Exciting times ahead at Microsoft where, as of October 2019 they announced changes in the way they sell and implementing cloud services. Of course, these changes are not only impacting ClearPeople as a Microsoft Partner, they also impact the customers we assist and support each day.
To address these changes and other important news I will be writing a series of blogs on our ClearPeople website to give you more insights.
So, to kick things off today I want to focus on the changes related to the agreement you as a customer must sign to which allows us to provide cloud services on your behalf. Currently, as a Microsoft CSP partner, we place any order on a customer’s behalf and the customer then accepts and sign the applicable Microsoft Cloud Agreement. Then, we at ClearPeople must confirm our customer’s acceptance by providing information about the signatory to Microsoft.
If confirmation isn't provided:
- We won’t be able to create new orders for the customer.
- We won’t be able to change anything on the existing subscriptions for the customer.
Starting October 1, 2019 Microsoft introduced the Microsoft CUSTOMER Agreement for all product offers in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. The terms of the Microsoft Customer Agreement are now available to review.
Why are Microsoft doing this?
Microsoft's goal is to help customers and partners accelerate digital transformation and simplify the experience in buying and selling Microsoft cloud services and the Microsoft Customer Agreement replaces the previously launched Microsoft Cloud Agreement.
The Microsoft Customer Agreement is a simplified purchase agreement that provides consistent purchase terms for customers – regardless of the way customers choose to buy. Since October 1, 2019, Microsoft made the new Microsoft Customer Agreement available in the CSP program.
What does this mean for you as a ClearPeople customer?
As a Microsoft Partner, ClearPeople must use the new Microsoft Customer Agreement to purchase existing offers and renewal of existing purchases for our customers in the CSP program. This new agreement will be mandatory after January 31st, 2020 when the existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement is removed from the CSP program.
ClearPeople can present the new Microsoft Customer Agreement to customers in much the same way that we currently do for our existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement. After a customer has reviewed and accepted the agreement, ClearPeople must confirm the customer’s acceptance with Microsoft via our Partner Center.
The Microsoft Cloud Agreement remains supported within the CSP partner program for now, but partners are advised to start migrating to the Microsoft Customer Agreement. Therefore, ClearPeople will contact all our current customers, currently supported via the Microsoft Cloud Agreement to now accept the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
As of January 31, 2020, the Microsoft Cloud Agreement will no longer be accepted within the CSP partner program which means we need to migrate all our current customer base to the Microsoft Customer agreement before that deadline.
Therefore, over the next few weeks, we'll contact all our current CSP customers to adopt and sign off the new Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Nice to know
The structure of the MCA will be:
- General Terms
These cover the legal relationship between the customer and Microsoft, across locations, purchase types, business sector etc.
- Purchase Terms
These will vary depending whether the customer is purchasing directly from Microsoft or via a partner, calling out who is doing the billing etc.
- Additional Terms
Any additional terms, specific to certain products/programs etc., will be presented here as required.
Microsoft Customer Agreement and the new Azure plan in CSP
The Microsoft Customer Agreement will be introduced in conjunction with the new Microsoft Azure plan offer, which includes a series of platform and program enhancements that expand partner opportunities to build and deliver managed services, reduce customer acquisition obstacles, and drive customer digital transformation. Customer acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement will be required in CSP for purchasing the new Azure plan offer, which is available starting October 2019.
I'll also dedicate a blog article to introduce the Azure plan shortly.
Coming later in Q1 CY20, partners will have the additional option to invite customers to an authenticated Microsoft portal to view and sign the Microsoft Customer Agreement. Microsoft will own the responsibility to confirm customer acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement. Partners will have the ability to validate customer acceptance of the new agreement using Partner Center Dashboard and Partner Center API. Further details regarding this option will be made available ones we have more insight from Microsoft.
As stated, over the next several weeks, I'll try to inform our customers on the different changes in the process and features that Microsoft are implementing so that there are no surprises.
Topics you can expect are:
- The new Azure plan:
- What is this?
- How subscriptions will be managed?
- DPOR becoming CPOR
- What is this?
- How will customers now experience the partner requests?
- Direct signature of the MCA with Microsoft via the Microsoft portal
If you have any questions or you need more insight, please feel free to contact me.