Many organisations have already transitioned their IT environments to the Cloud: healthcare, construction, and not-for-profit are just some sectors that we have worked with who have made this choice.

For other organisations, who are just commencing to explore their own Microsoft cloud journey, or want to accelerate the pace of their journey, this blog is for you!

Here we list the most frequent reasons why many organisations choose to purchase their Microsoft cloud subscription from a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).

There are alternative methods you can access and acquire subscriptions to Microsoft’s three Clouds – Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Azure. These options are Enterprise Agreement (EA), Open Programs, and Microsoft Product and Service Agreement (MPSA). You can read in more detail about these options here, but we summarise how these largely differ from CSP below:

  1. Commit to minimum number of seats (EA is minimum 500, other methods vary between minimum of 5 for Open Licensing or 250 for MPSA).
  2. Commit to a minimum 3-year agreement.
  3. Upfront software investment on purchase, which needs capital expenditure.
  4. Only a basic level of support services is included from Microsoft direct.

What is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)?

Microsoft defines Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) as accredited partners who are active participants in a program that enables them to manage its cloud customer’s end-to-end software services life cycle. Having the status of a CSP enables partners like Professional Advantage to directly sell, provision, support, and bill our clients instead of Microsoft. This partner-led cloud subscription purchase program is only available for Microsoft’s public clouds, namely Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Azure.

CSP has two licensing models;

  1. Indirect (Tier-2) and
  2. Direct (Tier-1)

and listed below are the key differences.

Professional Advantage falls under the Direct CSP category.

DirectIndirect
SourceLicenses are directly sourced from Microsoft, no middleman involved.Licenses are sourced from an Indirect Distributor.
SupportProvides local IT support services to clients, with direct access to Microsoft support if escalation is needed.Support is dependent on the SLAs by the Indirect Distributor.
BillingAutomated billing is done by the Direct CSP partner to the client.Billing is done by Indirect CSP to the client.
Added ValueHas either unique application IP solutions to offer, managed services packages, and/or any custom application development capability to offer clients on the Microsoft cloud platforms.Not applicable.
SLAsStrong SLAs backed by direct support from Microsoft.SLAs dependent on the Indirect Distributor.

Why is CSP a top choice for most organisations?

Purchasing Microsoft Cloud subscriptions via a CSP like Professional Advantage lets your business benefit from the following:

1/ Pay only for what you use.

Get the flexibility to add or remove seats to your subscription at your discretion and receive billing only for that usage. No more upfront software investment.

2/ Monthly invoicing.

Your CSP partner will bill you monthly for your subscription. No more need to pay via your credit card.

3/ Local support.

Your CSP partner will be your main point of contact for any technical or billing support concerns related to your subscription.

With Professional Advantage as your CSP partner, we take your Microsoft software investments further with:

4/ 3 clouds. 1 partner.

We are one of the few Australian Microsoft Gold Certified Partners who can deliver BOTH software and IT services needs to our clients. We have more than 30 years of experience as an IT services provider, placing us in a unique position for you to quickly convert your software investments beyond just user provisioning or mailbox migration. We take it further by providing complex solutions from application development, security, change management, user adoption, and proactive support for your Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure investments, helping you to further maximise your software investments.

5/ Eliminate overlapping IT costs.

Consolidate your Microsoft software and services vendors to help you better manage your IT operations. Remove overlapping costs that can potentially go with engaging separate CSP and IT services provider. Professional Advantage has a team of solution architects and cloud and infrastructure consultants that can advise on both your license and IT services needs.

6/ Better Support Service Experience.

Professional Advantage, being a Tier 1 CSP partner, is in direct contact with Microsoft which means we do not wait on a distributor to pass on any issue that you may have. Your users will have a streamlined and improved support experience by contacting only one provider for support concerns about software, technical, and billing matters or project-related, post-production issues. You may call our client support hotline, email, or log your support tickets here.

3 cloud capability

Is CSP cloud subscription purchasing right for you?

We can help you take out the guesswork of determining whether or not CSP is the right licensing acquisition structure for you, along with a personalised assessment on how you can quickly utilise it. Sign up below for a commitment-free assessment.

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