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Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs. Cloud Solution Provider

Microsoft subscription licensing simplified

It’s a question we get asked a lot as a Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP). Why work with a CSP like OneNeck vs. just going it alone with an Enterprise Agreement (EA).

What is a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)?

CSP, or Cloud Solution Provider program, is a Microsoft program enables technology providers, like OneNeck, to resell Office 365, 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.”

Why work with a CSP vs. going it alone?

There are a lot of benefits that come from working with a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).

  1. Subscription based. With a subscription-based model, you only pay for what you used the previous month.
  2. Monthly billing. Each month you get one consolidated bill.
  3. No upfront cost. Unlike with an EA, there are no upfront licensing costs.
  4. Better support. High-touch support with priority access to escalated Microsoft support with OneNeck facilitating the first call.
  5. Licensing support. Have one partner managing your Microsoft licenses, helping you maximize the investment.
  6. 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 No commitment and the option to cancel at any time 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 Anytime 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 subscription licenses (Dynamics 365, Office 365, Azure) 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.

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