Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting joined the Microsoft CSP program years ago as a Microsoft Indirect Reseller. Since we have been selling Microsoft Cloud solutions our customers have realized several major benefits by purchasing their cloud products through DCAC instead of purchasing them directly from Microsoft.
What is the CSP Program?
CSP stands for Cloud Solution Provider, and the CSP program enables partners like DCAC to sell Microsoft’s cloud services to its customers. However, it is more than a licensing program. The CSP model is designed for the partner to add value to its customers’ cloud experience via advice, support, and billing flexibility. With this program, a customer effectively buys the Azure consumption via the partner, rather than directly from Microsoft.
CSP Customer Benefits
- Pay for only what you use
One of the biggest benefits that customers see from buying their Azure and Power BI solutions from DCAC is that they have a huge amount of flexibility in what solutions they choose and how long they need to have those solutions. Because there is no lock-in as services can be scaled up and down at needed to match their business needs.
2. Monthly usage-based billing
When using Pay As You Go subscriptions, Microsoft has you enter a credit card that gets charged monthly. We don’t have that same requirement. Instead of using a credit card for charges, DCAC sends an invoice for the prior months Azure usage (the invoice is sent around the 8th of the month). This allows clients to pay by ACH, Wire Transfer or Check; whatever the normal payment process that the customer has. If you wish to pay by credit card, we do have methods to handle secure credit card transactions, however, they will be initiated by you the customer, not automatically by use. So you’ll always know how much we are invoicing before the charge happen.
3. Support through DCAC
When your Azure and Power BI consumption is handled through DCAC, the award winning team at DCAC handles your front line Azure support. As over 80% of our consultants are Microsoft MVPs we have developed extremely close relationships with the Engineering teams at Microsoft. DCAC will triage reported Azure issues, often resolving them in a fraction of the time as other providers or even Microsoft CSS. Issues that must be addressed by Microsoft are referred to them without delay.
4. Service Level Agreements
By procuring through a Microsoft CSP, you will be gaining access to Microsoft’s strong service level agreement which defines the crucial aspects of the service like responsibility, quality, and availability between the service provider and the customer.
5. Licensing Support
By having one partner looking after all of your cloud licensing needs, DCAC is able to find avenues for savings that might not otherwise be found. While it seems counter-intuitive, the team at DCAC is more concerned with finding ways to lower your cloud spend, than selling you more cloud solutions.
6. Can I use all the Azure Services?
Yes. When purchasing Azure or Power BI through a CSP instead of directly through Microsoft all of the cloud features are the same. As a customer you get the same availability and features no matter who the reseller is.
Questions From Customers
Some questions have come up over time, so we’ve put those here.
- Who has admin control of our cloud environment?
- You maintain ownership and full control of your cloud platform.
- Can I migrate my existing cloud services to Azure?
- For the most part, yes. There are a few things that can’t be moved out like backup faults, and some extensions for VMs. But over 90% of Azure resources can be easily moved from the existing subscription to an Azure CSP Subscription; without any downtime. The same applies to Power BI, as new licenses are provisioned for Power BI and the old licenses are simply allowed to expire allowing for no downtime to be experienced by the users.
- Am I invoiced by Microsoft or by DCAC?
- The first month that you use DCAC as your CSP, Microsoft will bill your credit card and DCAC will invoice you. Microsoft will be billing for the portion of the month that billing was going direct, and DCAC will invoice you for our portion of the month. After that one month, all the invoices will come from DCAC.
- Can I see the billing data online?
- Yes. The billing data won’t be visible in the Azure portal, but we have a portal that we can provide you access to so that you can see your billing data.
- Are we locked into using DCAC as our CSP provider?
- Not at all. We would hope that we are able to provide you the services that you are expecting to receive, and if we aren’t we hope that you’ll tell us so that we can resolve those issues. If you choose another CSP provider, you can simply move the Azure resources to that provider.
- Are there contracts to sign?
- Yes, there is a contract to sign from Microsoft which states what their responsibilities are. Every CSP has the same agreement from Microsoft, and all CSPs will require that this document be signed. In addition, we have a basic contract to sign that simply covers the duration of time to pay invoices, an NDA, etc.
- How does the billing for CSP Work?
- The invoices for your Azure usage will come from DCAC, not from Microsoft. If you are already using Azure and are your going to transition from an existing subscription to a CSP subscription, that can be odd-looking and we’ve got a separate blog post on that topic as it can be a lengthy discussion.
How Do I Start?
The easiest way is to contact us, and we can get the process started quickly. Once we hear from you we can get the contracts sent over. Once they are all signed we can typically have your new CSP based cloud environment up and running that same day, or the next business day at the latest.