July 15, 2021

Changes to Cloud Solution Provider you should know about

By Alex Perez

A women looking to her left

As a cloud company, Microsoft is committed to helping you and your customers succeed and grow through digital transformation. We want to make it easier for you to help your customers move to the cloud, take advantage of new offers, and capitalize on the growth of the cloud technology market. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in the Microsoft Partner Network and our new commerce experience to accelerate your ability to drive cloud adoption for customers.

For partners who sell to small or medium-sized business customers, the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is the primary engine for sales. Through the Cloud Solution Provider program, you can combine your services with other partner solutions to create unique offers that help you stand apart from the competition.

Not yet selling in CSP? It’s time to begin! Learn how to get started below.

There are two important changes to the availability of software in CSP that you should get ready for.

1. Start shifting open license customers to CSP

In January of 2021, we added perpetual software licenses (without Software Assurance) to the Cloud Solution Provider program for commercial customers and made them available for Government, Education and Nonprofit in July 2021. With perpetual software now in CSP, you can manage both subscriptions and perpetual software licenses in the same place. That saves you time and money! You’ll be able to grow your practice with new services and offerings that help customers transform their businesses. Plus, you can support customers with hybrid environments who want to work with a single partner.

The Open License program will continue to be available to you and your customers until December 31, 2021. However, as of January 1, 2022, no renewals of Software Assurance and online services or new purchases of software licenses can be made through the Open License program. New license-only purchases should be transacted through the Cloud Solution Provider program.

Next steps

2. Migrate customers from the previous Azure offers in CSP to the new commerce experience offers for Azure in CSP with Azure Plan

If you have not been migrating customers to the Azure Plan, it’s time to get started. We committed to keep the previous Azure offers in CSP available alongside the new Azure Plan experience for some time. Starting July 21, 2021, with phase one of the Azure Plan change, the previous offers will no longer be made available to net-new partners and net-new customers purchasing via CSP.

Phase two of the Azure Plan change will begin sometime during calendar year 2022. At that time, incentives and margin opportunity will be removed from the previous Azure offer.

The new commerce experience for Azure in the Cloud Solution Provider program gives you more opportunities to build and deliver managed services. You’ll be able to adapt to customers’ changing needs and grow your customer base. You can showcase your products in Azure Marketplace and combine your services with other partner solutions to attract new customers.

You’ll also find that customer transactions are easier to manage, and that pricing is consistent across channels. New tools make it easier for you to acquire and manage customers.

Next steps for Azure partners

Not selling in the Cloud Solution Provider program? Enroll today!

Today, 80 percent of small businesses use the cloud to support some or all their business processes.3 The public cloud services market is expected to grow 23 percent worldwide to reach $397 billion next year.4 The bottom line is customers are in the cloud and that’s where you should be too!

Microsoft is committed to making it easy for partners and customers to transition to the cloud. We are also committed to making your cloud practice a success. Microsoft partners in the Cloud Solution Provider program generate 60 percent of Microsoft partner transactions.6

According to IDC, for every $1 of Microsoft revenue, the partner ecosystem generates more than $9 from value-added services provided on top of Microsoft offerings. 7 With CSP, you move beyond reselling licenses, to become more involved with your customers’ businesses. CSP helps you:

  • Develop deeper relationships with customers
  • Build new recurring revenue streams
  • Increase your profits through offers that package your own value-added services alongside Microsoft cloud solutions

Next steps



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1 SMB and Midmarket hybrid cloud adoption likely to explode exponentially, Techaisle, February 2021
2 Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 23% in 2021, Gartner press release, April 2021
3 Techaisle, February 2021
4 Gartner press release, April 2021
5 Microsoft IDC ebook, sponsored by Microsoft: Digital Transformation 2.0 – The Journey to Disruption e-book. August 2020
6 Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program web page
7 Microsoft IDC ebook: August 2020
8 Microsoft IDC ebook: August 2020


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