Learn how to partner with indirect providers in the Cloud Solution Provider program
Appropriate roles: Global admin
The rapidly growing demand for cloud-based solutions and services provides many opportunities for Microsoft partners of all sizes to build profitable cloud solution businesses. Partners who are ready to enter the market, but who don't want to have to manage multiple vendors, or who may not have an end-to-end customer relationship management infrastructure in place, can enroll in Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program as indirect resellers.
As an indirect reseller in CSP, you work with indirect providers (also known as distributors) who have a direct relationship with Microsoft and can provide you with customer support, pricing, and billing that help to ensure your success. In the provider-reseller (two-tier) model, the provider buys cloud solutions and services from Microsoft. You then resell them to customers.
Different indirect providers offer various support and services. Evaluate the providers in your area to determine which ones best meet your needs. Generally, most providers will:
- Provide you with technical training and assistance
- Help you market your products and services
- Help you establish financing and credit terms
If you're not already working with a provider (also known as a distributor), you can search the list of official Microsoft providers to find one.
Enroll as an indirect reseller in the Cloud Solution Provider program
If you are already enrolled in CSP, you may only need to provide customer support contact information to create a reseller account on the Partner Center.
Before you begin
As of October 2020, all Microsoft partners new to CSP will enroll in the CSP program as an indirect reseller. You then need to create an account in the Partner Center. To do so, you'll provide the following information during the enrollment process. You may want to take a few minutes to gather these items before you get started:
Global administrator credentials for your work account
You'll need to provide the user name and password you use to sign in to Office 365, Microsoft Azure, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. If you don't have a work account, you can create one during the enrollment process. If you don't know whether you already have a work account, see Work accounts and the Partner Center.
The user name and password you use to sign in to the Partner Membership Center site
We use this information to link your company's PartnerID (PartnerID) with your new Partner Center account. You can then manage your membership benefits and data in the Partner Center.
Partner Membership Center (PMC) was retired in May 2022. For more information on the PMC program's retirement, see here.
Your company's legal business name, address, primary contact, and support details
We need this information to confirm that your company has an established profile with Microsoft and that you are authorized to act on its behalf.
It can take us several days to review and verify the information you've provided. We'll email your primary contact when we've completed our review.
To kick off the enrollment process, go to the Welcome page to register.
Review the Welcome page to be sure you have the information you need to enroll, and then select Next.
Sign in using the user name and password you use to sign in as a global admin for Office 365, Microsoft Azure, or Microsoft Dynamics CRM. If you don't have a work account, select Create one to set one up now. After creating your work account, sign in using the global admin credentials for your new account.
Associate your PartnerID to your CSP Account. Your CSP account and the associated PartnerID must be located in the same country, and your PartnerID must be in Partner Center.
Sign in to the Partner Center with your Microsoft Cloud Partner Program account credentials. (Your Microsoft Cloud Partner Program credentials may be different from your CSP credentials).
Select the Settings gear icon, then Account Settings, then Organization Profile, and then Identifiers.
Find the PartnerID with the Type Location that matches the country of this CSP account. If you can't find it, you can add a new location which will create a new PartnerID. For more information, see Manage locations. You can postpone this step for now. However, you won't be able to sign the Microsoft Partner Agreement(MPA) or transact in CSP until you've associated your PartnerID with your CSP account.
Provide or update your company's legal business profile, primary contact information, and customer support information.
You can either look up your company profile or enter company information manually. If your company is registered with Dun & Bradstreet, use the DUNS ID to look up your company information. If you want to provide your company details yourself, select Enter manually.
For some countries, when you enter your address manually, we will validate your address for you. If the one you enter differs from the validated one, we suggest you use the validated address. This ensures that the elements of the address are standardized as defined by the country's postal authority, correctly formatted, and shippable.
The primary contact is the person in your company we can contact about your application. It can be you or another person in your company. Note: We don't accept email addresses from Web-based email services such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, iCloud Mail, AOL Mail, or Outlook Mail.
To help ensure your company's security and privacy, we'll email your primary contact to verify that (1) he or she signed up for a Partner Center account, and (2) that this email address belongs to your company. After the primary contact verifies his or her email address, we'll continue our review of the information you provided. We'll email enrollment status updates to the primary contact.
After Microsoft completes your enrollment verification which takes 3-5 business days, sign the Microsoft Partner Agreement on the Partner Center overview using Global admin credentials. To view and download the Microsoft Partner Agreement before signing it, select the Microsoft Partner Agreement link as shown below. If your account is stuck in verification after 5 business days, read The account verification process.
Confirm that you've signed the Microsoft Partner Agreement on the Program Info section of Partner profile. Also, you will see a confirmation banner notification on the CSP Overview page.
When your Partner Center account is ready to use, verify that you've been added to the admin agent group. To finish setting up your account, including adding other users, you must have admin agent permissions. Follow these steps to view or update your permissions:
From the Partner Center, select the Settings gear icon, then Account settings, then select User management.
Select your name from the list of users. Then select Admin agent if it's not already selected. Select Update.
Connect with an indirect provider
Working with an indirect provider allows you to offer a broader selection of Microsoft's cloud-based services and solutions to your customers. Indirect providers have the systems and infrastructure to offer a robust level of billing and support. Relying on them in this way lets you focus on your technology solutions and customer engagements.
If you're not already working with a provider (also known as a distributor), you can search the list of official Microsoft providers to find one. When you find a provider you want to partner with, contact them directly to discuss their reseller programs, level of support, and terms. If both you and the provider want to work together, you'll need to connect your accounts on the Partner Center.
If an indirect provider wants to connect with you on the Partner Center, they'll kick off the following workflow:
The indirect provider emails you an invitation to authorize them to be your indirect provider. The email includes a link to the Partner Center and will associate your account to the provider's account.
To accept the invitation, follow the link in the provider's email. You may need to sign in to the Partner Center again.
To confirm the partnership with the provider, check the box and then select Authorize indirect provider. The provider is now listed on your Indirect providers page and your company is now listed on the provider's Indirect resellers page.
When you establish a partnership with an indirect provider, you're authorizing them to submit orders and add subscriptions on behalf of your customers, and you're granting them administrator access to your company's work account. After your partnership with the provider has been established, you can remove the provider's administrator access to your work account in the Office 365 portal.
Select Indirect providers from your Partner Center menu to see a list of the providers you have a partnership with.
Select View customers to see a list of the customers you and the provider share.
Select Invite new customers to ask a new customer to authorize reseller relationships with both you and your indirect provider at the same time. Be sure to have the customer's email address on hand so you can email the invitation to them.
Your indirect provider needs to have a reseller relationship with your customers to submit orders on their behalf.
Your CSP country and the CSP regions where you do business
Your legal business location as a CSP indirect reseller determines the indirect providers with whom you can work as well as the regions where you can do CSP business. Learn more by reading Cloud Solution Provider program regional markets and currencies where you can sell CSP offers.