Many CSP Direct partners who also have an SPLA agreement have asked if their SPLA usage reporting will go towards the 300k requirement to remain CSP Direct authorized. Unfortunately, they are two separate programs, and one does not affect the other.
The other question we get asked is: Can CSP replace SPLA for Windows, RDS, and SQL? The answer again is no. You are not allowed to host CSP products from your datacenter. You can; however, license CSP products on-premise for your customers or in Azure.
Whenever you license CSP for on-premise deployments, the software will follow the Product Terms, which (A) Prohibits hosting, and (B) Requires CALs. When you deploy in Azure, you can host to third-parties, and there’s no CAL requirement.
What is a service provider to do? If you already invested in a platform, services, and billing systems to enable CSP Direct sales and still feel nervous about achieving the 300k requirement, here’s a quick list of things you may want to consider.
- Microsoft recently discontinued the Open licensing program. In doing so, they added perpetual licensing to the CSP program. Do not think of CSP as a cloud-only solution, rather an opportunity to maybe expand your sales to include on-premise licensing sales. On-premise CSP sales will go towards your 300k number.
- If you are only CSP Direct authorized to have the QMTH addendum, make a cost comparison of running the same solution in Azure versus investing in sales and other activities to reach the 300k mark. Is it worth it, or can you forgo the CSP authorization and use Azure?
- Lower your cost for certain CSP products. You do not make money from the sale of CSP licensing anyway. Stop thinking your Exchange Online price increase is going to grow your bottom line. Lower your cost to win customers and raise it later. You can add services such as migration and cloud support to increase margins. The 300k will not be based on your margin; it is based on Microsoft’s revenue billed.
Those are only suggestions, and a lot of this requires a change in business strategy, not just licensing. Many service providers have asked about the future of SPLA. I recently wrote an article regarding the future of the SPLA program. You can download it here https://mscloudlicensing.com/product/whitepaper/ Some of the proceeds will go towards our charity, Mow Down Cancer, Inc.
Thanks for reading,