There’s a New CSP Azure Plan—What Does It Mean for You?

Carrie Alicata

In October 2019, Microsoft quietly launched a new commerce experience for Azure in their Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program called the Azure Plan. This new plan was meant to provide a single platform for customers consuming products in Azure, regardless of whether they are purchasing through a partner, through their Microsoft Account rep, or are a Microsoft direct self-service customer.

The New Azure Plan

As of February 1, 2020, new customers and customers purchasing a new subscription in CSP are expected to sign the new Microsoft Customer Agreement instead of the previous Microsoft Cloud Agreement. The new Azure plan is aligned to the Microsoft Customer Agreement and was launched to temporarily operate side-by-side with the existing CSP pay-as-you-go offer, providing existing customers with some time before being transitioned into the new model.

Why Is the Azure Plan Relevant Now?

The Azure plan provides a clear billing cycle from the first to the end of each month, where the previous CSP Azure plan was aligned to the partner’s billing cycle. A partner billing cycle can vary between Microsoft partners, and can cause confusion if you transfer from one partner to another. With the new plan, even if you need to change providers, you can expect your billing date to stay the same. The goal is less confusion and less worry, no matter who you use for your CSP. 

Additionally, the Azure plan provides access to Azure Cost Management, an adaptation of the tool previously provided through Cloudyn. As your CSP partner, Connection can help in areas such as tracking and controlling cloud cost to prevent overspending and increase predictability for your cloud costs.

Cost Management Benefits

Recently, I was pulled in on a customer issue where they had purchased Azure Reserved Instances for their virtual machines but were not seeing the savings they were expecting. By working with Azure Cost Management, we were able to identify the amount of storage they truly needed and determine where Azure Reserved Instances could be used to save them money. 

Cost management can help you optimize the virtual machines you have and ensure they’re the right size. You can also identify when VMs are not being used so that they can be removed.  The goal is to make sure you are not wasting money on unused or underused VMs and only pay for what you use. By transitioning to the Azure plan early, you can start taking advantage of Azure Cost Management today.

When you choose a CSP partner, you get more than just a means to make a transaction. When you partner with Connection, you get a partner who understands the way business is changing and who can help you make the necessary moves to stay ahead of the competition. Our Azure Managed Service plans and other innovative Azure Marketplace products can help you continue your transition to the cloud.

While it is not required for customers who are already using the pay-as-you-go model in CSP to transition today, that change will be coming. If you have further questions or are interested in learning more about Azure Cost Management or Connection’s Managed Service plans, contact us today.

Carrie Alicata is a Partner Development Specialist with expertise in Microsoft licensing for state and local government, and education. In her free time, Carrie enjoys concerts, football, and traveling.

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