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Submitted by Matthew Schmider on 16 March 2021

What A Microsoft Cloud Services Provider (CSP) Is—And 8 Reasons Why Should You Care

With software in the cloud becoming the norm, it’s no surprise then, that cloud services have taken center stage. If your company or organization has software in the cloud, you are receiving cloud services—most likely from the partner that sold you the software. If you’re using a Microsoft Dynamics product like Business Central, you probably a Microsoft Cloud Services Partner (CSP). If you are on Dynamics NAV, you may or may not have a CSP. Here are the benefits of having a CSP in your corner, particularly one that knows your ERP system:

CSP Defined

The CSP program was set up by Microsoft to enable Partners (implementers of ERP, etc.) to sell Microsoft’s cloud services to its customers. While it includes the licensing aspect, the model’s overall goal is to make it easier for partners to provide more personalized service to customers., adding value to the cloud experience through expert support, guidance, and even flexible, simplified billing. 

In short, you get an end-to-end cloud experience with your CSP as a one-stop shop that reduces friction, saves money, and helps you get more from your Microsoft investment. With few exceptions, most businesses and organizations can benefit from a CSP relationship in a multitude of ways. With a CSP, you get:

  1. An intermediary with better access to Microsoft 
  2. A competent partner with expertise and experience 
  3. Licensing that fits your needs and saves money
  4. Increased productivity with performance and solutions tuned to your business
  5. Pay-as-you-go consumption that saves money
  6. 24/7 support that minimizes downtime
  7. Offloading of IT burden and expense
  8. Transparent billing

Here is a more detail on these benefits:

Benefit #1: Your CSP Deals with Microsoft 

Rather than working with Microsoft directly, Microsoft recommends you working through your partner because it knows your business intimately and can provide a more personalized experience. This is the reason Microsoft developed the CSP program. Your CSP partner handles the relationship with Microsoft so you get answers and solutions much faster. Another added benefit of the CSP’s direct relationship with Microsoft: CSPs learn about new developments faster. 

Benefit #2: Your CSP Has Expertise and Experience You Can Rely On 

A partner that is accepted into the Microsoft CSP program has been vetted to ensure it has the capabilities customers need from a cloud services provider, including an investment in its infrastructure, the ability to support and bill customers, and an understanding of licensing, which can be very complex. In addition, your solution is backed by Microsoft’s strong service level agreements (SLA). 

Benefit #3: Your CSP Understands Licensing!

This is important because, as mentioned above, Microsoft’s licensing structure can be complex. If you don’t understand it, you could be paying for licenses you don’t need, and the experience of renewing and upgrading add to the confusion. Your CSP can help you sort through all that, so you are assured you’re spending money only on what you need.

Benefit #4: Your CSP Can Help You Increase Productivity and Optimize Performance

With a full understanding of your business and how it operates, your CSP can help you significantly increase productivity with solutions that fit your requirements, deploying them very quickly and getting you up and running, thanks to the cloud. Your CSP can also ensure your entire configuration is optimized for the best performance to keep it operating at top speed.

Benefit #5: Your CSP Can Save You Money with Pay-As-You-Go Consumption

One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is the ability to pay only for what you consume—throttling up or down depending on need and demand. Your CSP understands how this works and can ensure you’re taking full advantage of it.

Benefit #6: Your CSP Provides 24/7/365 Support That Minimizes Downtime

With the cloud—managed by a CSP for good measure—you get proactive management and monitoring of your system as well as 24/7/365 support, backed by Microsoft, which minimizes downtime and delays. That value—depending on the circumstances—is nearly immeasurable.

Benefit #7: Your CSP Takes Much of the IT Burden Off Your Shoulders

Another benefit of the cloud/CSP relationship is that you have a resource you can count on to handle whatever portion of the IT load you desire. You keep control of what you can and want to and can hand the rest over to your CSP. 

Benefit #8: Your CSP Simplifies Billing

Again, this area can get complicated. With a CSP, you receive one monthly invoice for everything rather than multiple invoices and paying for an entire year at a time. This allows for better cash management and makes it easier to see what you’re paying for each month. If you’re using multiple Microsoft technologies—such as Office 365 and Business Central—you’ll appreciate this consolidation.

In short, you get better performance, better management of costs, and peace of mind regarding support for your systems, processes, and applications—without the aggravation and confusing associated with managing multiple cloud solutions and providers.

If you’re in the cloud or even considering a move to the cloud, talk to ArcherPoint’s IT Managed Services team about forming a CSP relationship or to review your current relationships to see if consolidating makes sense for you. 

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