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Ironically, the CSP program in many ways represents Microsoft itself finally getting ready for the cloud.
Ever since Microsoft introduced the Advisor model back before Office 365 was even called Office 365, partners were asking for the ability to bill customers themselves.
Microsoft is also looking for partners with a business model around managed services IP and with broad market reach. In that one, the distributor or companies that were formerly part of the Microsoft Syndication Partner program handle the capabilities with Microsoft.
Those partners are called 2-Tier distributors or cloud distributors.
For the vast majority of partners, who are not existing Microsoft Syndication Partners or distributors, the CSP has two main paths.To get that relationship, a partner must have a series of capabilities.To qualify for 1-Tier, a partner must be able to bill, provide 24x7 support, do technical integration and handle customer lifecycle management.But it was an extended pilot, in the words of one senior Microsoft executive.A few critical things have changed to make CSP really matter now: During each of the last five years, Microsoft has been encouraging partners to get ready for the cloud.
Microsoft didn't overhaul the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) this year, but it may as well have.