February 2020 announcements

This page details the announcements for Microsoft Partner Center CSP for February 2020.

2020 announcements: January 2020 | February 2020 | March 2020 | April 2020 | May 2020


New process for submitting tax withholding credit requests

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-25
  • Type: Offers/Markets
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Impacted audience

  • CSP Partners submitting tax withholding credit requests.

Summary:

A new process for submitting tax withholding credit requests is now available. This process enables partners who owe a remaining balance on past invoices to submit clearance requests if they have already paid taxes to their local tax authorities. Partners can now do submit tax withholding credit requests from the Billing page in Partner Center. Previously, tax withholding credit requests were submitted by contacting Support on Partner Center.

If after submission further edits are required, Microsoft will send requests back to the partner for resubmission and the status of the request will be updated on the Billing page. At this point, a partner may choose to edit the existing request or submit a new one. Once a request has been approved, the next invoice will be updated to reflect the amount is no longer owed.

Additional resources:

Documentation and further details can be found in the CSP Gallery collection.

Change Log

  • February 25, 2020: Original announcement published

New Microsoft Customer Agreement acceptance capability available now.

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-25
  • Type: Capabilities
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Impacted Audience:

  • Direct bill and indirect providers in the CSP program

Summary:

Partners can now invite both new and existing customers to review and accept the Microsoft Customer Agreement directly in an authenticated Microsoft portal (Microsoft 365 Admin Center).

This new capability means partners now have two options when presenting the Microsoft Customer Agreement to their customers:

  • Option 1: Partners can present the new Microsoft Customer Agreement to customers in much the same way that they previously did for the Microsoft Cloud Agreement. After a customer has reviewed and accepted the agreement, partners must attest to the customer's acceptance with Microsoft. The Partner Center Dashboard, Partner Center API, and .NET SDK have been updated to support a partner confirming customer acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement in this way.
  • Option 2 (New feature): Partners can invite customers to an authenticated Microsoft portal (Microsoft 365 Admin Center) to view and sign the agreement. This option enables simplified agreement management, faster implementation, and less work for partners as once the customer accepts directly within the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, it confirms approval of terms.

Partners can learn if customers have accepted the new agreement using new functionality available in the Partner Center Dashboard or through this new API.

As of February 1, 2020, a partner's confirmation of their customers' acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement is required to make new orders for any CSP offers in all regions under Microsoft Public Cloud. CSP partners are no longer able to make new purchases, including changes to seats or renewals of existing purchases, without confirming their customer has accepted the Microsoft Customer Agreement via one of these options.

Note

Auto-renewals are not impacted.

Next steps:

  • If a customer has not accepted the Microsoft Customer Agreement, it is mandatory as of February 1, 2020, for new orders. Partners must either attest. Option 1: that customers have accepted the agreement, or Option 2: invite customers to accept the agreement directly through Microsoft 365 Admin Center.
  • Partners using APIs for the existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement attestation need to revise their existing implementation with updated API.
  • Train your agents and resellers on the new agreement terms, and on presenting the new agreement and validating customer acceptance.

Additional Resources:

Partners can view the Microsoft Customer Agreement content available on this CSP Gallery page. Including:

  • A Microsoft Customer Agreement in CSP guide (updated)
  • Microsoft Customer Agreement FAQs (updated)

Change Log:

  • February 11, 2020: Original announcement posted
  • February 25, 2020: Announcement updated with this new API for getting the status of a customer's direct acceptance.

License-based price list March preview updated

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-19
  • Type: Offers/Markets
  • Status: Now Available

Summary:

To support the up and coming release of Microsoft Defender recently announced, we have updated the license-based March preview pricing file to include these two offers, previously left off the March preview file posted on 2020-01-31:

Offer: Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection Offer ID: e2dcab13-1365-417a-b624-4901e2b252f5

Offer: Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection for Education Offer ID: 1a7a1bcc-c7bf-4c6b-b55d-d79a6e3bb3ee

These two new offers are the only changes made to the preview file. The March preview was updated on 2020-02-14, 1PM PST.

February license-based pricing issues

Below are the known issues in the February price list and offer list matrix. I will have an update Monday 2/10 on the ERP issues previously reported and also on when the below issues can be addressed. But for February:

Below are offers in the February license-based price list but not the offer list matrix.

The following offer is not available and will be removed from future price lists:

Offer: Microsoft 365 Phone System - Virtual User Trial Offer ID: b9a1d576-43fd-464b-8ad9-4b1eafc5db77

These offers are available but not in the offer list matrix. Consult the previous offer list matrix from January 2020 for offer matrix details.

Offer: Pro Direct Support for Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Offer ID: 09dc6202-bfbb-44fb-9c87-b12c90084010

Offer: Pro Direct Support for Dynamics 365 Unified Operations for Faculty Offer ID: c3b23a21-76e2-46e7-ae4f-60e1bdb96bea

Offer: Pro Direct Support for Dynamics 365 Unified Operations for Students Offer ID: 1835808d-06a2-42c5-9f09-82c2e7ed5c72

These offers were not in the Price List but should be. Consult the December 19 price list, as prices have not changed for this offer.

Offer: Microsoft 365 A1 Offer ID: 778a4dce-0014-4d53-8647-314ef2b091d2

Offer: Dynamics 365 Remote Assist Attach Trial Offer ID: 7ce81df9-f10c-49a3-843d-e9de6fdc779f

Offer: Dynamics 365 Remote Assist Trial Offer ID: 545484f9-1c3e-426d-a387-0aa029146443

ERP issues

Previously reported discrepancies between CSP price list and other Microsoft sites is still under investigation. There were some slight differences reported for some currencies, notably NZD, where estimated retail prices (ERP) in the CSP price lists were different than prices posted on the Microsoft public web sites. The team is still investigating these issues. These ERP values have no impact on how much partners are billed; they are used however by partners to determine how to set their prices for customers.


Reminder - Action Required: Transition from baseline policies to security defaults before Feb 29, 2020

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-12
  • Type: Capabilities
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Target audiences

  • All partners in the CSP program
  • Advisors
  • Control panel vendors

Summary:

This important update regarding the mandatory partner security requirements. Effective February 29, 2020, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) "baseline" policies will be removed and replaced with "security defaults", a more comprehensive set of protection policies for you and your customers. Security defaults in Azure AD can help protect your organization with pre-configured security settings for common attacks.

Our system indicates that your organization currently uses baseline policies, but have not yet transitioned to security defaults. If you do not transition to security defaults before February 29, you will lose multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled with baseline policies on your partner tenants. Enable security defaults as soon as possible to avoid any business disruptions.

Key considerations

Security defaults policy is one of the options that partners can choose to implement MFA for the security requirements depending on their business needs. It offers a basic level of security enabled at no extra cost. Review how to enable MFA for your organization with Azure AD and the key considerations below:

  • For the partners who are using conditional access, security defaults will not be available.
  • Security defaults enforce all policies at once including the required MFA for admins policy, end-user protection policy, and required MFA for service management.
  • Blocking legacy authentication will not be enforced for partners at this time. However, since most events related to compromised identities come from sign-in attempts using legacy authentication, partners are encouraged to move away from these older protocols.
  • Security defaults automatically excludes the Azure AD Connect Sync account.
  • Security defaults are the general availability replacement of the preview baseline policies. Once a partner enables the security defaults, they will no longer be able to enable baseline policies.

Next steps and resources for security defaults

Partners who are currently using the baseline policies:

Indirect providers:

  • Inform your resellers in the Microsoft CSP program about the change (use this email template). Ensure that your resellers enable the security defaults if they are currently using baseline policies.

Note

Microsoft will also directly communicate to your resellers who are currently using the baseline policies and have Partner Center contact information.

If you have any questions for the partner security requirements, check out additional resources here.

We sincerely appreciate your partnership and commitment to ensuring our ecosystem runs on trust.

Change Log

  • January 8, 2020: Original announcement published
  • February 12, 2020: Reminder announcement published

Audio Conferencing offers introduced to multinational customers with users in India on February 1, 2020

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-05
  • Type: Offers/Markets
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Summary:

Microsoft introduced Audio Conferencing offers to multinational customers with users in India on February 1, 2020. You can use the offers for net new and renewing customers.

Impacted Audience:

Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners with customers using Audio Conferencing who might have users in India.

Details

Microsoft introduced a new user Audio Conferencing offer to multinational companies with users based in India.

Who needs to purchase the new offer

You should purchase this offer only if your customers located outside of India have assigned subscriptions to users physically located in India. In this case, you should buy as many add-on offers as there are users physically located in India.

You shouldn't purchase the offer if your customer's legal entity is based in India. Check with the local Microsoft account team on how to best proceed.

When to purchase

Current users can keep the USD4 offer until renewal. Net new and renewing multinational customers with users in India will need to quote the new offer going forward.

New offers

Refer to the offer list 0aa62437-b86a-48bd-ae51-85c8dcec5e6d.

Next steps

Familiarize yourself with the price list. Also share this information with all appropriate contacts in your organization, particularly your sales team.

Questions?

If you have any questions about these offers, check your relevant Yammer partner group.


New price sheet and foreign exchange rate APIs available for Azure plan pricing

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-04
  • Type: Capabilities
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Impacted Audience:

Direct bill and indirect providers in the CSP program who are transacting and reselling Azure plan consumption meters and reservations and use partner center APIs in their integration with Microsoft Partner Center.

Summary:

The new commerce experience for Azure in CSP can help you acquire more customers and drive higher profitability with streamlined buying and selling experiences.

As part of the new experience, we are excited to announce the availability of new pricing APIs that programmatically retrieve Azure plan pricing for consumption and reservations and foreign exchange rates indexes for billing currencies supported by Microsoft. With the new pricing API, partners can automate and simplify the process of retrieving pricing information.

The new pricing APIs provide the following capabilities:

  • Enables partners to programmatically retrieve pricing for Azure services and exchange rate data
  • Helps partners get pricing information including meter pricing in USD for Azure resources and reservations when applied to Azure plan
  • Enables partners to retrieve monthly exchange rates for the supported billing currencies under the new experience (Azure plan)
  • Offers the ability to retrieve either pricing or foreign exchange rates for the current month or previous months

Note

This is a net-new API resource specific to Azure plan pricing.

  • The existing RateCard API should still be used for existing Azure resources or reservations deployed to previous Azure subscriptions not part of the Azure plan.
  • These APIs are on a different end point (a domain hosting the API) to the Partner Center APIs.

Partner next steps and resources:

Change Log

  • February 4, 2020: Original announcement published

Changes to partner center support experience

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-04
  • Type: Capabilities
  • Status: Now Available

Impacted Audience:

  • All users who create support requests in Partner Center.

Summary:

Partner Center is streamlining the support request flow for all Partner Center programs.

Details

Selecting a support topic that best describes the partner's issue enables Partner Center to collect all the required information for the issue and more quickly get it to the right support engineers. We are making changes to simplify how partners find the best place to log their service requests:

  • The quick search makes it easier to find the topic that best describes the issue.
  • Users can also “show filters” to navigate available support topics.
  • Redundant topics have been removed and other topic descriptions have been updated to be clearer.

These changes will start to be available to you the week of 3 February.

Additional resources:

Change Log

  • February 4th, 2020: Original announcement published

Now required: Microsoft Customer Agreement acceptance in CSP.

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-04
  • Type: Capabilities
  • Status: Now Available
  • Learn more

Impacted audience:

  • Direct bill and indirect providers in the CSP program

Summary:

The new Microsoft Customer Agreement in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program became available effective October 2019, replacing the existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement. The new, simplified customer agreement provides consistent purchase terms for customers – regardless of the way customers choose to buy.

Starting February 1, 2020, direct bill and indirect providers in CSP are required to confirm customer's acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement for any CSP offers under Microsoft Public Cloud. Without confirming the customer's acceptance for the new agreement, partners will not be able to make a new purchase for the customer including changing seats and renewal of existing purchases from that date ( auto-renewal will not be impacted).

Partners can present the new agreement to customers in the same way they did for the existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement. After a customer reviews and accepts the agreement, partners must confirm the customer's acceptance on Partner Center. The Partner Center web user interface, API, and .NET SDK have been updated to support the new agreement.

For more information, review the resources about the Microsoft Customer Agreement in CSP located on this page.

Next steps

  • Confirm customer’s acceptance using the Partner Center web user interface or API.
  • Partners using APIs for the existing Microsoft Cloud Agreement need to revise their existing implementation with updated API.
  • Train your agents and resellers on the new agreement terms, and presenting the new agreement and validating customer acceptance.

Note

Customer acceptance of the Microsoft Customer Agreement is also required for purchasing via the new commerce experience in CSP for Azure that was released in November 2019. In Q1 CY2020, partners in CSP will also start to see the additional option on Partner Center that will enable partners to invite customers to an authenticated Microsoft portal (Microsoft 365 Admin Center) and have customers view and sign the Microsoft Customer Agreement directly.

Change Log:

  • Jan 28, 2020: Original reminder posted.
  • Feb 4, 2020: Announcement updated to reflect the Microsoft Customer Agreement is now required.

Microsoft has released additional Dynamics 365 products, effective February 1, 2020

Categories

  • Date: 2020-02-03
  • Type: Offers/Markets
  • Status: Now Available

Summary:

Microsoft released additional Dynamics 365 products on February 1, 2020.

Impacted audience:

  • Partners offering Dynamics 365 through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program worldwide (unless advised differently)

Details

Microsoft released new products for Dynamics Biz Apps and Power Platform Products on February 1, 2020.

Biz Apps and Power Platform

On February 1, 2020, the following new and updated offers for Biz Apps and Power Platform offers were released:

Human Resources (new offers)

  • Dynamics 365 HR users can purchase Dynamics 365 Unified Ops Additional DB/File Capacity USL offers.
  • Dynamics 365 HR Self-Serve offers
  • Dynamics 365 Human Resources (user, tenant)

loT Intelligence for Supply Chain Management (new offers)

  • IoT Intelligence Scenario (tenant level)—includes entitlement up to six scenarios and ten machines (prerequisite: Supply Chain/Unified Ops Management user base or attach SKU)
  • IoT Intelligence Additional Machine (tenant level) add-on for the add-on that licenses the customer for ten additional machines (prerequisite: IoT Intelligence Scenario SKU)

eCommerce name change

  • Dynamics 365 Retail offer has been changed to Dynamics 365 Commerce.

Customer Insights license update. The following SKUs have had the licensing type changed from AddOn to NON:

  • Dyn365ECstmrInsights ShrdSvr ALNG SubsVL MVL
  • Dyn365ECstmrInsightsEDU ShrdSvr ALNG SubsVL MVL

The following offers are no longer available for Dynamics 365 Human Resources:

  • Dynamics 365 Talent
  • Dynamics 365 for Talent from SA
  • Attract, Onboard, and Comprehensive Hiring

On February 1, 2020, Microsoft changed the names of some product families and offers to align the naming for existing Dynamics and Power Platform offers in other channels and regions. See the specific changes in the file titled "Dynamics CSP Offer Name Changes—Feb 2020" here.

Additional resources

Next steps

Share this information within your organization and with your customers.

If you want to dig deeper into the licensing updates and the value proposition, familiarize yourself with our readiness content in the Additional resources section and on PartnerSource.

If you need support strictly relating to your operations with Microsoft, contact support.