Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program – The Value of the Indirect CSP Model

In October 2020, Microsoft announced that they would be making significant to their Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program, effective January 2021. The first of these changes was an introduction of a higher performance standard as part of the direct bill partner requirements, requiring all Direct Partners to have $300k in CSP revenue for a rolling 12 months. Additionally, Microsoft is requiring that partners use the Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners Tier 1 Support Package as part of their offerings, starting at $15k. If a partner is unable to meet these updated requirements, they will have to re-enroll as an Indirect Reseller in the CSP program, working with a Microsoft Distributor (Indirect CSP Provider). New partners who want to join Microsoft’s CSP program will have to begin as an Indirect Reseller.

Along with these updated requirements, Direct CSP Partners are still expected to maintain Microsoft’s Gold and Silver competency requirements. For many partner companies to meet these new requirements, the cost, investment, and time they have to put into maintaining Direct Partner level significantly increases. ROI starts to diminish with the added extra layers of requirements, and those most affected will be smaller partners. But this doesn’t mean that you have to lose your cloud momentum – the key is transitioning to the Indirect CSP Model, with the right Indirect CSP Provider to support your business.

To begin to understand the advantages of the Indirect CSP Program, we need to understand how it works. As an Indirect Reseller, you work with Indirect Providers, such as Stratos Cloud Alliance(SCA), who provide the tools and resources to help you manage your customer relationships. With the indirect model, you purchase through the Indirect Provider who collaborates with you for customer support and billing in the Cloud Solution Provider program. By joining as an Indirect Reseller, you can accelerate your go-to-market with minimized operational complexity.

By working with an Indirect Provider, these new requirements will not directly affect you. Your indirect partner will be responsible for upholding the Gold and Silver Certifications, maintain the $300k performance standard, and providing the Tier 1 support through Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners. You can still offer your customers all the solutions and support, but with lower risk, lower investment, and a quicker time to market.

Stratos Cloud Alliance offers a partner program supporting Indirect CSP resellers’ Microsoft Cloud initiatives, uniquely offering deep specialization in Microsoft Dynamics 365 business solutions. With SCA as your Indirect CSP Provider, you will have a dedicated Partner Development Manager (PDM) to serve as your support with all solutions. In addition to your PDM, Stratos Cloud Alliance has over 33 years of experience with subject matter experts (SME) in all areas of the Microsoft Cloud – Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365. A unique difference is that SCA provides all the services a partner needs to build a profitable cloud solutions business with Microsoft Dynamics 365. In addition to offering partners a comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft Cloud Business and Productivity Solutions, ISV Products and Tools, and Support Services, SCA allows the flexibility to move to a cloud partner model at the pace and investment level that is right for you. By leveraging SCA’s Indirect partner program, you have the opportunity to make a margin on all the products and services that you offer to your customers. In addition, SCA can help you quickly build a new practice or area of expertise with our UpNOW Workshops that gets you to market in days, no experience needed.

So now, Direct Bill CSP partners need to choose at the time of their anniversary renewal: Stay in the direct bill program and strive to meet Microsoft’s new requirements or transition to the CSP Indirect Reseller program.  SCA is helping to make the transition to the Indirect Reseller program with ease and confidence. Introducing our “We’ve Got Your Back” offer designed to provide current Direct CSP partners a fast and easy transition to the Indirect CSP Reseller model.


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