Here’s why a CSP is better
Why go through a Cloud Solutions Provider when you can simply purchase directly from Microsoft?
Customers often find themselves asking this question as they prepare to purchase software or cloud services from one of the world’s largest vendors. Understanding what a CSP is, why the Microsoft CSP programme exists and what benefits it can offer customers can help you make a much more informed choice.
With a focus on customer experience and long-term relationships, the Microsoft’s CSP programme is thoughtfully designed and managed. Microsoft provides an ecosystem of resources and tools to their partners so they can offer customers an even better and more personalized experience than the vendor itself. Keep reading to find out the benefits of working with a Cloud Solutions Provider…
What is the CSP programme?
Microsoft developed the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme to provide customers with the resources and end-to-end support they need from a trusted partner. Instead of navigating Microsoft’s full and complex suite of products and services on their own, customers can have an expert guide in a CSP partner.
CSP partners are fully qualified to sell cloud services and software from Microsoft, and customers can rely on their software provider for a host of resources beyond just sales advice. With the CSP model, partners can add significant value to the overall customer experience; becoming an extension of their customers’ businesses and meeting specific needs in a very timely manner.
The true benefits of working with a CSP
Through the CSP programme, Microsoft can offer a higher level of product flexibility to customers. Microsoft has greater capacity to support partners, instead of individual end-users, in meeting the demands of customers. Customers benefit from deeper one-on-one engagement and added value only a CSP partner could provide. From support and managed services, to advice and end-user training, the benefits are extensive when you work with a partner.
CSP partners have the time and capacity to learn about your business. Instead of being just another name or number, your business has value to a CSP partner. They take the time to learn about your unique needs, the challenges you face, and your specific preferences. They can offer recommendations and tailored solutions, instead of the click-and-buy method you would experience directly with Microsoft. With a partner, you can build a long-term relationship that provides the right solution for growth and development.
High-quality support and responsibility
A quality CSP takes responsibility for every customer they have. Typically small and independent businesses, partners take customer support seriously and are happy to get hands-on. Because the partner is qualified to diagnose and understand the needs of your business, they can prioritise your concerns and provide efficient resolutions to challenges that may arise.
It’s more than just purchasing licenses. You can receive professional and managed services from your CSP partner, so you are never left hanging or in the dark. A CSP partner can do everything necessary to provide a smooth migration. You can have peace of mind knowing your business is in capable and caring hands.
Flexible payments and billing
Flexible billing is one of the greatest benefits a CSP can provide their customer. With a CSP partner, you only pay for what you need and use. If your business needs the flexibility to add licenses for a couple of months, your billing reflects your needs. When you need to drop licenses, you can do so quickly and without fuss. Scalability is as simple as letting your account manager know your requirements on one of your regular calls.
Billing can be handled in a variety of ways depending on what make sense for your business; you can set up monthly payments via credit card, invoice, or debit, or arrange annual billing if that better meets your needs. Licensing costs are not paid upfront, so you can save considerably on your initial investment and keep your capital expenditure to a minimum.
A wide ecosystem of support and guidance
Microsoft has invested heavily in the CSP programme, providing partners with an advanced toolkit so they can offer top-tier service to customers. The partners in the CSP programme all have wide skillsets and bring considerable knowledge to the table. Partners typically have a range of experts within their organisation, enabling them to create custom solutions that work for an individual business instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.
You also have one point of contact handling all your licensing and support needs, instead of getting a different person on the phone each time you need support. There is no need to flip through notes, rehash old information, or waste time when seeking support and guidance.