Explore the Azure and cloud products benefits area in Partner Center

Appropriate roles: Global admin | MPN partner admin

This article describes the specific Azure and cloud benefits available to partners from within Partner Center. You will also learn how to activate certain types of Azure and cloud subscriptions.

Overview

As a partner in the Microsoft Partner Network, you may have access to many technical and go-to-market benefits for different areas. If you have been assigned one of the above roles in Partner Center, you can explore many of these benefits directly from the Partner Center dashboard.

One of the benefits options that may be available to you is Azure & cloud products. When you select Azure & cloud from the Partner Center Benefits menu, the Azure & cloud products page appears.

This page shows the following details:

  • Various Azure & cloud product subscription benefits available to you, whether license-based subscriptions or usage-based subscriptions
  • License quantity assigned for each product
  • The offer type that provisioned a specific benefit product to you
  • The benefit type (whether it comes from core or incremental)
  • The date a specific benefit expires

Azure and cloud products page listing subscription benefits available to you.

Usage-based vs. license-based subscriptions

The Azure & cloud products page lists two types of subscription benefits that are provisioned to you:

  • Usage-based subscriptions (Microsoft Azure Credit)
  • License-based subscriptions (such as Office 365)

Usage-based subscriptions with two types of Microsoft Azure credit

There are two types of usage-based subscriptions you could receive, depending on the active offers available to your Microsoft Partner Network membership. Such active offers might include Microsoft Action Pack, a silver competency, or a gold competency.

The two types of usage-based subscriptions that can be provisioned for these offers include Azure monthly credit and/or Azure bulk (yearly) credit:

  • Provisioning for Azure monthly credit: This might appear as something like $100/month (or equivalent in local currency)
    and/or
  • Provisioning for Azure bulk (yearly) credit: This might appear as something like $6000/year, $12000/year, and/or $13000/year (or each of them equivalent in local currency)

To activate a Microsoft Azure subscription in Partner Center, you need to assign access to a user within the company (or a guest user). The user must already have a user entry created in your Azure Active Directory tenant. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Once you are assured the user has a user entry in your Azure AD tenant, sign into the Partner Center dashboard.

  2. Select MPN from the left-navigation menu, followed by Benefits, then Azure and cloud.

  3. Select the down arrow in the right, View details column for the usage-based subscription you want to activate.

  4. Locate the User Assignment area on the Partner Center Azure and cloud products page (below). Then, select the Assign user option to assign that user the desired usage-based subscription benefit.

    Azure and cloud products page showing user assignment area.

  • When you assign an Azure monthly credit of something like $100 per month (or equivalent in local currency), note that you can add or remove users from this subscription at any time.

  • When you assign the Azure bulk (yearly) credit, note that the Remove option is not available in Partner Center. Instead, you need to transfer the bulk credit to someone else during your enrollment year. The Azure bulk (yearly) credit subscription also can’t be combined with other licensing, prepaid, or credit offers (for example Microsoft Enterprise Agreement, Cloud Solution Provider, Azure in Open, Azure Pass, Microsoft Action Pack, etc.).

License-based subscriptions

In the license-based subscriptions section of the Azure and Cloud products page, you will find all cloud products that require a product key for activation, such as Microsoft O365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Intune, Azure AD basic, Power BI, etc. These products are offered based on the type of active offer available to you as a partner in the Microsoft Partner Network. Such offers might include Microsoft Action Pack, silver competency membership, or gold competency membership.

To activate a license-based subscription:

  1. Locate the specific subscription on the Azure and cloud products page.

  2. Select the drop-down arrow in the right, View details column for that subscription.

  3. Read the instructions on the subsequent page. Doing so will tell you more about how to redeem the keys.

    Azure and cloud products page with view details.

  4. When you are ready to redeem the key, select the Activation Walkthrough option found at the bottom of this page.

    • If you want to activate a new subscription or your existing subscription is disabled/expired, open a private or incognito browser, then copy and paste the following link and follow the instructions:

      https://signup.microsoft.com/productkeystart

Note

Office 365 E3, Office 365 E5, Enterprise Mobility + Security, Microsoft Intune and Windows 10 Enterprise benefits are no longer a part of competency benefit packages. You can activate Microsoft 365 E3 or Microsoft 365 E5 benefits that act as replacements to the standalone benefit packages that are discontinued. If you need any help with the installation or deployment of M365 benefits, please use your technical benefits to raise a technical support ticket

Note

Once a key is redeemed, the same key cannot be redeemed a second time. Also note the following important points:

  • Confirm whether or not you need to add more licenses (seats), how many, and whether or not to extend the end date. If you choose to add more licenses (seats) and you do not extend the end date, the system will provide you with less than 12 months of active subscription.

  • Make sure you are signed in with the correct credentials and that you are activating the keys on the correct Azure Active Directory (AAD) tenant. Always sign in with a private/incognito browser window to ensure you are activating keys on the correct tenant.

  • The benefit expiration date shown in Microsoft Partner Center indicates the last date to exercise usage rights on that benefit. This date may differ from the subscription end date listed in the M365 Admin Center portal. This may be due to several factors, such as benefit activation date, number of licenses associated with the key, and the licenses added or extended on the Admin portal.

Extend the end date or add more licenses to an existing subscription

Follow these steps to add more licenses or extend the end date for an existing subscription:

  1. Copy and paste the below link into a private or incognito browser window.

    https://admin.microsoft.com/AdminPortal/Home#/subscriptions

  2. When signing into your M365 admin center portal, make sure you are signing in with the correct Azure Active Directory tenant. Then, select the specific cloud subscription from the list and do one of the following (to either renew the subscription or add more licenses):

    • To renew the existing subscription, select the Extend end date option in the License area. Extending the end date will increase the duration of the subscription while keeping the number of licenses/seats the same.

    • To add more licenses (seats), to an existing subscription, select the Add Licenses option in the License area. Make sure you do not select Add Licenses if you also want to renew the existing subscription. Selecting Add licenses will reduce the subscription duration and increase the number of licenses in the subscription.

    Azure and cloud products page showing how to add licenses.

  3. In the side panel, select Redeem Product Key.

  4. Enter the product key, then select Validate to verify the key details.

  5. Select Redeem to complete the process.

    Note

    Each product key provides users with 12 months of service from the date you redeem the product key. However, if your existing users have an early renewal date, two dates will be averaged out to make it easier to manage your subscriptions based on a single end date for all of your users. No time is added or lost during the calculation. The calculation used to average out two dates is:

    Calculation: [A (initial users) x B (time remaining on subscription) + C (new users) x (12 months)] ÷ total number of users = new time remaining.

Activate a subscription for the first time

Follow these steps if you are activating a subscription for the first time. You can also use these steps if your subscription is in a disabled or expired state:

  1. Copy and paste the below link into a private or incognito browser window.

    https://signup.microsoft.com/productkeystart

  2. Make sure you have signed in to the correct Azure Active Directory tenant account. Once you are signed in, verify the tenant details.

    Azure and cloud products page showing where to add key.

  3. Enter the 25-digit key obtained from Partner Center, then select Next.

  4. Verify the displayed product details, number of licenses, and subscription duration. When you are ready, select Redeem to activate the subscription.

    The newly activated subscription will be available in Your Products tab of the M365 Admin Center.

Licensing scenarios

This section describes a few, sample licensing scenarios for subscriptions associated with Azure and cloud products. In these scenarios, you will learn how subscription end dates are calculated.

Scenario 1

If you have 100 licenses active on a subscription and you are trying to extend the end date by using a key with 25 licenses, the end date will be extended by three (3) months for the subscription with 100 licenses.

Scenario 2

If you have 100 licenses active on a subscription and you are trying to extend the end date by using a key with 100 licenses, the end date will be extended by 12 months.

Scenario 3

If you have five (5) licenses active on a subscription and you are trying to extend the end date by using a key with 10 licenses, the end date will be extended by 24 months for the subscription with five (5) licenses (or seats).

Scenario 4

If you are trying to extend the end date by using a key with more than 3x active licenses/seats, the following error message will appear. This message is by design, since the subscription end date can be extended by a maximum of 3 years.

Azure and cloud products error message.

Next steps