What It Takes to Become a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP Partner
Microsoft is quite possibly the most widely recognized name in computing technology, and its Azure service is one of the largest, fastest growing Public Clouds on the market. Who in the Cloud and hosting industry wouldn’t want to hitch their wagon up to that train? But Microsoft has a reputation to protect and standards to uphold – so the process to become a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider partner is not an easy one. A successful Microsoft CSP partner must offer:
- Value-added services – a Microsoft CSP partner must do more than just resell Azure, such as providing Managed Azure services
- Reliable support – partners must be ready and able to deal with first level Azure questions
- Customer management – CSPs need the technical expertise to provide managed services using Microsoft tools
- Simplified billing – a Microsoft CSP partner must provide customers with a single, simplified bill for all their Cloud services
All of the above are required to become a Microsoft Cloud Service Provider. But you may have noticed there are different levels of CSP – Tier 1 and Tier 2. What’s the difference? Both have been approved to resell Azure – surely that’s the most important factor? It is and it isn’t. Depending on your needs, the choice between a Tier 1 or Tier 2 provider can make a world of difference.
What It Means to Be a Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider
A more descriptive way to differentiate between the levels of Microsoft CSP partners is to refer to them as Direct Partners (Tier 1) or Indirect Partners (Tier 2). The structure of the relationships becomes a little clearer now, right? A Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider is a partner who works directly with Microsoft, while a Tier 2 provider works with Microsoft via distributors.
So what does that mean for you? Working with a Tier 1 Microsoft CSP partner means you’re teamed up with an organization that has invested in its own infrastructure and demonstrated its support and billing capabilities are up to Microsoft standards. In other words, this is a partner that can deliver you the quality of service that Microsoft demands of itself and its partners. It also means that your provider has a direct line to Microsoft – so when new developments come down the pipeline or issues need to be escalated, they aren’t waiting on a distributor to pass the message along.
What Are the Benefits of Partnering with a Microsoft CSP?
Remember those old ads for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – two great tastes that taste great together? Working with a Microsoft CSP partner is not unlike that: it’s two great services that work great together. When you partner with a trusted Microsoft Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider, you gain access to the power and scalability of the Azure Cloud, while still getting the personalized service of a company that can take the time to support your team’s efforts and make sure you succeed. A Microsoft Tier 1 Cloud Service Provider can:
- Help you reduce expenses and eliminate overlapping services by architecting a Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud solution – all on a single invoice
- Improve efficiency with Public Cloud, Private Cloud and IT services coordinated from a single provider who understands your business’s needs
- Increase productivity with solutions customized to your requirements and the rapid deployment and reduced learning curve that comes with Microsoft Azure
- Allow you to retain control of what you want to control, and handoff administration aspects that are out of your scope, or that you simply don’t have time for
- Offer superior 24/7 support with proactive management and monitoring to minimize downtime and delays
The end result is more power for your systems, processes, and applications without the confusion or hassle of trying to coordinate multiple Cloud solutions with multiple providers, and a support team that will never let you down. Whether your organization is best served by Public Cloud, Private Cloud or some combination of the two, working with a Microsoft CSP partner means you’ll get exactly the solutions you need, customized to your team’s requirements.
PointClick Technologies is a Microsoft-certified Tier 1 Cloud Services Provider, and we have years of experience working with clients on their managed Private Cloud and on-premises hosting solutions. If you’d like more information on managed Microsoft Azure or any other managed hosting services, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch with us today.