Microsoft is retiring the Advisor programme and expecting Advisor partners to move to the Microsoft CSP (Cloud Solution Provider) programme.
The Advisor model was the original partner programme for selling Office 365. Five years on from when it was set up in June 2011, the CSP programme has been developed by Microsoft to give resellers more flexibility and control.
Michael Frisby, Vuzion managing director, says, “In particular, this enables resellers to own the billing relationship, which was the number one request from Advisor partners.
“CSP is the strategic licensing platform and programme for licensing cloud services into SMBs, and this is a great opportunity for partners currently on the Advisor model. The CSP programme has been set up specifically with the aim of strengthening the partner-customer relationship and enhancing partner business opportunities through giving partners the ability to manage the complete Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle.”
Research* shows that in today’s cloud-first world, over 65 percent of customers expect to purchase a range of cloud services from a single source, and 84 percent are looking for an established relationship with a trusted cloud services vendor.
The CSP programme gives partners the ability to deliver on these. Partners lacking the infrastructure required to be a direct provider participate in the programme as an indirect reseller, partnering with an indirect partner – such as Vuzion – to provide the scalable provisioning and billing, education and support capabilities.
“We understand that billing can be challenging for small resellers,” Michael Frisby continues, “and some would possibly have preferred to remain with the Advisor model to avoid this hassle.
“However, the CSP programme offers advantages well over and above that of the Advisor model, and those billing challenges can easily be overcome through working with a cloud aggregator like Vuzion, where we provide a Billing-as-a-Service for all of our resellers.”
*IDC Successful Cloud Partners 2013