Get Started as a Reseller of Business Central Online
If you want to build your business on Dynamics 365 Business Central online, you must get set up as a reseller in the Microsoft Partner Center. In this article, we take you through the first steps in your journey.
Step 1: Become a partner
Becoming a Microsoft partner gives you access to the Microsoft resources needed to sell solutions. The steps in this section below are required to gain access to the programs that enable are intended to help you get set up to sell Business Central.
In order to be able to service Business Central licenses and provide help and support to your customers, your company must have a Microsoft Partner ID (MPN ID), and you must enroll in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.
Join the Microsoft Partner Network
Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) membership unlocks our best resources to differentiate your business, take your product to market, and sell your solutions. To become a partner, you must join the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), at which time you will be assigned an MPN ID. MPN membership is free to all partners; you can enroll in the MPN here.
Once signed up, you will get an MPN ID – your gateway to access all the membership resources and benefits for your partnership with Microsoft. There is no cost to obtain a MPN ID as a Network member, and with options to upgrade to an Action Pack subscription or work toward a competency, you can access even more benefits.
Set up your Partner Center account
Once you have joined the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), you can set up your Partner Center (PC) account. The Microsoft Partner Center is a generic portal where partners can sell and manage customer subscriptions for Microsoft services, such as Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and others, as well as for some third-party products. For more information, see the Partner Center documentation.
Your Partner Center account provides you with access to pricing information, tools and services, and enables you to manage admin credentials for your company's work account. Partner Center is also where you can purchase or renew subscriptions to Microsoft Action Packs, create a business profile to receive and manage sales leads from Microsoft, and see if you qualify for co-selling opportunities.
Enroll in the CSP program
The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program helps your company to be more involved in your customers' businesses, beyond reselling licenses. In CSP, you can choose to enroll as an indirect reseller or a direct bill partner.
In most cases, you will enroll as an indirect reseller and then work with an indirect provider, also referred to as a distributor, who then manages all interaction with Microsoft in terms of licensing and technology, so that you can focus on sales and support. If you decide to enroll as a direct bill partner in order to fully own the end-to-end relationship with both customers and Microsoft, make sure that you meet the eligibility requirements. For more information, see Enroll in the Cloud Solution Provider program in the Microsoft Partner Center content.
The Microsoft Partner Center is a generic portal where partners can sell and manage customer subscriptions for Microsoft services, such as Microsoft 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and others, as well as for some third-party products. For more information, see the Partner Center documentation.
Some indirect providers (distributors) provide their resellers with a custom portal that optimizes and enhances the experience beyond the Partner Center. They can also provide indirect resellers with an API to automate some of the customer onboarding steps. Contact your indirect provider to find out more.
Both indirect resellers and direct bill partners can access and support their customers' Business Central by setting up a reseller relationship with them.
To service customers in a specific country, your partner company's Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant and CSP account must be registered in the regional CSP market that covers that country. For more information, see Cloud Solution Provider program regional markets and currencies.
When you buy Business Central offers on behalf of your CSP customers, the CSP offer must be available in both your own tenant's country and in your customer's tenant's country. For example, if your tenant is located in Slovakia and the customer's tenant is in Germany, you will not be able to sell Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium to that customer, because this offer is currently not available in Slovakia.
Similarly, if your tenant is located in Germany and the customer's tenant is in Slovakia, you will not be able to sell Dynamics 365 Business Central Premium to that customer, because this offer is currently not available in Slovakia.
In the Microsoft Partner Center documentation, you can learn how to request a reseller relationship with customers, assign licenses to users, and create new subscriptions. Business Central is one of the subscriptions that you can create, and there are Business Central-specific license types that you can assign to users.
You must also assign certain roles to users in your own organization so that they can support your customers.
Add users from your own organization
In most cases, your partner company includes employees with different responsibilities, and you can assign different roles depending on people's responsibility. This way, you can be very explicit about who from your staff can access your customers' data, for example.
For each user, you can assign permissions for 2 categories of tasks:
Managing your organization's account
This controls access to the functionality of the Partner Center portal
Assisting your customers
This controls access to your customers' environments
When you establish a reseller relationship with a customer in Partner Center, you must specify which people from your organization will assist that customer's tenant as either Admin agent or Helpdesk agent. These users can manage implementation, support, and troubleshooting tasks for your customers. Once the reseller relationship with a customer is established, they will be able to login into the Business Central environments of the customer without a license. The number of partner users that can access customer environments is not restricted.
This way of accessing customer resources is called delegated administration, and the partner users are therefore called delegated administrators or delegated admins in daily shorthand. For more information, see Delegated Administrator Access to Business Central Online.
Since February 2022, you can set up security groups with granular delegated admin privileges to better control who has access to which customers with which level of access to the customer's Business Central environment. This way, the delegated admins no longer have to be global admins for the customer's Active Directory. For more information, see the Delegated Administrator Access to Business Central Online section, and also the Admin roles article in the Microsoft 365 admin content.
These users cannot provide accounting services for the customers. For this purpose, the customers must use the External Accountant license, which is also available via CSP.
Quite often, partner users are registered as business-to-business (B2B) guest users in their customer's Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), such as to collaborate through Teams. However, when a partner user is added as a guest to their customer's Azure AD, they can no longer log in as a delegated admin into the customer's Business Central. These guest users do not have a valid Business Central license assigned to them. But if the partner user has granular delegated admin privileges, they can access the customer's Business Central administration center and manage the environments there. Starting in 2022 release wave 2, partner users that are guest users and have granular delegated admin privileges are no longer blocked from accessing Business Central. But we continue to consider it a best practice that customers do not invite partner users to their tenant as guests but ask them to set up granular delegated admin privileges, using the Dynamics 365 administrator role. For more information, see Move to GDAP and remove DAP in the Partner Center FAQ.
For more information, see Delegated Administrator Access to Business Central Online.
Step 2: Go to market
When you become a Microsoft Partner Network member, you gain access to membership benefits that can help you build and grow your business. For more information, see Explore your Go-To-Market with Microsoft offers in the Partner Center docs.
As a Dynamics 365 reseller, you benefit from Microsoft's investments in an always up-to-date modern platform, you can bundle recognized apps from the Microsoft commercial marketplace into an offering that fits the needs of your customers, reach more customers by using Microsoft's commercial marketplace to promote your packaged consulting service offerings or customization services, and streamline your own processes and build tools with Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Apps connected to Business Central.
The Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner Portal landing site has plenty of material to help you build a practice, go to market, drive readiness, and keep track of upcoming events (requires a partner account).
Microsoft provides marketing assets that you can use to build a business based on Microsoft. For more information, see the following sites:
Specifically for going to market with Business Central, Microsoft provides resources and guidance on the Business Applications for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) site. For more information, see Business Central Go-To-Market resources.
Step 3: Give powerful demos
You can create a trial environment based on content in cdx.transform.microsoft.com.
For more information, see Preparing Demonstration Environments of Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Step 4: Help your customers get started
When you onboard customers to Business Central, you have access to their account as a delegated administrator and can help them get things set up. For more information, see Administration of Business Central Online.
Connect with customers
As a CSP partner, you can manage a customer's subscriptions and services on their behalf in the Partner Center by establishing a reseller relationship with your customers. If they already have an account, such as if they currently use Microsoft 365, other Dynamics 365 apps, or PowerApps, for example, you can send them an invitation straight from the Partner Center. For more information, see Connect with customers in Partner Center (indirect providers/distributors) and Connect with customers (indirect resellers).
When the customer's internal administrator receives the invitation link and navigates to it, they must acknowledge that they have read the Microsoft Customer Agreement and that they can authorize you as their reseller on behalf of their organization. For more information, see Confirm customer acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
When a customer accept this reseller relationship, delegated administration privileges must be set up . For more information, see Delegated Administrator Access to Business Central Online.
If you are working as an indirect reseller, your indirect provider (distributor) must associate your customers with you in their Partner Center.
The customer can decide to remove their partner's delegated admin privileges from their tenant, but still retain the relationship with their partner for subscription and license renewal purposes. Removing delegated admin privileges will block the partner's access to the customer's Business Central. The access can be restored if the partner sends the reseller relationship request to the customer again.
If the customer wants to cancel their relationship with their partner, the partner must remove the relationship in Partner Center.
Get Business Central right for the customer
The default version of Business Central is just that - a default version. In many cases, you'll enhance the default version with apps from the Microsoft commercial marketplace. But you can also customize pages for a profile and change which UI elements are visible. For more information, see Customize Business Central in the business functionality content.
If your customer wants more tweaks, you can create customizations of profiles and pages in code. For more information, see Customizing the User Interface for User Roles in the developer content.
You can also use configuration packages to quickly apply the same settings as usual to new environments.
Move the customer from a trial to a paid subscription
If your customer decides to start using Business Central to run their business, they must switch to a paid subscription. Both the internal admin and the delegated admin can assign licenses to users in the Microsoft 365 admin center. For more information, see Buy or remove licenses in the Microsoft 365 content.
Specifically for businesses who want to convert a 30-day trial company into their actual production company, the first user who signs into Business Central after the license was applied to their tenant must be a user with this license assigned. This way, the 30-day trial ends, and any trial-related notifications disappear so that users can use Business Central to do work.
If an administrator is the first person to sign in after the license was applied to the tenant and to users, then the trial will continue until it expires.
If the customer has tried out Business Central using a pre-configured demonstration company that you have prepared in other ways, they can now sign up for Business Central using their own work or school account so that you can assign the Business Central license to their Microsoft 365 tenant.
You can help them migrate their data from their legacy system. For more information, see Migrate On-Premises Data to Business Central Online.
Step 5: Configure the support experience
As a Business Central reselling partner, you are an administrator of your customers' Business Central tenants, and you are the first line of support. This means that you will get requests for support from your customers that you must triage, investigate, and either resolve or escalate to Microsoft.
Your company must be registered as a Microsoft partner, and it must have the Advanced Support for Partners (ASfP) or Premier support plan. Your service account manager can get you more information about getting the ASfP. If you already have a support plan, the Technical Benefits tab in the Partner Center lists the contract ID and access ID that you must specify when you submit a new support request on behalf of your customer. If you're not sure how to find the information, the service account manager can get the information for you.
Step 6: Maintain your customers' Business Central
As a Business Central reselling partner, you are the administrator of the Business Central tenants of your customers. You are expected to help your customers maintain their solution, including setting the upgrade window, monitoring telemetry, updating customizations, and managing apps.
Administration of Business Central Online
Deployment of Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premises
Trials and Sign-ups for Business Central Online
Licensing in Dynamics 365 Business Central
Learn how to partner with indirect providers in the Cloud Solution Provider program
Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner Portal