If you’re a cloud reseller, you’ve probably heard more than enough about Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. For the last two years, the cloud industry has been bombarded with news about the CSP and how it will make selling Microsoft cloud solutions a lot easier for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) like you.

There’s no doubt about it. Selling through the CSP can be a lot easier. The trick is trying to figure out how to get there. Will you go Direct CSP or Indirect CSP? How do you qualify for each program? Take heart. We’re about to tell you.

Direct or Indirect CSP: What’s the Difference?

It all comes down to who you work with. The option you choose depends a lot on your business model and whether or not you can meet the program requirements.

On-demand Webinar: Get the lowdown on Microsoft’s latest Direct CSP changes & how they could affect you.

Become a Direct CSP Partner with Microsoft

As the name implies, resellers who opt for the Direct CSP program will work directly with Microsoft. They’ll purchase their SKUs from Microsoft and resell them to their customers at a profit margin of about 20 percent. Resellers who opt for this program usually have the resources required to handle their customers’ needs because Microsoft offers very little in terms of technical support. However, going solo as a Direct CSP Partner is a complicated process that could take about four months to complete. Direct CSP Partners must also meet the following requirements:

1. Be capable of providing 24/7 technical support
2. Have a solid customer billing structure
3. Commit to selling a minimum of 5,000 new Office 365 seats every year
4. Maintain at least one Microsoft Gold Productivity Competency

Are you prepared to make those kinds of commitments? You have to be sure that the commissions you earn as a Direct CSP Partner exceed your initial expenses.

If you decide to work directly with Microsoft, you’ll have to start by getting a Microsoft Partner Network ID number. Once this is approved, you’ll have to apply for a Microsoft Live ID. To qualify for this second ID, you have to meet the billing and support requirements we referred to earlier.

Go to Market Faster with Indirect CSP

On the other hand, if you sell Office 365 with an Indirect CSP Partner like SherWeb, the whole process is a lot easier. You can cut through the red tape and be ready to go to market a lot faster. You can buy all your SKUs from the CSP distributor and sell them to your clients at the profit you choose. You don’t have to be a migration or support expert. Some CSP distributors offer professional partner support and white-label services that you can use to grow your business. In a presentation on its Partner Network website, Microsoft estimates that more than 80 percent of all CSP sales will be made through an Indirect CSP partner.

What You’ll Get from SherWeb’s CSP Program

1. You can bundle your own value-added services with SherWeb’s cloud solutions to increase your revenue.
2. You control the customer relationship by setting your own prices, profit margins and billing your customers directly.
3. You can earn margins of up to 43 percent.
4. SherWeb will support your clients and provide migration services.
5. You can offer SherWeb’s solutions under your own brand as a white-label reseller.

SherWeb Advisors Earn Higher Commissions

As you may have heard, Microsoft has pulled the plug on its Advisor and Open programs, a move which left a lot of resellers in the lurch. Microsoft ended the sell and accelerator incentives for the Advisor program on September 30, 2016. And, as of July 1, 2017, commissions paid out to Partners of Record (POR) to manage Microsoft subscriptions will be cut.

SherWeb offers its Advisors a one-time 150 percent commission plus a 7 percent recurring monthly commission for the life of the client’s contract. We’ve also created a special promotion to help Advisors increase their revenue under the CSP program.

1. If you transfer all your POR Office 365 customers to SherWeb, we’ll pay you 15 percent in the first year of our Advisor program plus a recurring commission of 5 percent every month.
2. We take care of customer migration, billing and support.

Which Program is Right for You?

It’s not an easy decision. If you feel like the Direct partnership is the best option for your business, you want to make sure that you don’t miss out on important sales opportunities while you go through the qualification process.

On the other hand, by taking advantage of SherWeb’s support and migration services, you can go to market with Office 365 in just 10 minutes. Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for Partners First, our partner program
2. Log into Cumulus, our customized partner portal
3. Sign up your first customer

SherWeb lets you sell Office 365 to your clients through three distinct partner programs: White Label, Co-branded and Advisor. You work directly with SherWeb and get access to experts with extensive experience in Microsoft cloud solutions.

Want to know more about selling cloud solutions through an Indirect CSP Partner like SherWeb? Click here.

Direct CSP changes

Written by Jason Brown Employee @ SherWeb

Jason is SherWeb’s VP of Products. He is a Product and Marketing executive with 15+ years of experience in the SMB online services industry. With a BA in Business Marketing from Griffith University, Australia, he offers an extensive background in all aspects of Product, Marketing and IT Operations Management.