(1I guess the better question to ask Is the CSP program right for your business? When Microsoft announced the QMTH program last year, I remember thinking – finally! Microsoft is allowing hosting partners the ability to resell Windows 10 in a multitenant environment! Let the flood gates open! Well, the flood gates opened. Fast forward to today and Microsoft is a bit of a pickle. Authorizing a “partner” for CSP Direct is one thing, making sure they are successful is another.
Has Microsoft helped or hurt your hosting practice? On one hand, the ability to offer Windows 10 is great but on the other hand, is it worth the headache of CSP? Are you sure you want to get in the licensing business or the reseller business? From the conversations I have had with hosting providers, CSP has been a difficult sell. There’s a lot of investment resources, support, and licensing to be able to educate your customers on a low margin transaction. Signing up for CSP Direct to become QMTH authorized is probably not going to help long turn. Maybe CSP Indirect is the way to go?
CSP Indirect allows you to partner with another reseller who can offer the licenses on your behalf. I like to think of it as white labeling their authorization to your customers. The reseller provides the support but you control the billing. There are also resellers who get creative – they provide the licenses, you provide the support. That may be the best route since managed services brings in a higher margin than software sales. The drawback of CSP Indirect is you are no longer eligible for QMTH.
What’s ironic is Microsoft finally solved the VDI question hosting providers have been asking for over a decade but now unleashed an entire new problem in CSP. Maybe some day this will all make sense. In the meantime, thanks for reading.