What is the Cloud Solution Provider program?
Appropriate roles: All partners interested in Partner Center
This article gives an overview of the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and explains the different operational models and their requirements, as well as other details about selling through this program.
The CSP program helps you to be more involved in your customers' businesses, beyond reselling licenses, and can include the following benefits:
- Deeper customer engagements: Meeting regularly with your customers means you'll develop a better understanding of their business and needs.
- Increased profits: Offering increased support and billing services, whether on your own or through an indirect provider, opens up new revenue streams.
- Add value: You'll be able to offer customers industry-specific solutions bundled with Microsoft products.
- Provide managed services: You'll be well positioned to meet customer demand for managed services.
Which CSP model is best for me?
There are two models in the CSP program: the indirect model and the direct-bill model.
Microsoft helps all partners participating in the CSP program find the best model for their business to grow. Microsoft has built a global network of qualified indirect providers who help partners grow their cloud business successfully in the Cloud Solution Provider program. By joining as an indirect reseller, you can accelerate your go-to-market with minimized operational complexity.
As an indirect reseller, you can work with indirect providers who can provide the tools and resources to help you manage your customer relationship. With the indirect model, you can purchase from an indirect provider who can collaborate with you for customer support and billing.
Indirect model requirements
- An active membership in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and PartnerID for the location you want to sell in
- The ability to sign legal agreements on behalf of your organization
- A relationship with an official Microsoft indirect provider in the CSP program
In the direct-bill model, partners purchase Microsoft products and subscriptions directly from Microsoft and sell them directly to their customers through their in-house sales staff. Partners who already operate with, or are willing to develop, the appropriate sales, billing, and support infrastructure may choose the direct model.
The direct-bill model requires partners to sell to, bill, manage, and support their customers autonomously.
Direct-bill status does not guarantee that the partner will have an assigned Microsoft account manager.
Direct-bill model requirements
- Expand your support capabilities by purchasing one-on-one, prioritized cloud support with a Microsoft Advanced Support for Partners package. Or, choose a Microsoft Premier Support for Partners package to access the complete catalog of proactive services, 24/7 elevated break/fix support, and technical account management across cloud, hybrid, and on-premises. Review the Microsoft Partner Agreement to further understand your support obligation.
- Have at least USD300K in Cloud Solution Provider program annual revenue during the preceding 12 months as an indirect reseller. (Partners can review their trailing twelve-month revenue on Partner Center.) The sales that make up your USD300K trailing twelve-month revenue are subject to review and verification by Microsoft, and you may be asked to provide additional information. The USD300K revenue requirement is calculated based on cloud revenue and excludes perpetual software in CSP.
- Meet the minimum infrastructure capabilities, such as billing and provisioning
- An active membership in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and an PartnerID for the location that you want to sell in
- Meet the requirements for minimum infrastructure capabilities including billing, provisioning, customer support, compliance, and security. All required capabilities will be reviewed by Microsoft via third-party assessments. Each applicant will be contacted to schedule the assessment interviews after confirmation by Microsoft that the revenue and indirect reseller tenure requirements have been met.
- We recommend that you demonstrate that you provide at least one managed service, IP service, or customer solution application. Learn more about adding managed services.
Where can I sell through the CSP program?
Your market includes the regions and/or countries where you can sell CSP offers. Your company's location determines your market. See Cloud Solution Provider program regional markets and currencies for the complete list of CSP markets and currencies.
Before you can order CSP offers on behalf of a customer, the customer must sign the Microsoft Customer Agreement. You can find the applicable agreement for your customer's location at Microsoft Customer Agreements by region and language.