Last week we hosted a CloudBilling CSP Experience at the Dutch Microsoft office. Our event coincided with the final days of Microsoft’s fiscal year. I’m sure there would have been some pressure on specific deals during these days but nothing gave that away. Of course as an outsider, you don’t see everything, but I truly think that the tranquillity in their offices, at one the most important days in their fiscal year, has to do with Microsoft’s transition from software vendor to service provider.
Being a service provider is all about services and solutions your customers expect you to deliver against a (monthly) recurring income. Having recurrence in your income gives stability in forecasting and financial planning. It doesn’t give the need to chase last minute deals at the end of a Quarter or a Year.
Recurring income + Microsoft = Cloud Solution Provider program. Microsoft’s program to support you in delivering solutions to your customers, which you can invoice on a recurring basis. Microsoft is really pushing on CSP on their road to deliver usage based service solutions. Having experienced the push of CSP in The Netherlands, what will the coming Worldwide Partner Conference next week have in store regarding CSP?
Moreover, what will CSP bring you besides a healthy margin and easy ordering of Cloud Solutions? You need to arrange certain things of course:
- a service delivery organisation
- with a service desk
- service managers
- but also automatic delivery of the CSP solutions
- as well as billing your cloud services
As a company that offers contract management and billing services we are very curious what the road ahead concerning the last bullet point will be. How will Microsoft facilitate the exports and data you need to produce a real usage based invoice?
We have seen the steps Microsoft took in this area at first hand. We are slowly progressing to a world where CSP billing is indeed plug & play. However, we are certainly not there yet. One of the focus points at WPC 2106 is to learn more from and to interact with the CSP team on the billing output they are producing for you.
Go API or CSV? No, Go CSP!