Since its announcement last year, Microsoft has been expanding its Cloud Service Program (CSP) in the channel, but it has been getting much help from partners.
One recent move that is aimed at driving uptake comes from distributor Ingram Micro, which has unveiled what it is calling the “Advisor to CSP program” at Microsoft’s 2015 Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Florida.
It has one main simple, but important goal, which is to convert advisor subscriptions to the newer CSP program for resellers, according to Sean Oberholtzer, director of cloud business development at Ingram Micro.
“We’ve automated the process on our cloud marketplace,” Oberholtzer told CDN. “Resellers can take advisor subscriptions which their end-customers have previously purchased and convert those through to CSP. They do that by letting the advisor license expire, purchasing the equivalent CSP licenses on the same tenant, and inheriting the rights to use Office 365 from one subscription time to the other.”
Prior to this process, moving licenses involved creating a new tenant and doing a full mail migration, Oberholtzer said. Microsoft has since enabled what is called “multichannel” functionalities, and Ingram Micro went from a manual back-end process which the company had since May, and with this announcement have gone automated.
In either instance, Oberholtzer noted, the end user should see zero impact in license migrations, with benefits being seen primarily by resellers.
In a separate effort to enable MSPs, Ingram also announced the ability for channel partners to create a digital B2C storefront as part of their existing website and sell self-branded solutions.
Aimed at mid-tier resellers that want to expand their market reach, in other words those who sell more than 10,000 subscriptions annually, the Cloud Store is meant to create an express private label experience, Oberholtzer said.
“Those that want to have a self-serve e-commerce for their solutions … can purchase and provision cloud solutions without any impact from a reseller,” he said.