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A summary of the important announcements for Microsoft Partner Center for September 2020.

In this update:

  1. Availability of new subscriptions transition tool between partners for Azure plan
  2. Update – CSP O365 usage APIs and CSP License usage reports
  3. Partner Center Insights – Your single reporting resource for understanding your business with Microsoft.
  4. SDK Release on .NET Standard (v1.16.2)
  5. Announcing the general availability of Azure SQL Edge
  6. Upcoming changes to CSP O365 usage APIs and CSP License usage reports on September 30 2020
  7. New SKUs bring the power of Project Cortex and more to customers
  8. Enhanced Incentives support experience and ticket creation process
  9. Upcoming new Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers
  10. Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) for Servers for Education is now available

 


1. Availability of new subscriptions transition tool between partners for Azure plan

  • CSP direct bill partners and indirect providers will have access to the transition tool.
  • Resellers can work with their indirect provider. More information for providers is available within the resources here.

Starting September 30, 2020, a new transition tool to automate the transfer of a customer’s Azure subscriptions between partners participating in the CSP program for the new commerce experience for Azure (Azure plan).

Expanding on the new commerce experience for Azure, the transition tool enhances the flexibility to manage Azure subscriptions and support customers’ evolving business needs with the following benefits:

  • Save time with easy to use tooling that automates Azure transitions
  • No disruption to Azure services during the transition of billing ownership

Key capabilities and considerations:

  • Transition is driven by customer decision and occurs only when both partners take explicit action.
  • Transition is immediate with no customer downtime and impact to Azure services.
  • This tool experience on Partner Center will be available for direct bill partners and indirect providers. Resellers need to work with indirect providers to leverage this tool on their behalf.

Resources are available on this partner gallery page.


2. Update – CSP O365 usage APIs and CSP License usage reports

Updates will be made to the definitions of metrics exposed in the CSP O365 usage APIs, to help partners measure their O365 usage.

This is an update to the Partner Center announcement made on September 17th, 2020. We are making updates to ensure the API updates are backward compatible to ensure that no integration changes are required to be made by you.

As announced earlier, effective September 30th, 2020, the CSP O365 usage metrics will go through an update.

With this change, the definitions of the metrics available through the following CSP license usage APIs will be updated:

  1. Licenses usage information API.
  2. Customer license usage information API.
  3. Partner license usage information API.

3. 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.

MyInsights will no longer be available after September 30, 2020.

What is Insights?

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). New capabilities are continuously being added, and all reports support Raw data export, enabling you to carry out ad-hoc data analysis based on your business needs. Two Partner Center reporting roles, Executive Report Viewer and Report Viewer, allow you to better manage access and usage of Insights within your organization.

Recently added reports:

See here for a full listing of reports available in Insights.


4. 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.

Details Microsoft Partner Center .NET SDK v1.16.2 is now general availability. Updated GitHub samples are also available. The following changes are included in this version:

  • Update supported operation types for Audit Record. The newly added ones are listed at Auditing resources
    • CreateSelfServePolicy
    • UpdateSelfServePolicy
    • DeleteSelfServePolicy
    • RemovePartnerRelationship
    • DeleteTipCustomer
    • CreateRelatedReferral
    • UpdateRelatedReferral
  • Service request creation is now deprecated
  • Support topics are now deprecated

Next Steps


5. 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.

Today we are announcing availability of Azure SQL Edge, a real-time data engine optimized for IoT workloads. Built on the same engine the powers SQL Server and Azure SQL, this containerized solution provides the same industry-leading security, familiar developer experience, and tooling that many teams already know and trust. Azure SQL Edge will be available for Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) to purchase on Thursday, September 24.

Azure SQL Edge is a small-footprint container that enables data streaming, storage, and analytics for real-time insight. Deploy on edge servers, gateways, and devices in connected, disconnected, or hybrid environments.

Azure SQL Edge has simplified pricing that is right-sized for IoT deployments, available as low as $60 per year per device for a 3-year commitment or at $10 per month, per device subscription.

View the announcement blog from Ignite 2020

Get started today, or view whitepapers, case studies, and more at the SQL Edge site


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

Updates will be made to the CSP O365 usage APIs to help partners measure their O365 usage.

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.

With this change, the following CSP license usage APIs will be updated:

  1. Licenses usage information API.
  2. Customer license usage information API.
  3. Partner license usage information API.

We will also be introducing a new API that will provide the MAU (Monthly Active Users) per workload for each of the customers you manage.

More information on these updates can be found here.

Additionally, we will be updating the Customer Usage breakdown section in the CSP License Usage Analytics report. Starting September 30 2020, the report will be enhanced to reflect the Monthly Active Usages for Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype/Teams.

Refer the Operations Gallery for more information.


7. New SKUs bring the power of Project Cortex and more to customers

New SKUs to help customers harness the power of Project Cortex and Project Turing will be available to transact from October 1, 2020.

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.

Intelligent Content Services

Intelligent Content Services uses advanced AI to automate the capture, tagging, and management of content. It builds on SharePoint for high-volume content processing, extracting metadata for process automation, and fine-grained security and compliance. Intelligent content services improve knowledge curation and discovery experiences by pushing more accurate and precise content into your knowledge network. New Intelligent Content Services SKUs will be available on the October 1 price list (and on the September 1 price list preview).

Note: Intelligent Content Services is a placeholder name for this product, which is likely to be rebranded after October 1, 2020.

Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search Microsoft Graph connectors enable customers to index items in external repositories for inclusion in Microsoft Search results.

From October 1, 2020:

  • Microsoft 365 E5 and Office 365 E5 will include the ability to index up to 500 items using Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search (not included with A5).
  • Any user with a suite or standalone license that includes a SharePoint or OneDrive plan will be able to see search results from Microsoft Graph connectors for Microsoft Search.
  • A new Extra Graph Connector Capacity SKU will be available for indexing up to 1 million additional items.

8. Enhanced Incentives support experience and ticket creation process

The Partner Incentives support experience has been enhanced with improved self-help content discoverability and a streamlined online ticket submission process.

Enhancements have been added for Partner Incentives to improve your overall support experience through better self-help content discoverability and a streamlined ticket submission process that reduces back-and-forth data collection during the support process.

New capabilities

  • New search-based self-help experience is accessible within Partner Center and on Microsoft Partner Network for non-Partner Center accounts. The new experience includes new troubleshooting steps, FAQs, and links to relevant self-help articles as well as on the Microsoft Partner Network Support page.
  • Initiate a new support request directly in Partner Center. After viewing the available topic-specific help, if you still need assistance, you can only create a ticket directly from Partner Center.
  • New problem-scoping questions are available for every self-help topic. Completing these questions reduces much of the back-and-forth at the beginning of the support ticket by providing the agent with many of the important details up front.

Use the new support experience via Partner Center or on Microsoft Partner Network for all your Incentives support requirements.

Note: Support requests will not be accepted through direct email, as this function is retired.


9. Upcoming new Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers

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

The following new offers will be available on October 1, 2020.

Project Operations

On October 1, 2020, Microsoft will release Dynamics 365 Project Operations offers and remove Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation (PSA) for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. New customers must purchase Dynamics 365 Project Operations.

For existing Dynamics 365 customers with PSA:

  • Continue to use Dynamics 365 PSA until October 1, 2020, or until the end of their most recent contract or renewal, whichever occurs first.
  • Dynamics 365 PSA will autorenew for one year until October 1, 2021 in CSP, allowing contracts to continue until October 1, 2022.
  • Dynamics 365 PSA licenses will automatically receive Project Operations as part of their current licenses by December 31, 2020.
  • At the end of Dynamics 365 PSA contracts, customers need to transition to Project Operations, which will have a zero user minimum PSA transition SKU.

Review the Project Operations tab in the Dynamics CSP Offers-October 2020 Excel document for the offer ID details.

Additional resources


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

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

Product Offer Details:

  • Offer name: Microsoft Defender ATP for Servers for Education
  • Offer ID: c7b9ab7e-8f80-4b4b-8aed-dcad61f2899

Read the Microsoft Defender ATP documentation for more information about the product.

Nadia Phillips

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.

Microsoft

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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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