Tahmid Ahmed, Vuzion Azure Commercial Lead, writes …
The announcement from Microsoft that from 21 July 2021 all new Azure Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program business will be on the new Azure Plan offer, is part of the schedule recently published by Microsoft detailing their three-phase plan to move all Azure business within CSP to Azure Plan.
Launched in November 2019, Azure Plan is Microsoft’s new commerce experience for Azure in the CSP program, and designed to create a simplified and more consistent customer buying experience, and support partners in providing guidance and assistance, and value-added services, to help customers commit to Azure.
Dan Truax, Microsoft 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.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Azure Plan, we’ve outlined below some of the benefits of moving to the new commerce experience:
- A streamlined and simplified customer experience due to the ability to create multiple Azure subscriptions within an Azure plan, and eliminating the need to submit a separate order per Azure subscription in Microsoft Partner Center
- Partners are recognized and rewarded for value-added services on an ongoing basis through the partner earned credit (PEC) model
- Improved pricing alignment through the creation of a single pricelist applicable worldwide, converting from US dollars at a pre-defined rate which changes monthly
- Tools available to support partners in the smooth migration of customers to Azure Plan
- The ability to manage customer Azure services more efficiently, through leveraging features and capabilities such as Azure Lighthouse and Azure Cost Management
- Expanded access to Azure Marketplace.
Microsoft has created a three-phase schedule for the full introduction of Azure Plan and the ending of the existing Azure offer, referred to by Microsoft as the ‘previous’ offer.
Phase 1: 21 July 2021
From 21 July 2021 transaction in Azure Plan will be mandatory 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.
Partners may continue to purchase via the previous offer for customers who have already purchased Azure through this offer. However, bearing in mind the benefits of Azure Plan and the schedule of events announced for phasing out the previous offer, we would recommend looking into migrating these customers sooner rather than later. Transitioning involves no customer downtime, and while it’s not an automatic process our team of Azure experts can carry out this service free of charge.
Phase 2: 2022
Phase 2 - to apply from a date some time during 2022 and which will be announced six months in advance - Microsoft will remove incentives and partner margin opportunities from the previous Azure offer.
Phase 3: date TBC
During phase 3, any remaining customers on the previous Azure offer will need to be moved to Azure Plan. The date for the start of phase 3 will be announced six months in advance.
Azure Plan with Vuzion
Addressing partners, Dan Truax in his blog, Evolving the Azure offer in the Cloud Solution Provider program, says, “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.”
At Vuzion, we’re fully convinced of the benefits of Azure Plan and have been supporting partners transacting Azure Plan since its launch in 2019.
If you’re new to 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, as are the rest of my colleagues in the Azure team, or set up a meeting. Call us on 0333 009 5890 or email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.