Microsoft CSP update – October 2020

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Nadia Phillips

Each month, we provide you with the latest Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program information, launch news, updates, upcoming webinars, and more to help you drive efficiency, scale, and business growth.

Key Highlights

Microsoft Ignite held its first virtual conference, September 22-24, 2020. You can watch the full event or view specific sessions on-demand now. Read this blog post from Catherine Boeger, Vice President, One Commercial Partner, as she shares a few key announcements that were made. You can also check out the Microsoft Ignite 2020 Book of News; this is your guide to the key news items that we announced at Ignite 2020. Read this blog to learn more.

Now there’s a new Windows Virtual Desktop advanced specialization that differentiates partners’ remote work expertise, while at the same time addressing customers’ needs for remote work. Read this recent blog post from Dan Truax, General Manager, One Commercial Partner, where he shares information about the growing demand for Windows Virtual Desktops and the advanced specialization offered through the Microsoft Partner Network.


What’s the latest in CSP?

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program evolution and Open License program changes: Journey to a better partner and customer experience

The Microsoft CSP program has grown exponentially, with more than 90,000 participating companies. It is our primary partner sales motion for small and mid-sized businesses, and for smaller corporate customers within the new commerce experience. Building on this momentum, we announced last week that we are expanding opportunities for partners in the CSP program. Details are in our partner blog post.

Partner Center Insights – Your single reporting resource for understanding your business with Microsoft.

Partner Center Insights will soon replace the retiring MyInsights reporting tool. Partner Center Insights offers richer visuals, more insightful reporting capabilities, and KPIs covering customers, subscriptions, license usage, reseller performance, training, competencies, and benefits. Use these intelligent insights to clearly understand your business with Microsoft and make data-driven decisions with confidence. To get started, select Insights from the Partner Center left-hand navigation menu.

The Insights dashboard in Partner Center gives you a unified, 360-degree view of your partner organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs) across Cloud products such as Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and licensing models such as Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) and Enterprise Agreement (EA).

MyInsights will is no longer available as of September 30, 2020.



Security & Compliance

Partner Center API updates and user interface enhancements for the Education customer validation process

Microsoft runs on trust and we are committed to providing a compliant, safe, and secure method of customer validation for transacting Academic offers in the Cloud Solution Provider program. As part of this commitment, we are introducing Partner Center API and user interface enhancements in quarter two of this fiscal year (FY21 Q2) that will add clarity and visibility into the customer vetting process as well as the ability to input more accurate data which will drive improved customer vetting success.



Drive Efficiency & Scale

Partner Center software license key and download fulfillment notice

Today partners can use either Partner Center or the Microsoft 365 Admin Center for software download and license key fulfillment for CSP software orders. As of January 19, 2021, the Partner Center software and license key fulfillment capability will be retired, and partners will use the Microsoft 365 Admin Center exclusively for this purpose. The Customer Software page within Partner Center will contain a “deep link” to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center where you can obtain the customer licenses and software downloads. This helps ensure the most secure and efficient experience for customers.



Upcoming changes to CSP O365 usage APIs and CSP License usage reports on September 30 2020

Effective September 30 2020, the CSP O365 usage metrics will go through an update. We will be introducing new metrics, such as PAU (Paid available units) and MAU (monthly active users), which will help you measure your O365 usage.



SDK Release on .NET Standard (v1.16.2)

As of Sept 22 2020, Partners can start downloading the version of .NET Standard SDK Microsoft Partner Center .NET SDK v1.16.2, along with updated public Partner Center SDK GitHub samples.



Apps & Infrastructure

Announcing the general availability of Azure SQL Edge

Azure SQL Edge, which brings the most secure Microsoft SQL data engine to Internet of Things (IoT) gateways and edge devices, is now available.



Modern Workplace

New SKUs bring the power of Project Cortex and more to customers
Applicable to: All partners transacting through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

We’re excited to announce the October 1, 2020 availability of new SKUs including Project Cortex (Intelligent Content Services) and Microsoft Search (including Microsoft Graph Connectors for Search) that will enable users to find and manage information more efficiently.



Self-service purchasing for Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio now available

Now individuals worldwide can purchase subscriptions for the following Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio products through self-service:

  • Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2
  • Project Plan 1 and Project Plan 3


Office 365 Calling Plan will be available in new markets on October 1, 2020

Microsoft 365 Calling Plan is now available in the following new markets on October 1, 2020: Austria, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. The new geo availability will launch in Commercial, Worldwide Public Sector, Nonprofit, and Government Community Cloud via Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS), Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), Web Direct, and CSP.



Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Servers for Education is now available

Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Servers for Education became available September 1, 2020 in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program.



Business Applications

New Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers

New offers for Microsoft Dynamics 365 customers include the release of Microsoft Project Operations, and additional environments for Business Central.



Webinars and Community Calls

Join the Monthly CSP Spotlight webinars

Register and join these live monthly webinars for the latest CSP licensing information available for all partners. Topics will change each month and the webcast will be recorded.

Who should attend? These are specifically targeted to CSP partner sellers including Direct Bill partners, Indirect Providers, and Resellers.

Topics for October call (subject to change):: We will cover the new transition tool to automate the transfer of a customer’s Azure subscriptions (Azure plan) between CSP partners as well as review recent updates and announcements. Note: In the October Licensing Updates call we will focus on the Cloud Solution Provider program evolution and the Open License program changes.

You can view dates and times and register for the Licensing Updates call here.



Join the monthly CSP Operations Q&A community calls

Microsoft’s Business Operations team hosts monthly CSP Q&A community calls where you can ask questions to subject-matter experts and get clarity on important launch topics and recent changes.

For your convenience, community collections are made available in advance of the Q&A call in the partner readiness gallery. Partners will also find additional self-serve resources, important reminders, and helpful clinic topics in the monthly collections. Each month, a reminder email is sent when new content is available. This allows you to review the collection in advance and prepare any questions related to the launch topics on the agenda. Click the following link to register for a call that suits your time zone or to listen to previously recorded sessions.

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Nadia Phillips

As an outgoing, entrepreneurial and performance-driven marketer, Nadia leads the Partner focus at Umbrellar. Embracing the changing face of the tech industry and the Microsoft CSP Reseller program to drive cloud transformation for all.


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Microsoft is a technology company whose mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. We strive to create local opportunity, growth, and impact in every country around the world.

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