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Microsoft Prepares Dynamics CRM, AX Partners for Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program

by Jason Gumpert

Microsoft began the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program a year ago for the sale of Office 365 by channel partners. The program, which allows partners to own the customer billing and support for a Microsoft cloud-based solution, has now been extended to include Azure, Dynamics CRM Online, and the Enterprise Mobility Suite. Dynamics AX 7 is slated for inclusion once it is released in late 2015 or early 2016.

In short, CSP is Microsoft's effort to put its partners at the center of the relationship with the customer when deploying cloud-based solutions. That means the customer pays the partner for everything included in a solution governed under the CSP model - typically in a per-user-per-month structure, from the core Microsoft products to added IP, services, and support.

The Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program 

While the program meets a clear need for Microsoft partners, CSP will also introduce key changes to the way partners operate as resellers of Microsoft cloud technology.

Which Tier is Best For You?

CSP will demand that partners decide on a sales model, either direct to Microsoft - a "1 Tier" model, or through a so-called Cloud Distributor in a 2 Tier model. Jeff Edwards, Microsoft's director of ERP partner strategy told partners at WPC that he expects approximately the top 100-200 CRM providers to be able to operate in a 1 Tier model, while smaller partners will be better suited to using CSP through a distributor. He estimated that approximately the same number of ERP partners will likely make the same decision when CSP opens up for AX.

The decision of whether to work with a distributor will be ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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