnership interactions are what differentiate the delightful experience of ongoing collaboration with a CSP from the confusing, friction-filled experience of purchasing cloud services directly.
First, CSPs are not for everyone. If you are a hobbyist spinning up a personal project or a Fortune 25 Enterprise then there are better options for you (Pay-as-you-go and Enterprise Agreements, respectively). But for most of the SMBs and mid-sized Enterprises that we work with, partnering with a CSP is the strategic choice.
There is compounding value in a long-term partnership with a CSP because:
more efficient/effective support +
= more time/energy for you to focus on strategic, transformative efforts.
Want to learn more? Give us a shout. We would love to learn more about your current context and candidly discuss if/how we can support your cloud/data/software roadmap.
To enable comments sign up for a Disqus account and enter your Disqus shortname in the Articulate node settings.