What is a Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider)?

What is a Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider)?

What is the Microsoft CSP Program?

Simply put, Microsoft describes its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program as delivering the best cloud solutions to fit customers’ business needs, by means of deeper engagement and added value.

Buying through the CSP Program means that an organisation purchases a ‘pay as you go’ consumption arrangement with a trusted Microsoft partner, rather than directly with Microsoft.

So is CSP just a Licensing platform?

Although the CSP program enables your to purchase Microsoft licenses (including Microsoft public cloud subscriptions such as Microsoft Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), Azure, and Dynamics CRM Online) from its network of partners, the benefits of CSP go far beyond just being a licensing program.

Microsoft CSPs are trusted, holistic partners that offer a comprehensive cloud-based platform, allowing organisations to partner with a single provider for all their cloud strategy; licensing, road mapping, implementation, user productivity, user adoption, security, and ongoing managed services.

Why Should My Company Leverage a Microsoft CSP Partner?

Over the past couple of years, the Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) Program has quickly become the de facto preferred method to purchase Microsoft cloud licenses, with more and more licenses (now even including ‘on-premises’ licenses) being pushed towards CSP.

Microsoft is encouraging its customers towards its Cloud Solution Providers, having designed the program specifically for their partners to add value to a customers’ cloud experience through guidance, support, and ultimate billing flexibility – it’s all about putting the control back into the hands of the customer.

Successful cloud adoption requires the utmost care in planning and deployment and is certain to provide long-term advantages for your business. Having a CSP partner on hand to offer support and guidance can help organisations through this process of planning and deployment, using a dynamic set of practices in a proven, controlled approach.

Key Benefits of Purchasing Through CSP:

1) Flexibility

Flexibility and control is the biggest immediate benefit to customers. The Microsoft CSP Program was launched to offer customers flexibility and the ability to purchase on a utility-based billing model – or a ‘you only pay for what you use’ approach. You can scale your licenses up or down on a monthly basis and you often get more monthly payment option, as well as simplified billing through one provider.

2) Guidance Around Licensing and Adoption

The trusted network of CSP partners is relied upon by Microsoft to ensure that a customer is able to adopt and deploy the full value of their Microsoft licenses.

With CSP, an organisation has one partner looking after their Microsoft cloud licenses, enabling you to draw on that provider’s expertise and skills to improve the usage and adoption of your services, enabling you to maximise the benefits of your investment.

3) Local Support

As part of the Microsoft CSP Program, it is mandatory that your chosen CSP partner provides technical support directly, designed to provide hands-on assistance and quick response times. This gives you a single point of contact with Microsoft experts to leverage their skills and knowledge for all your Microsoft cloud needs. Microsoft can still provide support (to your CSP partner who will contact Microsoft on your behalf) to ensure that any issues with the cloud platform or service itself can be rectified where necessary.


Do I need to sign any Microsoft agreements?

You will order your cloud subscriptions directly with your Microsoft CSP partner and will receive support and invoices from them too. However, Microsoft remains the owner of the intellectual property of the cloud software solution, which means that Microsoft determines the conditions for use. As a result, you must sign the Microsoft Cloud Agreement when completing your order with your chosen CSP Partner.

Who will invoice me?

Your chosen Microsoft CSP Partner will invoice you monthly. They will handle the payment for the cloud subscriptions with Microsoft, directly or through a Microsoft distributor. There is nothing to worry about from your point of view, your CSP partner is the only prover you have to deal with for billing and invoicing.

Will I still maintain Admin Control?

Yes, you can still retain full admin control over your Microsoft Office 365 tenancy and Azure subscriptions.

Can I end my CSP licensing agreement at any time?

Yes, this is one of the main benefits of the CSP program – it is based on a monthly subscription. This means that you can enter an agreement in any month and stop at any time on a monthly basis. However, it is worth noting that some CSP Partners require a mandatory first 12 month commitment so this is worth bearing in mind before entering into any agreements. The CSP Program was designed with flexibility in mind and therefore you can alter your subscription, services, and number of licenses, on a month by month basis.

Can I change to a different CSP Partner?

Yes, you are free to transfer to any other CSP Partner of your choice. You need to cancel you current agreement and set up a new agreement with another CSP Partner, which is a seamless process with no downtime or disruption to your services.