What is a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)? Microsoft defines its "Microsoft CSP program" as a true cloud reseller program, with Microsoft partners shifting from principally reselling Microsoft Cloud Products and Services to managing the entire customer relationship.
Cloud computing is changing the profitability dynamics of managed-service providers, system integrators, IT distributors, and VARs globally, by transforming IT spend from capital expenditure to on-demand operating expense. According to Microsoft-sponsored research by consultants such as IDC, the market opportunity for Microsoft Cloud Services is worth $50 billion over the next few years. Microsoft believes that the revenue opportunity for its cloud solution provider (CSP) partners is at least nine-times that amount. This has prompted Microsoft to formulate a new go-to-market strategy via its CSP program.
The Microsoft CSP Program is designed to align the CSP Partner’s core cloud products with the partner business model and their partner’s unique value proposition for customers. This allows Microsoft customers to purchase an overall solution, including Microsoft products, related partner service offerings, and third-party products and services.
In the CSP business model, the CSP Partner is responsible for the customer-management lifecycle. This means that the CSP Partner provides and manages an online marketplace of services from which customers can buy Microsoft Office 365 and Azure products, core partner products, and third-party products and services.
The CSP Partner must be able to bill customers directly and manage collections and customer support without Microsoft’s involvement. CSP Partners control the entire customer relationship, creating new revenue sources. The direct billing relationship provides the ability to up-sell and cross-sell services to customers. Also, partners that control the billing can bundle Microsoft services such as Office 365 with their own services and other third party services. This gives customers the convenience and value of paying a single bill and accessing support from a single source, and it also gives partners control over margin.
Indirect Partners: These partners do not get their licenses directly from Microsoft. Rather, they work with Indirect Distributors (described below). Indirect Partners are typically organizations that want to start small or do not want to incur large capital expenditures around cloud business.
These organizations have customer relationships and core services that differentiate them, typically, in an SMB or niche market.
They take the advantage of the support capabilities, investments, etc. from Indirect Distributors. For example, these partners may have white-labeled storefronts to sell CSP services, third-party services, and their own services to customers. Such storefronts run on the infrastructure and platform owned by Indirect Distributors.
Indirect Distributors: Indirect Distributors are the backbone of Microsoft CSP programs, dealing with Microsoft on one side and hundreds or thousands of Indirect Partners on the other side. Some Indirect Distributors, which Microsoft refers to as “cloud distributors,” bundle other products for Indirect Partners to offer. In many cases, Indirect Distributors provide billing and provisioning on the back-end, on behalf of Indirect Partners. In some cases, these distributors also offer white-label support.
For CSP Partners that lack billing and customer support resources, many of the major indirect distributors, direct system integrators, and MSPs engage Jamcracker to provide the platform to enable the required marketplaces, billing solutions, and customer support operations so that they can act on Indirect Partners’ behalf in the background.
Jamcracker uses its market-leading Cloud Management and Governance Platform (“the Jamcracker Platform”), to support CSP Partners by providing the billing, provisioning, and automated customer support and management that is required to become a fully qualified and profitable CSP Partner, all available “out-of-the-box,” within a matter of days.
Microsoft CSP Office 365 and Azure have already integrated the Jamcracker Platform with the Microsoft CSP API (CREST API) to onboard Microsoft Cloud Services; provisioning the licensing; providing customer service; and managing recurring billing. Jamcracker also brings a complete catalog and marketplace of similarly automated services for more than 100 other cloud services, enabling Indirect Distributors and Direct Partners to easily curate unique service-package offerings to end customers and their resellers.
Jamcracker is a global leader in cloud aggregation, delivery, and management solutions. Many of the world’s leading telcos, managed service providers, IT distributors, technology providers, and enterprise IT organizations use the Jamcracker Platform to unify delivery and management of public, private, and hybrid cloud services to their customers, through their channels, and to their employees.