Getting Started in the CSP Business — A Comprehensive, Quick-Start Guide

The Microsoft CSP Program: a booming opportunity

Why you should consider the Microsoft CSP Program

  • Customer lifecycle ownership: CSP partners play a much more active role in the customer journey, pre- and post-sales, developing and embedding deeper customer loyalty. The post-sales opportunities from the ongoing revenue that comes with the renewal of CSP licenses, and uncovering further needs, are vast.
  • Upselling and cross-selling: The strong customer relationships the model drives foster the sales of more and different Microsoft CSP licenses. Many partners also forge strategic partnerships, helping customers deliver their IT roadmaps and securing high-value accounts in the process. You might start by providing Office365 E3, but later expand this to include SharePoint, EMS, and Skype — and then add Azure, and Power BI too.
  • IP Acceleration: As you get to know your customers’ needs, the CSP stack becomes a launch pad to add your own services and software IP, like managed security, disaster recovery, or consulting services.
  • Agile provisioning and billing: The model is inherently agile. Both partners and customers can manage CSP provisioning — adjusting it as needed. This is mirrored in a single, automated, bill, that can reflect service changes in real-time. Monthly or quarterly billing makes administration easy and provides regular touchpoints to deepen relationships and drive revenue.
  • A flexible partnership model: There are both direct provider and indirect reseller options. The choice that best suits you (see below) will depend on how much you prefer to invest, and the level of commitment you want. Indirect resellers can still sell all Microsoft’s cloud solutions, but partner with a Microsoft distributor to access more costly infrastructure and support services.

What can you sell as a CSP partner?

  • Microsoft 365 and Office 365: Sell the established Office suite or bundle it with email, cloud storage, streamlining tools, advanced analytics, and security.
  • Dynamics 365: Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications that deepen customer relations and optimize their operations.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise: The enterprise version of Microsoft’s latest operating system.
  • Microsoft Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS): An intelligent mobility management/security platform.
  • Microsoft Azure: A build and deployment tool for IT projects, with new, integrated features constantly being added. It covers operating systems, development tools, business analytics, servers, storage, and networking security.

Direct and Indirect CSP providers: What’s the difference?

  • Cloud business size: You’ll need to already be generating $300k in annual recurring revenue as an indirect reseller.
  • Billing and provisioning: You need the infrastructure in place to handle any type of customer transaction.
  • Customer support: You must offer 24/7 customer support, via an Advanced or Premier Microsoft Support Plan — minimum investment of $15k.

Which model is best for you?

Why you need a Cloud Automation Platform

  • They put customers in control, unlocking the cloud’s power: The cloud offers unprecedented IT flexibility. Solutions can be tailored and added at will. But sometimes, the speed of communications between customers and CSPs waters down this key benefit. By investing in a platform that can automatically scale services — instantly — successful CSPs empower their customers and unlock the cloud’s full flexibility.
  • Crystal-clear billing, with no surprises: Low capital outlay is a key benefit of cloud solutions, but use-based billing can also deliver nasty surprises, as customers scale up. Tracking and invoicing across a myriad of cloud services can be daunting too. Successful CSPs solve this through an automated billing platform. As well as better customer service, the pin-point accuracy it provides enables customers to scale up their cloud usage with confidence.
  • Seamless integration with customers’ IT environments: Customers invariably have their own environments that they want to retain on-premises. CSP provision works best when seamlessly integrated with these. This means a platform that offers data synchronization and APIs that can link cloud services to applications with minimal effort.

What the interworks.cloud platform can offer you

  • A one-stop CSP automation solution: From customer and reseller self-registration on your branded marketplace, to recurring billing, automated provisioning, CRM, ticketing, reporting, and more.
  • Accurate, automated billing: Easily create billing rules for even the most complex scenarios. Use it for credit control, free first billing periods, reconciliation with Microsoft, utilization-based billing, multiple charging types, and much more.
  • Automated provisioning: Rapidly set up and sell cloud services to your resellers and customers, with automated delivery and on-demand ordering. Provision any service, from any cloud — and save time by using pre-made provisioning automations.
  • Zero time to market: Get up-and-running in a matter of days with interworks.cloud’s Customer Success Playbook and personalized support. Use our auto-updating and pre-populated catalog to get ahead of the competition and start selling immediately.

An interesting opportunity?

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
interworks.cloud

Τhe interworks.cloud platform has been enabling CSPs, MSPs, and ISVs to rapidly grow their ecosystems and automate their cloud distribution processes.