Microsoft Engages Magnificent Seven For Cloud Solution Program

Cernuda, Azizah and Raman posing with the CSP Programme partners

Globally many company’s are seeking to move away from the traditional model of investing in hardware, servers and labour to manage their IT department from a CAPEX to an OPEX model of shared cloud infrastructure and pay as use. With unprecedented flows of data processed and analysed, companies seek assistance from third party partners to manage and store, which is more practical and less resource intensive than to manage themselves. Here in Malaysia the adoption to cloud is still in its nascent stage, with wider connectivity, better broadband speed, and the drop in connectivity fees the time is compelling for company’s to look into cloud for their technology requirements.

Realising this, Microsoft introduced seven new partners for their Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) at the recent Microsoft Malaysia’s Channel Partner Conference (CPC), held today at the Sunway Convention Center. This is part of the company’s continued commitment to taking customers to the cloud. They include Maxis, VADS, Shinjiru, SoftwareOne, Crayon, Ingram Micro and Rhipe

These CSP partners will be able to directly manage the entire Microsoft Cloud customer lifecycle, utilizing dedicated in-product tools to directly provision, manage and support their customer subscriptions. This provides them the latest and best-in-class solutions to businesses in Malaysia to embrace the cloud and manage and drive value from the explosion of devices, data and applications.

Speaking at the conference, César Cernuda, President, Microsoft Asia-Pacific shared with a crowd of over 200 key local service providers, distributors and resellers on how consumers and businesses in Malaysia are already embracing the benefits of a mobile-first, cloud-first world. He said that the trend is highly positive with business leaders recognizing the need to transform and lead digitally powered organizations that are adaptive to change.

“It is stunning how fast customers are moving to cloud and how quickly partners are adapting to meet their demands. We hear time and time again that running your own business with cloud solutions helps you sell better and provide better services to your customers.

Putting partners first in our go-to-market strategy has always been key to our joint success, and it will continue to be a priority as part of our commitment to our partners and customers, to transform businesses around the world,” Cernuda said.

Single Bill System For Customers

Introduced first at last years partner conference, CSP allows Microsoft partners to retain full control over the customers when selling the cloud based offerings, solution providers have the option to sell one or more offerings and also offer options for a single monthly bill to customers.

The company also announced that Azure and CRM Online will be joining Office 365, Microsoft Intune and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) as available services in the CSP program.

Under the CSP program, there are two models available for vendors to provide Microsoft solutions to customers:

  • 1-Tier for strategic partners who interact directly with customers, and are able to bill and provide support accordingly. These are partners who will deal directly with Microsoft.
  • 2-Tier is for partners who will be working with resellers with easy-to-customize cloud services from Microsoft by leveraging a Cloud distribution partner’s billing, support, and value-added services.

As for Malaysian businesses, the service will be available via the CSP partners with the suite of application currently offered by Microsoft, the availability of these services however will depend on the release dates announced. K. Raman, Managing Director, Microsoft Malaysia said that the Microsoft CSP program is a powerful model which opens up new opportunities for partners, “The expanded CSP program is part of Microsoft’s increasingly efforts to make the transition to the cloud more seamless for businesses, and allow partners to continue to build and grow profitable cloud services businesses based on Microsoft Cloud technology. Our seven CSP partners will begin by provisioning Office 365 services to customers, with roadmaps to offer EMS, Azure and CRM Online at a later stage.”

According to IDC, 86% of business customers buy their IT solutions through channel partners – 80% do so for cloud products and services specifically. With IT spending going through a period of transition – 55% was spent on cloud and managed services versus traditional IT (45%) – it is well in line with IDC’s prediction that 70% of CIOs will shift to a “cloud first” strategy by 2016.

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