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New updates in Microsoft CSP and Partner Center in 2022

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Industry analysts predict that cloud adoption will show an exponential trend in the next few years. As more people shift to using these services, Microsoft partners can provide customized solutions for their customers with Microsoft cloud services.

Microsoft Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) offer Microsoft online services like Office 365, Microsoft 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Dynamics 365, Windows 10, and more to customers. Microsoft is constantly improving the CSP program to help partners reduce their business risks, increase revenue, and cut down on licensing costs.

By becoming a Microsoft CSP under the CSP program, you can get the following advantages:

  • Manage the cloud customer lifecycle, including support and billing.
  • Build long-term relationships with the customers as their first point of contact.
  • Create bundled offerings, upsell or cross-sell services with trusted Microsoft solutions to increase their bottom line.
  • Get tools for managing and supporting Microsoft services for customers.

Here’s a look at the new updates in Microsoft CSP and Partner Center in 2022:

  1. The New Microsoft Cloud Program

This year, Microsoft retired the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) program along with gold and silver competencies and launched the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and Solutions Partner designations.

The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program has people, resources, and offerings at the core and combines everything that the partners need to build and deliver successful solutions for their customers.

The Solutions Partner designation is the new partner badging program of Microsoft that evaluates partners across the Commercial solution areas through a scoring framework for skilling, performance, and customer success. The program has been officially opened to the partners for enrollment in October 2022 but they have been able to see their scores across different solution areas in Partner Center since March 2022.

Partners can visit the Solutions Partner overview page in Partner Center to review their scores and to get enrolled in the program if they qualify.

Partner Center Roadmap

  1. New Commerce in CSP

  • Azure savings for compute

Now CSP partners can gain significant savings by offering Microsoft Azure savings plans to their customers. A savings plan can decrease the costs of the resources by 66% as compared to pay-as-you-go prices by committing to fixed hourly spending on compute services for 1- or 3-year terms. Azure savings plans are not yet supported in the Partner Center catalog or APIs but are available to CSP partners from the Azure portal.

  • New subscription lifecycle disabled state

A new disabled state of the subscription lifecycle is accessible to enable partners to now distinguish between different types of Subscription Expired states. Refer to the subscription lifecycle for more details. Partners using the Partner Center SDK can prepare for this new state by utilizing the latest SDK.

  • Updated Partner earned credit (PEC)

Azure role-based access control had a data issue which resulted in PEC not being discounted for some Azure subscriptions’ invoices. This issue is now corrected, and missing credits will be provided in the next invoice. Partners don’t need to worry as those due to receive credits will get so by the billing administrators.

  • Software price list now supports various European currencies

European partners could only use Euros previously to retrieve pricing. From November 1, 2022, partners in the UK and EU/EFTA will be able to retrieve software pricing in multiple European currencies. Read the announcement here.

Microsoft New Commerce Updates

  • Small or medium business (SMB) new customer and upsell promotion

The Microsoft 365 SMB promotion enables partners to pitch how they can help existing customers and prospects ‘Do More with Less’ by consolidating vendors, improving their productivity and security posture by using a more premium product or adopting the new commerce experience. Migrating and new customers from traditional license-based CSPs can utilize the promotional benefits. Read Microsoft 365 & Security for Partners and the Global Promos Guide for detailed information.

  1. Safeguarding the channel

The Microsoft partners can help to prevent unauthorized party abuse in their customer’s Azure subscriptions:

  • Safeguard your customers using multi-factor authentication (MFA): Ensure that all users in your customer’s Azure Active Directory (AD) tenant have MFA enabled. This is especially necessary for users with administrator Azure AD roles and those having ‘write’ access to Azure subscriptions. You can turn on MFA easily with the methods mentioned here: Azure AD Multi-Factor Authentication.
  • Sign up for alerts for cryptocurrency mining: Get aware using Azure fraud detection and notification and take immediate action if any behavior is fraudulent. After investigating and mitigating the event, call the update fraud event status API to specify “Ignore” or “Fraud”.
  • Take actions to move access permissions to GDAP: You can review the DAP report for identifying and removing unnecessary DAP relationships. You can utilize the bulk migration tool for transitioning to the more safe granular permissions (GDAP). Check out more details in this partner center announcement: New timelines: Securing the partner ecosystem by transitioning to GDAP.
  • Default security in Azure AD: Security defaults will continue to be introduced across CSP customer Azure AD tenants, which will enforce MFA in the customer environments and disable legacy authentication to prevent any abuse by the threat actors. This will help to better the security posture of customer identities preventing unauthorized access to Azure subscriptions of the customers. For more information regarding security defaults, read this Partner Blog.Azure MFA
  1. Rewarding the partner’s performance

– Enhancements in Payouts Revenue summary page

An improved and complete view is now available to facilitate incentives reconciliation. You can utilize the Revenue summary for looking up:

  • Eligible revenue is the resulting earnings basis customer or subscription
  • Any ineligible revenue and the reason for it being classified such
  • Export data regarding ineligible transactions (including reasons and attributes)

This will aid you in understanding why those particular transactions didn’t get incentives. For more details, visit Revenue summary in the Partner Center dashboard.

– Azure Migration & Modernization Program (AMMP)

AMMP offers an easy way to fund and provide resources for Azure specialization partners and Azure Expert Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to nominate customers for Azure migration. With AMMP Partner-led, Microsoft partners can now directly nominate projects in an easy-to-use, self-serve interface, find various funding opportunities, understand the various steps to carry out engagements, and submit payment claims to Microsoft. Go through more details: Azure Migration & Modernization Program.

  1. Reinforcing growth of partner sales

The new grid-based user experience makes it easier than ever to see and manage co-sell opportunities. You can now see deal details across multiple deals at once, sort them by important parameters and refine results even further using enhanced search capabilities. With contact validation enhancement available in Marketplace leads, get additional context about whether an email address and phone number are real before wasting time getting excited over something that may turn out not actually be worth responding too.

  1. Analytics and Insights

Improvements for commercial marketplace ISVs

Microsoft Partner Center Insights– Partner cohort analysis in referral insights

Partner cohort analysis is a powerful tool for understanding how other partners are performing and identifying their strengths and weaknesses in different areas. It can also provide recommendations on what areas need improvement – all powered by a machine learning (ML) model.

Wrapping up

Microsoft has been making a lot of changes lately in its partner ecosystem by introducing new updates in Microsoft CSP and Partner Center. The company is headed in the right direction and the new functionalities in the Partner Center will help you sell more, and earn more while improving your customer experience by adopting the latest Microsoft products! But, to take advantage of all these effects, all you need to do is move your day-to-day cloud operations from manual tasks like cloud billing, service provisioning, and delivery, to a cloud business automation tool like RackNap. By automating these processes, you can focus on increasing your business revenue, rather than investing your time and skills in mundane activities. So, book a demo today.

You can also reach out to us at [email protected] for any query or to learn more about the platform.

Source: Microsoft

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