There are many benefits to "moving to the Cloud," or adopting "Cloud Courage" as we at Systems Engineering (SE), like to put it. In addition to keeping up with the way in which technology is moving, it's also important to look at benefits such as CSP billing. Throughout this article, I will discuss what CSP billing is, how it works, and the various benefits involved.
So, what is CSP? Let's begin there. CSP is an acronym for Cloud Solutions Provider. As such, "CSP billing" is referred to as the purchasing of licenses and services in the Microsoft cloud, including services like Microsoft Office 365, Azure, Enterprise Mobility + Security (or "EMS"), and Windows 10 Enterprise. CSP billing does not apply to traditional or on-premises licensing such as Windows or SQL (Structured Query Language) server.
So, let's learn about the many benefits of CSP billing.
- Monthly billing occurs via the Microsoft partner. While the customer still needs to pay on time, the risk of credit card cutoff is eliminated.
- CSP provides true monthly per user billing. This allows customers to add or subtract licenses as needed. For example, if you have a temporary employee for a month or two, the customer can add the licenses just for that period of time and then discontinue once the employee leaves.
- Provisioning a new license takes minutes whereas "Open Value" (defined below) takes days.
- Open Value licensing allows you to pay for the service a year in advance. It is not as flexible as CSP and can be difficult to understand why or when the licenses expire as the number of users changes. With Azure, it can be even more complex because you have to pre-purchase consumption in $100 units and estimate what you might need for some period of months before you buy more.
- Customers can choose to self-manage subscriptions by accessing their partner's (Systems Engineering, for example) portal.
- The most important benefit of CSP is that it provides clients with an elevated level of support when paired with Systems Engineering's Advanced Support for Partners. Open tickets can be answered thoroughly and swiftly.
Let's take a look at the last bullet for increased measure. Advanced Support for Partners is not just your average support. Rather than calling into a general number and waiting your turn in line which we all know is VERY FRUSTRATING, advanced support provides your business with a direct link to the Microsoft support team. For example, SE would open a Microsoft ticket on the client's behalf and be directly connected to senior engineering resources with SLA-managed response times. This is a benefit typically open to large enterprises which SE CSP clients are able to take advantage of - and this is not the case for all IT partners. No waiting. No lines. No frustration. That in itself is a connection worth having and provides a quick ROI to your business' cloud investment.
As this article exemplifies, moving to the cloud presents businesses with many options along the way; however it's important to be smart when making the move. To see if your business is ready to move to the cloud, click on the button below to fill out SE's Cloud Readiness Assessment form.
To learn more about Microsoft Office 365, click here.
Mark Benton is Systems Engineering's (SE) Director of Product Development. He has been with SE for 10 years and has worked in the IT industry for 30+ years. Mark is considered a cloud "evangelist" and enjoys educating others on the benefits of gaining "cloud courage."