Choice is critical for any business, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine the best decision for your specific organization. Such is the case when it comes to contracting services for Azure and your other Microsoft cloud applications. For many years, the best choice for larger organizations was signing up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA) directly with Microsoft. However, now there is a new option called Cloud Service Provider (CSP), a contract you can purchase from a certified Microsoft partner.

What is Azure CSP?

Azure CSP enables partners to have end-to-end ownership of the customer lifecycle and relationship for Microsoft Azure. That means partners are empowered to manage sales, own the billing relationship, provide technical and billing support, and be the customer’s single point of contact.

What are the benefits of moving to CSP?

  1. Competitive pricing compared to the web (PAYG) and Enterprise Agreement. Going the CSP route opens up opportunities to gain discounts from RRP. A big win against pay-as-you-go.
  2. You pay only for what you need and what you use: No upfront payments. And you can end or move your subscriptions at any time.
  3. Local support with escalation path to Microsoft. If a partner, for example, chooses to be a indirect provider, they will be your single point of contact for both technical and billing. In some circumstances, they need to escalate the support case to Microsoft.
  4. Monthly consolidated billing. If you’re using other services from us, we will consolidate and give you a summary invoice of all your spending including Azure and you will have access to Azure resource level detail billing access through our customer control panel.
  5. Subscription provisioning and management. We have direct API integration with Microsoft to automatically provision subscriptions. Save your IT department time in and let the CSP advice and provision your subscriptions. You’ll have the same control and features in the subscriptions.
  6. Licensing Support: You can have one partner looking after all your Microsoft cloud licenses (O365, D365, Azure etc.) and drawing on their expertise and skills to enable you to maximize the benefits of your investment.
  7. Migration services: Can I migrate existing EA or PAYG or on-prem Azure Services to CSP Azure? ~ Yes, we will first need to undertake a review of your environment to understand if there are areas that will not easily move e.g. Backup Vaults and Express Route. We then schedule some engineering time to move you to the new subscription. This would all aim to be done without loss of service. We would obviously discuss options for items that are not so easily moved between Azure subscriptions.
  8. Access to other cloud services from the Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace
  9. Drill down in your cloud spending: Leveraging tools like Azure Cost Management. One of the important tasks when using the public cloud is having control over your cloud spending. By understanding who is using what and at what cost, you can optimize your environments.


Is EA right for You?

Microsoft recommends EA should only be used by large enterprises:

  • with affiliates that need to be included in standard Microsoft agreements
  • need to negotiate the terms with Microsoft based on volume
  • and/or need a fixed price for software and subscription-based licensing for 3 years.

Is CSP right for You?

Microsoft also recommends that companies that are coming up on their 3-year EA renewal take a closer look at the CSP licensing options for Azure usage, MS 365, Office 365, and EMS subscriptions.

Should you choose EA or CSP?

If you’re looking for a scalable solution that allows you to evolve as your needs change, working with a CSP Partner is your best bet. The CSP program allows you to add or remove users and products instantaneously and pay only for what you use.

With EA contracts offering so much less flexibility, an increasing number of organizations are making the switch to CSP when their EA contracts come up for renewal.


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