Microsoft Partners: How to Create Multiple Streams of Recurring Revenue With The CSP Program

Our switching service shows you how to find new customer opportunities by showing EA prospects how you can track, optimize, and manage their Office 365 and Azure licenses better in the CSP program.

As Mentioned In:

Case Studies:

Reseller wins over Automotive Experience Provider by revealing yearly O365 and Azure savings that are unlockable through switching to the CSP program.

Before State:

  • Lacking any competitive offerings
  • Battling for this client with Large Account Resellers (LARs)
  • Left competing on price alone (losing battle)
  • Couldn’t connect client’s licensing needs to their business model

After State:

  • Revealed how this client in question could save 15% in Office 365 subscriptions and 7% in Azure optimization
  • Automotive Experience Provider took their business over the LAR
  • Reseller gained another stream of recurring monthly revenue and a new business partner

 

IT solutions architect saves his company from compliance nightmares and over $200K by switching to the CSP program.

Before State:

  • US Pharma company under pressure to find cost savings in their Microsoft environment
  • Current Microsoft reseller did not know enough about the CSP program to allow them to see if it was cheaper

After State:

  • Helped the VP of Procurement identify licensing shortfalls in his organization’s Microsoft EA contract
  • Cost savings hiding in his Microsoft licensing
  • Identified ~$130K in yearly Office 365 subscriptions and found a further ~$70K in Azure optimizations available from moving from EA to CSP
  • Hooked client up with a new reseller who would sell and support them in their switch to CSP

Who’s This Service For?

Right now, you may wondering who this service is for. If you are tired of competing with LARs or other resellers that are circling around in your client’s Office 365 accounts, having trouble finding ways to boost your O365 margins, or are having low success winning or prospecting for new clients for your company, then stick around because this service is for you. Furthermore, if you’re on the hook for bringing in a certain amount of margin quota this year or if you want a competitive O365 and Azure solution that can save your client’s hundreds of thousands in subscription fees, boost your margins, and block out your competitors, then you’re in the right place.

The Truth About CSP Switching

Today, you may be having a moderate amount of success trying to get business out of your customers doing what you’re doing.

In the past, any customer over 250 users was in an EA which equals limited success, competing against LARs and LSPs with what are perceived as having better programs and pricing. Recent changes to EA Microsoft pricing strategies around EAs allows you to compete for customers with up to 3000 users – but you need to be smart to realize how to do this. Convincing your customers to switch from EA to CSP is realistically the only way to grow your Microsoft business. Unless you’ve been selling EAs and Microsoft Licensing for years? You’re at a serious disadvantage right out of the gate.

Which is why, we’ve dedicated ourselves to becoming the only people who can solve that resource gap for Microsoft CSP partners.

Mike Austin CEO Headshot

Background Story

The EA to CSP Switching Service has been developed based on MetrixData 360’s Founder Mike Austin’s 10+ years of experience as a member of the software licensing group at Microsoft and his considerable time spent working in the private SAM consulting industry.

It was here where Mike came to understand how Microsoft uses their licensing schemes, contract vehicles, and sales tactics to get companies to overbuy software that rarely gets used. And so, in order to help his client’s and partners retain their edge in Microsoft reselling, he decided to launch a service that leverages his and his team’s knowledge to show resellers where to find savings opportunities which they can use to give back to their customers.

The knowledge not only helped resellers find their customers more money in savings, it also became a valuable prospecting tool which helped them win clients over from competing entities.

Thus formerly spawned the CSP Switching Service. Which has now succeeded in helping MSPs save hundreds of thousands of dollars for their client’s and win over countless prospects all while receiving higher reselling margins at the same time. And now, companies from around the globe have retained MetrixData 360’s CSP Switching Services to keep an edge over their competitors to this day.

The Steps to a Successful CSP Switch

Step 1.

Research everything there is to know about the Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) program. 


 

Questions:

Why can’t I just research this on my own?

Great question. You can and should research the CSP program on your own. However, CSP resources are scarce. That’s why we created the course in the first place. To provide the best stream of EA to CSP info on this topic. 

How long will the course take?

We estimate this course will take you about 2 – 4 hours to complete. 

Is watching the course necessary?

We highly recommend you watching the course, as it puts in perspective the value resellers and their clients can gain from participating in the CSP program.

E

Old Way

Start reading Microsoft’s lengthy and unhelpful documentation.

Search Google for hours on end only to end up checking through outdated forums.

N

The New Way

Take our EA to CSP course (included in our whole switching service). Enjoy 1:1 access with our expert team members to ask any questions you may have to. 

Learn everything you need to about CSP in less than 4 hours. 

Conclusion:

Our robust EA to CSP course will educate you on all the nuances of the EA to CSP you need to know to show your client the cost saving opportunities that are out there for them. 

E

Old Result

You come back with spotty research, and a choppy understanding of the benefits and downsides of the CSPYou’re not exactly sure how it fully works, and you are getting stressed because you said you did to a client. 

N

The New Result

Develop a strong understanding of CSP. 

Learn the tricks of the CSP switching trade.  

Impress your clients with your deep insider knowledge. 

Step 2.

Assess and analyze your client’s environment.


 

Questions:

I have my own tool, why can’t I use that?

You can use your own tool. However, for the fastest and most accurate way to get to your client’s data we recommend using our tool known as SLIM 360. It has specific logic built into it to extract data from Azure and O365 environments.

Why can’t I analyze the assessment myself? It should be straightforward.

You could totally analyze this yourself and draw your own conclusions. It is possible however exceedingly difficult. Doing this yourself requires a multitude of skill-sets that are hard to find. On top of that, DIY-ing could lead to expensive errors. 

 

E

Old Way

You’re used to creating a spreadsheet then tracking all the licenses you are supplying your client and estimating how much they can potentially save.  

 

 

N

The New Way

Use our Tool & Team to perform an assessment for you. 

Receive a document and video highlighting only the best optimization areas. 

Conclusion:

Our robust EA to CSP course will educate you on all the nuances of the EA to CSP you need to know to show your client the cost saving opportunities that are out there for them. 

E

Old Result

Terribly slow process which takes way too long. It’s also at risk of being inaccurate. Especially if you are using a tool you’re not use to using or have low experience consolidating licensing data. 

N

The New Result

Our tool and team will sniff out any existing licenses, Azure reservations, and any other hidden benefits for you to capitalize on and make the switch more profitable for your client. 

 

Step 3.

Create a business case highlighting the potential benefits for your client to over to the CSP program.


Questions:

What do I need to include in the business case?

This is highly dependent on your situation. Whether you’re a salesperson, MSP, or solutions architect, we will show you exactly what you need to include in your business case as well as how to write it to make it irresistible to your prospects and clients. 

Why do I have to do this? Shouldn’t the client already know the benefits?

Your client will likely know the basics. But this step we are taking that a step further and setting you up to show them cost savings beneath the surface level. Then we take it even deeper. We will provide you more place to show them like opportunities in security, cloud, and audit defense.  

Do I have to do this for every customer or client?

If your relationship is strong with your prospective client, then you don’t have to pull out all the stops, all the time. On the other hand, we still recommend showing them what they can expect in great detail. 

E

Old Way

You write out benefits of switching to CSP – that you’ve came across in your research. You also highlight some places where prices are cheaper in CSP. With these points jotted down you decide to call your client to tell them the good news. 

N

The New Way

Use info from our assessment to highlight the inactive users, underutilized storage, hybrid benefits, and more–  to show the value you can offer them in the form of cost savings, security opportunities, and optimization. 

Conclusion:

Our team has been doing this for years and can create a business case that will be able to blow your clients socks off.  

E

Old Result

The benefits you stated make for a week business case. You forget to show solid data to back up the value behind the switch. Your client is not overly impressed. 

N

The New Result

Client is impressed. They save more money and purchase less licenses. You gain a new business relationship 

 

 

Step 4.

Prepare a presentation for your client 


 

Questions:

Can you double check our presentation to make sure we are in the right ballpark?

Yes, if you’d like, you and our experts will meet to discuss beforehand to check the messaging and help cater your deck to your client. 

E

Old Way

You spend hours putting together a PowerPoint presentation and rehearsing it. 

N

The New Way

Have our team back you up on your presentation call. Or Coach you through what you need to say beforehand. 

Conclusion:

When pitching the CSP Switch, having experienced backup is usually necessary to seal the deal. 

E

Old Result

Client has heard the CSP benefits a million times over and does not care or see the new value you are offering. 

N

The New Result

Now that you’ve been coached on what to present and how to present it to your clients, (if needed) your presentation will go smoothly, and you will impress your client. 

 

 

 

Step 5.

Answer questions and objections.


 

Questions:

Will you be on the call when this step is happening?

Yes, we do offer in-call support. Alternatively, we can go through beforehand and after if that suits you better as well. 

E

Old Way

Stressful process.  Especially if you do not have a full knowledge of the program and client’s environment. 

 

N

The New Way

Offload your client’s questions to our team by having our experts on the call. We’ll help get through all objections with detail. 

Alternatively, we can coach you through this before they presentation to make sure it goes as smooth as possible. 

 

Conclusion:

Being able to answer every one of your client’s objections thoroughly and accurately greatly increases the chance they will be willing to switch with you. 

E

Old Result

Client asks some questions you can’t answer, and they are weary of switching with you. 

 

N

The New Result

Our experts will answer questions your clients have in a way that always helps prove your value. 

 

 

 

 

Step 6.

Migrate your client. 


 

Questions:

How hard is the migration process?

The migration process is simple. Since we’ve done all the complicated steps before hand. Essentially the migration process is a change of billing on the back end.

What is the difference between switching M365 over Azure to CSP?

There are some slight differences in switching over to M365 and Azure products. For Azure, if the customer has subscriptions in a different Azure AD Tenant on their EA today, you will need to setup a separate CSP Partner Relationship for each of the Azure tenants. However, we will be available to help you with that after the assessment is done. 

 

What is an MCA (Microsoft Customer Agreement)? And how do I get my client to sign it?

This is a simple written document available online from Microsoft that proves the reseller to client relationship. If your client is new to you, they will have to sign a new MCA that states they are now your customer.  

 

 

E

Old Way

You start to explain the process to the customer. They get increasingly nervous due to the excessive use of jargon and mentions of User Permissions. 

N

The New Way

Have our team help walk you through what to say to the client, or coach you on what to do and say for the migration phase. Alternatively, have an expert of ours join this call to help clear out any fog of switching over to CSP. 

Conclusion:

The migration phase of this service is relatively easy, however knowing how to explain it to your client is key to gaining their partnership. 

E

Old Result

Client is hesitant to let you access any data and backs out of the deal because you have failed to educate them on what is truly happening. 

N

The New Result

Your deep knowledge of the migration process becomes clear when you can answer all your client’s questions in deep detail.  

 

 

 

 

"What happens if I don't use CSP switching services?"

As you can see here, you can start switching your clients to CSP in only 6 steps. However, that’s not the only way to go about the CSP Switch. It is totally possible to do this yourself or get someone internally to do the groundwork for you. No matter which way you slice it, building out a CSP business case has varying results depending on which route you take to do so. Let’s explore those different ways:

 

Alternative Action Alternative Result Alternative Price Alternative Time
1 Ask someone else on your team to build out a CSP switching process.

  • Your teammate may not know of all the intricacies of the CSP and could fail to answer client’s questions fully or leave out vital information when pitching their  offer to potential clients. 

  • Client becomes hesitant to switch. 

  • Your practice continues to be locked out of some company’s O365 opportunities.

Cost is employee(s) salary for 4 – 8 months

~ $44K+

4 – 8 Months
2 Hire a B2B marketing agency to build out your CSP offering for you. 

  • Marketing agency misses the mark as they are not fully aware of the clients’ licensing goals and how that ties to the industry that they’re in. 

  • Money is wasted on a low resonance campaign

  • Low quality leads generated.
$80K + Employee time 4 – 6 Months
3 Start CSP switching yourself (DIY) 

  • Depending on your knowledge of the company’s current needs, there is a chance you may miss the mark on illustrating the benefits between their old agreement and buying in the CSP program.

 

  • You have miss identified services that are not allowed to move over to the CSP program and  you now have a frustrated client and worse reputation. 

Your salary for 1 -2 months.

~ $24K +  

1 – 2 Months
4 Implement Metrix Data 360’s CSP switching services.  

  • Develop an offering that highlights your firms’ skills and the savings potential for your clients and prospects
  • You can now offer Azure and M65 License optimization  services to compete with LARs

  • Greater understanding of the EA to CSP opportunity for clients

  • Achieve healthier margins by selling licenses in CSP. 

  • Compete with the bigger companies in the 250 + user space. 
Take our pricing quiz to get a quote. 1 – 4 Months

Who’s This For Again?

Again, this is for Microsoft resellers and sales professionals who:

  • Want to help their clients save hundreds of thousands of dollars while simultaneously increasing their margins by using Microsoft’s CSP licensing model
  • Win over new prospects with unique licensing optimization offerings
  • Want to increase their reselling margins
  • Resellers that want to get their client’s and prospects fired up about their value added services and savings they can find them
  • And anyone who is interested in saving their organization hundreds of thousands of dollars a year

 

Case Studies:

Pharma company saves over $200K a year by getting switched to the CSP program

After going through some rough times, this US Based Pharma company was under pressure to find cost savings in their Microsoft software environment. The Director of Vendor Management, Mr.B knew switching to a cloud-based solution like CSP could save his company money, but without a way to look inside their data and analyze their office 365 subscription situation, they were weary to make any moves without crunching numbers first. To add to their problems, Microsoft was not overly enthusiastic to support them with their savings targets or switching journey as well. So, Mr.B set out to find someone that could help. 

Enter MetrixData 360. Mr.B caught wind of MetrixData 360’s EA to CSP switching services after spending hours researching online. 

Mr.B told us that he wanted to migrate their on-prem datacenters to Azure and check out the cost difference of switching his O365 to cloud. After a quick back and forth, we ran Paul’s numbers and showed exactly how much he could save with his Azure and O365 in CSP, in the cloud. 

Which was over $250K a year on their subscription licenses alone. Then we also helped him remove over 400 unneeded licenses and hooked them up with a better CSP reseller which they continue to work with to this day. 

Before State: After State:
1200 employee strong Pharma company under pressure to find cost savings. They wanted to switch to CSP to save some money on their O365 subscriptions. However, Microsoft did not support them on making the move or even investigate the option. In 2 months, this pharma company’s director of Vendor Management saved over $250K in yearly savings by switching their O365 and Azure subscriptions to a CSP. They also got a new CSP reseller with better pricing and support. 

Reseller wins over Auto Experience Provider by showing them they can save over 15% a year in licensing subscriptions by switching to CSP.

This reseller wanted to win over an American automobile experience provider’s O365 Business.  However, the company they were trying to woo, was already buying through a competitor LSP (License Solution Provider) in an EA.   For this reseller to win over this company’s O365 business, they needed to show a way how they can help license better, cheaper, and less painfully. However, they didn’t really have the solution for this in their arsenal at that time. 

Enter Metrixdata 360’s EA to CSP Switching Service. After this reseller contacted us, took our training and used our white labeled tools – we helped show them where the cost savings opportunities are in their client’s O365 and Azure Environment.  In this case, we helped this reseller identify the potential client had been paying for abandoned storage and not using their Azure Hybrid Benefits to their full potential. And on the O365 side of things, we showed them that this client was still paying for numerous blocked and inactive users consuming Project BI, Visio, and M365 licenses that they didn’t need to be.  With this new intel, our team helped them forge a rock-solid business case highlighting those savings that they could find with them as their new reseller. After they presented this new angle, the automotive experience company in question, was impressed with the 15% Office 365 and 7% Azure cost savings and decided to switch over to the reseller that partnered with us.  

With this new partnership, the reseller accomplished a lot: 

  • They successfully knocked out a larger reseller from their potential client,  
  • Gained new business and won recurring revenue 
  • Increased their margins on this CSP deal  
  • Created a new formula they are using to win deals even to this day. 

Before State: After State:
This reseller was lacking any special offerings and was competing on O365 prices with an LSP (Large Service Provider) to win business from an Automotive Experience Company. They were not hopeful that their bid would be chosen. Reseller was able to show their client how they could save them over 15% on Office 365 and 7% on their Azure usage a year solely by moving to CSP. Client turned down the LSP and went with the Reseller.  

The New Outcomes of our CSP Switching Service

Step 1:
Take the EA to CSP Training Course

  • Video training course developed by Microsoft licensing expert Mike Austin
  • Straight to the point, everything you need to know about EA and CSP in a concise package.
  • You don’t have to spend hours researching online, everything you need to know is in this course
  • Anyone enrolled in this course can ask questions to our experts which will be answered within 24 hours

Step 2:
Feed client data into our O365 and Azure Analysis Tool (Slim 360)

  • Forget having to spend thousands on a software tool, we have a custom-made tool made for this purpose that you can access anytime.
  • Save time on tool training as our experts will handle the data parsing for you.

Step 3:
Review reports and identify
savings opportunities

  • Our analysts will bring you your findings quicker than if you were to DIY.
  • Don’t worry about falling asleep analyzing excel workbooks as our team will check for you and send back a detailed video going through the areas you need to see.

Step 4:
Work with our team to build your new Business Case

  • Save time spit balling ideas on the best approach to take to announce these results, our team has the formula down to a tee and will show you how to replicate it if needed.

Step 5:
Changing Billing with help from our experts

  • Say goodbye to spending hours reading Microsoft's CSP documentation, our experts can guide you in the right direction when it comes to billing as we’ve done this hundreds of times.

How It Works:

Here’s a closer look at how the CSP Switching Service works:

Steps Old Activity New Activity How it’s Better Value:
1 Hours of CSP research  Take our EA to CSP Course 
  • Learn everything you need to know about these two licensing vehicles 
  • Learn the process in depth from 
$1K
2 Feed client’s data into a SAM tool  Feed client data into Slim 360 Switching tool
  • Tailor made to find savings in Office 365 and Azure spend. 
  • Shows exactly how much a client can save when switching to CSP 
  • Much lower cost 
$20K
3 Try to make sense of what your expensive SAM tool outputted 

Receive document highlighting all savings and potential optimization areas with our experts. 

Then receive a video walk through from our experts explaining the findings in detail.

  • Our experts will send you a detailed spreadsheet identifying the CSP savings opportunities found from the data

  • We will also send you a video walking through the numbers or go through it together over a call. 
$5K
4 Use that data to go prospecting for potential clients  Confidently pitch a rock-solid business case showing the benefits your client can expect when they switch from EA to CSP. 
  • Our experts will work with you to produce the best angles for you to pitch to your clients. 
  • You will have compelling arguments that will make your prospects turn into your customers 
$10K
5 Switch clients billing  Change billing with help from our experts. Plus get follow up support to keep you on the cutting edge of the CSP space. 
  • Stop worrying about if you have correctly made the switch happen. Our experts will walk you through it step-by-step to make sure you have your new customers set up on the right track. 
$1K

Our Offers:

CSP Switching Standard Service

Feature Value
EA to CSP Switching Course  $1K 
SLIM 360 Tool  $20K 
Analysis Services  $5K 
Business Case Building  $15K 
Switching Support  $1K 
Total Value  $42K 

CSP Switching Silver Service

Feature Value
EA to CSP Switching Course  $1K 
SLIM 360 Tool  $20K 
Analysis Services  $5K 
Business Case Building  $15K 
Switching Support  $1K 
Azure and O365 Assement
$20K
15% minimum savings guarantee
Total Value  $62K 

CSP Switching Gold Service

Feature Value
EA to CSP Switching Course  $1K 
SLIM 360 Tool  $20K 
Analysis Services  $5K 
Business Case Building  $15K 
Switching Support  $1K 
Azure and O365 Assessment
$20K
24/7 1:1 switching support from our experts
$5K
On-going contract negotiation support for all Microsoft products
$20K
15% minimum savings guarantee
Total Value  $87K 

Warning:

Due to the resources needed to perform the CSP Switching Service at the highest level of service, we can only take on 15 CSP Switching clients per month. So, if you are interested in our services, be sure to act sooner than later, or we may not be able to work with you.

Q&A

W look forward to working with you to build out your CSP switching capabilities. If you have any questions left un-answered please reach out to us by clicking the button below:

How Much does it cost?

Excellent question. It’s impossible to give you a price right off the bat without first checking the situation. Things like client size, time, and the number of products being switched, all factor into the price. We like to say it will be around $25K however that number usually changes. 

If you would like to get an accurate price, please take the quiz. Or book a meeting to discuss. 

How Long will this service last?

This service usually takes about 1-2 months to be completed. However, we usually continue to help our clients well after their initial engagement is completed. If support is needed after that, depending on the situation and if our workload is heavier than usual, clients may be billed an hourly rate. 

What happens if my customers start asking questions that were not covered in the training?

Good question but highly unlikely scenario. If you are worried that your prospects may be asking some great but hard to answer questions during your pitch, or anytime in-between, you can always let us know and we can perform a coaching session before or during the client call. 

Our goal is to make you a CSP selling machine and we are dedicated to help get you there. 

I’m not a reseller, but I like the CSP idea. Will this work for me?

Great catch. Yes, this will work for IT, Procurement, and even Finance professionals in companies that are looking for Microsoft savings. The process may be slightly modified but we have helped many customers in IT positions at multinational companies bring CSP to the table and save their company hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so. 

Can you look at more than just O365 and Azure Licensing?

Good question. Yes, especially when it comes to Microsoft products. We can check SQL and Windows Server as well. Usually since customers keep those services on-prem we don’t get asked about them as much with our EA to CSP switching service. 

How do I know if this service is for me?

That is an especially important question. If you want to be able to compete in the 250+ size company space than this service is for you. If you also want to bring in higher margins, more lucrative commissions, and are passionate about licensing in the cloud, than this service is also right for you. 

If you read down this far, I’m sure this service can help you. So what are you waiting for! Book a call to find out! 

How do I know this service works?

That is always a good question to ask. If you don’t believe us, feel free to book a meeting and we can show you proof of some of the savings and results we’ve passed to clients we have worked with.  

How do I justify the costs to my boss?

Excellent question. We know that this always comes down to the cost to benefit ratio. If you need extra materials or just someone on a call to explain the service, we are always available to provide a cost to benefit explanation to anyone inquiring