Hello Microsoft Partners!
I know many of you actively sell Office 365 to customers through either our advisor model (direct w/ Partner of Record (POR) fees, or by selling Open licenses through distribution, which has been available for a few years now.
Based on channel feedback over several years, and in cooperation with many organizations that are prominent in the channel, Microsoft released the Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) several months ago. For most resellers and MSPs 2-tier CSP through a distributor or other 2-Tier partner represents the most congruous way to sell Office 365, EMS, and soon other Microsoft Cloud solutions.
You can find general information on the Cloud Solution Provider Program on MPN here. The FAQ is also good. But as navigating information at Microsoft is difficult, I thought I would distill this important functionality here.
Now to the point. Multi Channel capability released in early May to CSP.
This was one of the most asked for capabilities from existing cloud sellers as CSP until Multichannel only worked for net new customers or net new Office 365 tenants (subscriptions).
What is CSP Multi-Channel?
Multi-Channel provides CSP partners the ability to provision CSP subscriptions for customers that already have an existing tenant and existing subscriptions that they may have purchased through other Microsoft Channels (e.g., Direct, Open, Advisor)
- You can provision CSP subscriptions for a customer that has already has a tenant (i.e. wasn’t originally provisioned as a CSP customer).
- You can provision CSP subscriptions for a customer that has existing subscription(s) that you previously sold to the customer as an Advisor Partner.
- You can provision CSP subscriptions for a customer that has existing subscription(s) that were previously purchased directly from Microsoft
Multi-Channel: What it’s not!
Does NOT impact or change any of the customer’s existing subscriptions
Does NOT transition the customer’s existing subscriptions over to the CSP Partner
Does NOT prevent end customer’s from purchasing subscriptions from non CSP Channels
Does NOT allow the CSP Partner to change any Advisor Partner-of-Record information
Does NOT enable multiple CSP Partners to sell to the same customer
Does NOT change the customer’s terms or obligations on any of the existing subscriptions
It is important to note that generally speaking CSP (2 Tier) is the model new resellers should be employing. In keeping with that, resellers should not frequently encounter situations where multi-channel capability is necessary, but should the need arise it will be invaluable. It is NOT a subscription transition mechanism as has been stated, but a way to address the many ways a customer might have previously acquired Office 365 when wanting to extend their portfolio through CSP.
Below are some screen shots that demonstrate how CSP licenses coexist in the portal with previously purchased licenses (direct or advisor).
Take a look at 2 Tier CSP. It is pretty much what you asked for.