Microsoft created the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) to enable partners to work with and hep customers throughout their lifecycle with Microsoft Azure. Through this program, the CSP Partner directly provision, manager and support a customer’s Azure service. Not all Azure partners are created equal, a good CSP partner should have a proven track record with a full suite of technical capabilities from cloud architecture to end-user support. Premier CSPs are selected by Microsoft to also become designated Partner Sellers (P-Sellers) of the Azure Solution Suite.
Who can become a Microsoft CSP Partner?
Microsoft is one of the largest, most recognizable names in IT, and with hybrid cloud, Azure has become one of the fastest growing public clouds in the market. From international managed service providers to mom and pop IT shops, everyone wants to feature Azure as their flagship cloud offering. Microsoft is selective when picking a CSP partner because it must ensure that these partners adhere to high service level standards. To become and maintain a CSP certification at a minimum, a CSP partner must offer:
- Value-added services – These include other Microsoft offerings such as Office 365, Microsoft Teams and anything that falls under the Azure Managed Services
- Reliable Tier 1 Support – 365/24/7 IT support and monitoring
- Simple, unified billing – A CSP partner must be able to provide all Azure cloud services and solutions through one single invoice
- Access to the Azure Portal – A CSP Partner should be an expert on the client Azure Portal to help analyze and manage cloud spending
Microsoft has also developed two elevated tiers to help customers make a more informed decision based on Microsoft’s own criteria. Here’s how they define it on their website.
- Earn a Silver membership to demonstrate your consistent capability, expertise, and commitment
- Earn a Gold membership to demonstrate your best-in-class capability within a specific Microsoft solution area
What are the benefits of working with a Microsoft Azure CSP Partner?
When you work with a Microsoft CSP partner, you gain access to all the features and scalability of the Azure cloud driven by Microsoft, while still getting the personalized service of a local company that can take personalize their services to help your business success. Here are 6 reasons to work with a Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider.
- Reduce expenses and eliminate redundant/overlapping services by architecting a public, private, hybrid or multi-cloud solution – all on one single invoice
- Improve efficiency with all cloud and IT services by designating a “quarterback” (CSP) to coordinate all aspects of your IT
- Local support with an escalation path directly to Microsoft with an advanced support agreement and single point of contact
- Design and deploy customized solutions for your business requirements – Only pay for what you need
- Allow you to retain control of what you want to control, and hand off all other IT aspects that are out of your scope or allotted resources (time, management, availability, etc.)
- Offer 365/24/7 support with monitoring and proactive management to reduce downtime and improve delivery