microsoft-csp-vs ea

Why Use a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)?

The different between purchasing Microsoft products with an Enterprise Agreement vs. a Microsoft CSP.

microsoft-csp-vs ea

What is a Microsoft CSP?

Microsoft CSP, or Cloud Solution Provider program, is a Microsoft program enables technology providers, like OneNeck, to resell M365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, three of Microsoft’s most popular products. Microsoft defines the program as:

“The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program enables partners to directly manage their entire Microsoft cloud customer lifecycle. Partners in this program utilize dedicated in-product tools to directly provision, manage and support their customer subscriptions. Partners can easily package their own tools, products and services and combine them into one monthly or annual customer bill.”

What is the difference between Microsoft CSP and EA?


There are a lot of benefits that come from working with a Microsoft CSP.

Subscription based

With a subscription-based model, you only pay for what you used the previous month.

Monthly billing

Each month you get one consolidated bill.

No upfront cost

Unlike with an EA, there are no upfront licensing costs.

Better support

High-touch support with priority access to escalated Microsoft support with OneNeck facilitating the first call.

Licensing support

Have one partner managing your Microsoft licenses, helping you maximize the investment.

Increase productivity

Get solutions customized to your requirements and realize the rapid deployment and reduced learning curve that comes with Microsoft Azure.

Let’s break it down in a side-by-side:

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Enterprise Agreement (EA)
Commitment Monthly, Annual and Triennial options with price protection for term 3-Year Agreement, with a minimum commitement of 500 user licenses
Invoicing Monthly Annually upfront for the full year including being back-charged for users that were added
Increase User Counts Anytime Anytime
Decrease User Counts Monthly, Annual and Triennial options with price protection for term Once per year – 30 days notice. Need to maintain minimum 500 users.
Support 24/7 support from Partner with priority access to escalated Microsoft Premier Support. Dedicated Partner consultants with all details of your account and environment. Basic support from Microsoft. Additional cost for Premier Support. No dedicated team that knows your account and environment.
Detailed Billing Yes No
Product Availability All cloud license subscriptions and perpetual licenses (Office 365 and related online services, Azure, Dynamics 365) All Microsoft Products

It’s possible an EA model might still be the right choice for your business, but in today’s as-a-service world, how you buy and consume services has evolved. Today’s modern business needs a modern approach that gives you the flexibility to quickly adapt and pay for what you actually use. So, don’t go it alone when an experienced CSP can bring value with cloud experience via support, billing flexibility and practical advice.

Learn more about OneNeck’s Microsoft 365 and Azure services in this eGuide: Move Your Business Forward with Azure.

“We chose OneNeck because we needed their expertise and knowledge regarding Microsoft licensing in M365 in order to provide the necessary functionality to our employees while saving money.”

Eric Hannesson

CIO, Pinnacle Communications

Read the Case Study

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