As I mentioned in my previous blog Microsoft is, together with the Microsoft Customer Agreement, also introducing a new commerce experience for Azure.
The original plan was to launch this together along with the Microsoft Customer Agreement on 1 October 2019, but this has now been moved to 1 November 2019. Worth knowing, this new experience will streamline and improve the way customers buy and consume Azure services.
In fact, you can buy Azure from Microsoft via a CSP partner, enterprise Agreement or directly from Microsoft and in all cases the experience will be the same.
The existing Azure offer in the CSP program continuous to be available to allow time to Microsoft partners, like us, to build new services and start moving clients over to the new Azure experience.
What's the difference?
In the existing Azure offer, we enable on our CSP a subscription at the moment a customer needs Azure. We can than rename the subscription to a more meaningful name and if necessary, we can add additional subscriptions.
All this currently happens from within our CSP platform. We, or our customer, use the Azure Management portal to provision and manage the resources.
The new Azure offer is different in the sense that, on our CSP, we'll enable an Azure plan and give it a meaningful name, nothing else.
When enabling an Azure plan, automatically a first subscription will be created. Experience shows in most of the cases only 1 subscription is used but there is an option to use multiple subscriptions in one single plan.
Creating additional subscriptions, provisioning and managing the resources all happens in the Azure Management Portal.
The image below shows the comparison between the current and the new Azure offer.
Understanding the Azure plan
The Azure plan links a partner to a customer, and groups subscriptions together from a billing perspective.
This means a customer can have multiple Azure plans but can only be linked to a certain partner via 1 single plan.
The image below shows a customer (Wingtip Toys) that works together with 2 partners. With VMs-R-Us they have an Azure plan containing 2 subscriptions related to virtual machines. They are linked to a second partner, We-R-IoT, via an Azure plan with 1 single subscription.
Co-existence of Azure offers
The existing Azure offer will stay available for the next year until November 1, 2020. After that period the only way to purchase Azure workload will be via the new Azure plan.
This new Azure offer is only valid for customers who accepted the new Microsoft Customer Agreement. Customers who are still on the former Microsoft Cloud Agreement will first have to accept the new Microsoft Customer Agreement before we can setup a new Azure plan for them.
Customers with subscriptions under the existing Azure offer can be easily transitioned to the new Azure offer if they accepted the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Again, this is not hugely urgent, and we still have a decent time to move our customer base over to the new Azure plan, but we'll start taking the necessary actions as soon as Microsoft enables this new Azure experience on November 1, 2019.
What will change for you?
As a customer of ours you're not really involved in any of this as you just have to indicate to us that you need Azure and we enable it for you. That has always been like that and that will also in the future stay the same.
Our experts will ensure your Azure environment is correctly setup.
If this is not really infecting you why than this blog?
One of our ClearPeople primary company values is "People First". In everything we do, we put ourselves in the place of our customer, trying to understand the experience we deliver and what experience the customer would like to have.
Therefore, we think it is important that we inform you correctly on what happens behind the scenes if Microsoft pushes changes like this.
It will also help you to understand why we for example will contact you with the request to accept the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if you'd like some more clarification on the new Azure Offer.