Microsoft has just published their three-phase schedule in preparation for the full introduction of Azure Plan, and the ending of the existing Azure offer (referred to as the ‘previous’ Azure offer by Microsoft), with Phase 1 - applicable from 21 July 2021 - requiring that all new Azure Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program business be on the new Azure Plan offer.
As Microsoft’s new commerce experience for Azure in the Cloud Solution Provider program, Azure Plan widens the partner opportunity for developing and delivering managed services, and enables partners to further grow their customer base and support customer digital transformation.
Benefits with Azure Plan include:
- A simplified Azure purchasing process and streamlined customer experience, due to eliminating the need to submit a separate order per Azure subscription in Microsoft Partner Center, and enabling the creation of multiple Azure subscriptions within an Azure plan
- Responding to customer and partner feedback, better and more consistent pricing alignment, with a single pricelist, applicable globally, and given in USD (converted monthly)
- Fewer obstacles to customer acquisition through provision of tools to help customers move to the new Azure experience, incorporating the relevant governance
- Making available features and capabilities to enable partners to manage their customers more efficiently - such as Azure Lighthouse and Azure Cost Management
- Rewarding partners for delivering value-added services on an ongoing basis, with partner earned credit (PEC)
- Broadened access to Azure Marketplace.
Dan Truax, Microsoft General Manager, General Manager, Partner Digital Experiences and Programs, One Commercial Partner, says, “The new commerce experience for Azure in the Cloud Solution Provider program expands partner opportunities to build and deliver managed services, further extend their customer base, and help customers on their digital transformation.”
And at Vuzion - recognising immediately its advantages - we’ve been supporting partners transacting Azure Plan since its launch in 2019.
Microsoft gives the following details as they work towards the full introduction of Azure Plan:
Phase 1 - 21 July 2021
From 21 July 2021 transaction will need to be in Azure Plan for:
- Net-new partners transacting in the Cloud Solution Provider program
- Net-new customers purchasing via a CSP program partner
- Purchases for new reseller relationships and new customer acquisitions
- For an existing customer not yet having purchased Azure.
Phase 2 – 2022
Phase 2 will commence in 2022, with Microsoft giving six months’ notice prior to the actual start date, and will see Microsoft remove incentives and partner margin opportunities from the previous Azure offer.
Phase 3 – date TBC
Again, Microsoft will give the precise date six months ahead, with phase 3 requiring any remaining customers on the previous Azure offer to be moved to Azure Plan.
Azure Plan with Vuzion
In his blog, Evolving the Azure offer in the Cloud Solution Provider program, Dan Truax addresses partners, saying, “We are confident the new Azure offer in the Cloud Solution Program will facilitate a more streamlined and straightforward experience for partners and ultimately help you deliver more for your customers. At Microsoft, we’re always working on new resources to help partners in their journey, and I’m confident that the offering—as well as the phased roll-out—will allow you to drive success for customers on their digital transformation.”
And while partners will still be able to purchase Azure for customers who have already purchased Azure via the previous offer during Phase 1 of the programme, bearing in mind we don’t know yet how soon the start of phases 2 and 3 will follow - plus there are all the benefits of Azure Plan to take advantage of - we recommend looking into migrating customers on the previous Azure offer sooner rather than later.
Transitioning customers is not an automatic process, but our team of Azure experts provides this service free of charge, and transitioning involves no customer downtime.
If you’d like more information about Azure Plan, we have a number of pieces of content you might find useful, including.
- Azure Plan - a detailed guide to the new commerce experience
- Microsoft Azure Cost Management - an overview of the features and functionality within Azure Plan enabling partners to monitor and manage cloud spend.
These eBooks are free to download - and I’m also here to take your calls, or set up a meeting. You can reach me on +353 1 695 0093 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help.