Purchasing a Microsoft license via CSP: this is possible.

In today’s modern world, almost every organization is looking for effective licensing solutions for their cloud and software services. When it comes to licensing cloud and software services, many organizations come back to tech giant Microsoft. Microsoft has many options and ways to license their products and services. One of the most popular options is through a so-called Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).  

By explaining the unique features of CSP, we at Q-Advise hope that organizations can make a better-informed decision when it comes to licensing cloud and software services. Our goal is for your organization to choose a licensing solution that best suits your organization’s needs. 

What is a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP)? 

A Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider is, to put it simply, nothing more than a partner of Microsoft that offers Microsoft cloud services and licenses to customers such as your organization. You can compare a CSP a bit to the middleman between you and Microsoft. A special agreement is entered into for the provision of these cloud services and licenses from Microsoft: the Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA). This agreement is valid between the customer (your organization), Microsoft, and the Cloud Solution Provider.  

CSPs come in many shapes and sizes. A CSP can be a partner of Microsoft that provides many services, but it can also be a partner that only resells certain (cloud) licenses. Microsoft has set a requirement for all its CSPs: technical support for the use of Microsoft products and services is provided by the CSP. Microsoft itself does not provide support to end customers in the CSP program. The CSP must either provide this itself or outsource it to a partner.  

Is CSP only for the cloud? 

Yes… And no. The name “Cloud Solution Provider” already hints at it, but CSP licenses are not only available for cloud services. This includes, for example, Office 365, Skype for Business Online or Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). For traditional on-premises software (software installed on your premises), you can also purchase via CSP. In addition to CSP, these can also be purchased through a Microsoft partner, for example through the Open Program for SMBs or Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA).  

Ready to take your Microsoft licenses to new heights through a CSP? Let Q-Advise guide you!  

What services can I license through CSP? 

As just mentioned, CSP licenses are only possible for cloud products and services. This includes, for example:  

Windows 11 Enterprise 

Windows 11 Enterprise is Microsoft’s updated (business) operating system. An operating system is a system that controls everything on your computer, from hardware to software. Windows 11 Enterprise is the successor to the widely used Windows 10 Enterprise. If you want to license Windows 11 through a CSP, there are three options:  

  1. Windows 11 Enterprise E3 User SL – This license must be assigned to a user whose primary device is licensed for Windows 11 Pro.  
  2. Windows 11 Enterprise E5 User SL – Again, this license must be assigned to a user whose primary device is licensed for Windows 11 Pro.  
  3. Windows VDA E3 User SL – it can be assigned to any user, regardless of whether the device is licensed for Windows 11 Pro.  

Office 365  

Almost everyone, in almost every organization, has heard of Office 365. Most organizations already have this license, or it is one of the first licenses they purchase. Through Office 365, you can purchase the following components that make your day-to-day business easier: OneDrive for Business, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype for Business Online, Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise, and Microsoft 365 Apps for Business Plans. These components can be bundled in various plans: E1, E3, E5 and F3.  

Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) 

In 2014, Microsoft introduced the so-called Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), which was mainly aimed at large organizations. Microsoft saw that there was a demand for certain administrative tools for system administrators that could be used to manage devices remotely. Although the abbreviation EMS is still used, it now stands for Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft has updated its old EMS to a new one, with two versions: EMS E3 and EMS E5. In the beginning, EMS was called a suite for a reason, as it consists of various products. Some of these can also be purchased separately. Depending on which bundle you choose, this includes products such as Microsoft Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium, and Microsoft Defender for Identity.  

Microsoft 365 

Microsoft 365 can be licensed in two ways: standalone, or as part of Office 365. If you choose one of the many Microsoft 365 packages, you’ll get fully installed Office apps, such as Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint.  

Dynamics 365 

Human Resources/team members 

Dynamics 365 can be seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft services, such as Microsoft 365 and Office 365.  

All these services are cloud services, and not on-premises software. If you want to license this software, you don’t need to be with a Cloud Solution Provider.  

The benefits of purchasing licenses through a CSP 

For many organizations, purchasing licenses through an intermediary still sounds quite exciting. But did you know that there are also a lot of benefits to purchasing your licenses through a Cloud Solution Provider? Below you will find some of them:  

Increased productivity  

Once your CSP relationship with your CSP partner is activated, you will immediately gain more insight into the use of cloud services in your organization. Such as, for example, which parts are used a lot, and which parts are not used at all. These metrics will help you better understand the additional capabilities that the cloud can offer your business within the licenses you’ve already purchased. This can increase productivity in your organization.  

Flexible payment options 

In a normal licensing structure at Microsoft you pay a standard amount periodically, if you are going to license via CSP you also have the option to pay per month and per cloud component. Instead of periodic credit card debits with cumbersome VAT constructions, you will receive a monthly invoice from your CSP partner. In addition, a good CSP partner can think along with you, which can lead to savings by, for example, combining licenses in bundles. A CSP partner is the right person to help you with this.  

Scalability 

There are not many companies where their situation is the same throughout the year, for example, in December many companies are very busy while in January or February there may be less happening. That’s why it’s great that you also have scaling options with licensing Microsoft services via a CSP. This means that you can decrease or increase the number of licenses per cloud product per day. When you order a new cloud product, it is delivered and activated immediately, without waiting times. For example, do you temporarily have an accountant who needs access to the data in the cloud during income tax month? Then you only pay for the days that this license is really needed, from activation to the termination of this license.  

Licensing cloud services via CSP for your organization? 

We hope that by reading this article, you have a clearer picture of what licensing through a Cloud Solution Provider is like. But we also understand that it is a lot of information, and that you may have doubts about where to find a good and reliable CSP partner.  

Fortunately, at Q-Advise we have years of experience with Microsoft services and licenses, including licensing Microsoft services via CSP. We can therefore help your organization with the choice whether you want to license Microsoft services through a CSP, and whether the CSP partner is a good and reliable partner. We look at the interests of your organization, and not at the interests of Microsoft or the CSP. We are an independent organization.  

Do you also want someone to watch with you and advise you on licensing Microsoft products and services via CSP? Please contact us. Then we can look at how we can best help your organization.   

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