April 2021 announcements

This page provides the announcements for Microsoft Partner Center for April 2021.

Readiness: Updated CSP customer address validation API going live in June; testing capability now available

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-30
  • Readiness

Summary

To help partners and customers run their business based on trust, we’ll be inviting partners to test changes to the Validate Address API for all countries worldwide.

Impacted audience

CSP direct bill partners and indirect providers who create new or update existing customers’ address details

Details

Microsoft runs on trust. We’re committed to providing a compliant, safe, and secure method of customer address validation for transacting customer subscriptions in the CSP program. As of March 31, 2021, we have introduced changes to the Validate Address API. We invite partners to test the API prior to the go-live at the end of June 2021.

Note that these changes affect the Validate Address API only. Create Customer and Update Billing Profile APIs aren’t affected. Although the suggested address doesn’t currently have to be used with the Create Customer API, it’s highly recommended.

The response will return one of the following status messages:

Status Description Number of suggested addresses returned
Verified shippable Address is verified and can be shipped to. Single
Verified Address is verified. Single
Interaction required Suggested address has been changed significantly and needs user confirmation. Single
Street partial The given street in the address is partial and needs more info. Multiple—maximum of three
Premises partial The given premises (building number, suite number, and others) are partial and need more info. Multiple—maximum of three
Multiple There are multiple fields that are partial in the address (potentially also including street partial and premises partial). Multiple—maximum of three
None Address is incorrect. None
Not validated Address was not able to be sent through the validation process. None

US post codes will return an additional four digits + hyphen, for example, 12345-6789.

Next steps

  • Review the technical documentation and frequently asked questions in the dedicated partner collection for more detailed guidance.
  • Prepare to incorporate the changes using the Partner Center API and web user experience.
  • Share your sandbox tenant ID with the subject matter expert (Ali Khaki) to be included in the test flight, so that you can begin preparing for the update.
  • If you’re using a control panel vendor (CPV) solution, consult your CPV.

Questions?

If you need support for your operations with Microsoft, reach out to your partner support Yammer group or open a service request.


New location for Partner Center API Swagger documentation

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-26
  • Capabilities

Summary

Partner Center API Swagger documents have been migrated from the previous Swagger Documentation site to a new Swagger Documentation site.

Impacted audience

Direct bill partners and Indirect Providers participating in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program who are using the Partner Center APIs

Details

As of April 26, 2021 the Partner Center API Swagger documentation, including Rest API content, is located on a new site. The old site will be inaccessible after several weeks.

Benefits

The Partner Center API Swagger documentation will provide a Try It function. To use this function, you’ll need to have a Bearer Token, which you can generate by following the steps listed in Partner Center Authentication.

Next steps

Share this information within your organization so that the appropriate team can review and update their processes.

Questions?

For questions about these offers, check your relevant Yammer communities.


Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) software return period policy and download link expiry notice

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-21
  • Capabilities

Summary

There are changes to the CSP software return period policy and download link expiry.

Impacted audience

Partners transacting perpetual software or software subscription offers in CSP

Details

Note the following important notifications regarding perpetual software and software subscription purchases through Partner Center:

Software return period policy

From June 1, 2021, the return period for software offers in CSP, as stated in the Microsoft Partner Agreement (MPA), will change from 60 days from order date to 30 days from order date.

After an order for a software offer is submitted, partners will have 30 days from the order date to submit any revisions to such order:

  • Any perpetual software license returned within the 30-day return period will receive a full credit of the paid purchase price.

  • Any software subscription product returned within the 30-day return period will receive a prorated credit of the paid purchase price.

This message is a follow-up to our email communications sent on December 2020 and April 2021 to all CSP partners regarding the return period and other updates to the MPA. Refer to those notices for full details regarding changes affecting the MPA.

From June 3, 2021, the software download links for perpetual software and software subscription product purchases through Partner Center will have an expiration date of five days from the initial download. The expiry period will apply to all purchases before June 3, 2021, as well as on or after June 3, 2021.

Next steps

Review the CSP return period and download link expiry FAQ, and inform all appropriate teams within your organization of these changes:

Questions?

For questions about these offers, check your relevant Yammer communities.


Open Licensing program: Transitioning resellers to the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-19
  • Grow Your Business

Summary

This communication details how to prepare for the changes that are coming soon to the Open Licensing program.

Impacted audience

CSP and Open License partners

Details

In 2020, Microsoft announced that perpetual software licenses will be broadly available to partners and customers through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. The first milestone was reached in January 2021, when commercial perpetual software offers became available. The next key milestone will happen in July 2021, when public sector offers become available. We also communicated that effective January 1, 2022, no new software license purchases or renewals of Software Assurance or online services can be made through the Open License program.

The transition of perpetual software to the CSP program in the new commerce experience will help partners to expand the opportunities to offer diverse solutions and managed services. This will also accelerate customers’ transition to the cloud. To help ensure a smooth transition for both our partners and customers, we’ve made these adjustments and materials to accelerate this digital transformation:

April 2021

Now available: Open License-to-CSP transition materials for resellers

July 2021

CSP
  • July 1: Perpetual software licenses available to public sector customers

  • July 7: Visual Studio Pro and Get Genuine Windows Agreement perpetual software licenses available to all segments

Open Value
  • July 1: Additional SKUs available in the Open Value program for education and nonprofit, providing similar offers to the Open License program
Open License
  • July 1: Microsoft will no longer launch new offers in the Open License program.

January 2022

  • January 1: No new purchases or renewals can be made through the Open License program

Next steps

CSP indirect providers

Use the coming months to help Open License resellers orient into the CSP program by attending partner community events and using the Open License-to-CSP transition materials for resellers:

  • Open License-to-CSP transition materials for resellers—Customizable overview presentation, email template, CSP indirect reseller onboarding guide, and more to help you drive the adoption for your resellers at scale.

  • CSP Partner Community Events hosted by Microsoft Business Operations. Join the various sessions to learn CSP basics (CSP Fundamentals) or stay up to date, and ask questions regarding Software in CSP (Q&A Sessions).

  • (Coming soon) CSP indirect reseller–focused training session hosted by Microsoft Business Operations.

Open License resellers

  • If your organization isn’t currently enrolled in the CSP program, contact your distributor for information on how to get started. Connect with an indirect provider here.

  • If your organization is already enrolled in the CSP program, learn more about perpetual software in CSP here.

Questions?

For further questions about these offers, check your relevant Yammer communities.


Now live: Global promo readiness guide

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-16
  • Capabilities

Summary

Launch Readiness has published a new global promo readiness guide on the Operations Readiness resource gallery. This guide provides a consolidated view of all active global promotions.

Impacted audience

All Volume Licensing (VL), Dynamics Price List (DPL), and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners

Details

Microsoft partners have shared with us the need to provide a consolidated view of all global promotions with supporting details. You wanted this consolidated guide to help you use promotions with the confidence that all the available information will be readily accessible in a central and convenient location.

Beginning in April 2021, Microsoft will update this guide on a monthly basis, and it will be available in a dedicated Global Promo Readiness Guide collection in the Operations Readiness resource gallery.

Links to this guide will also be included in the following collections:

As a monthly reminder, we will also publish a Partner Center announcement with each new issue of the global promo readiness guide.

Next steps

At the start of each month, you will find the latest global promo readiness guide in the Operations Readiness resource gallery.

Share this information with the appropriate contacts in your organizations and let us know how helpful the guide is through the “Was this page helpful?” button at the end of each page.


April Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) community update and reminders

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-16
  • Community | Invites and reminders

Summary

CSP community resources are available on demand and updated monthly to keep you informed and prepared for change in the CSP program.

Impacted audience

CSP direct bill partners and indirect providers

Details

This month, the resources include the following key topics:

Within the CSP community collection, you’ll find:

CSP Community Call Q&As

Community Call Q&As are available to help you with questions related to upcoming changes. Register now for CSP Community Call Q&As that are taking place in April, May, and June. These will focus on the latest launches, important refreshers, and reminders.

Register here.

Next steps

Review the community resources and register for the Community Call Q&A.

To ensure that you get the most from the Community Call Q&A, review the on-demand community content and submit your questions up to 48 hours before the call.

Questions?

The monthly CSP Community Call Q&A is the best place for questions related to changes in the CSP program. Each month, review the material and submit your questions in advance so that we can spend the session on the topics that are most important to you.

For more information, contact Support.


Final reminder: Deprecation of GET qualification on May 6, 2021

Categories

  • Date: 2021-05-04

  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

Partners selling Academic, Nonprofit, and Government Community Cloud (GCC) offers through the Cloud Solution Provider program using the Partner Center API

Details

This announcement is a follow-up to the Partner Center enhancements released in December. As part of that release, new GET and POST Qualifications APIs were deployed and, as a result, the existing GET qualification will be retired on May 6, 2021. By that time, you will need to have transitioned to using the new POST Partner Center APIs. The new POST APIs will enable you to purchase Education offers, while the new GET APIs will enable you to purchase pre-qualified Nonprofit and GCC offers.

Next steps

  • Update to the new APIs for a successful and timely transition.

  • Review the new Partner Center API changes and Guide in the Operations Readiness resources: Partner Center Education customer validation process enhancements.

  • Share this information with the appropriate teams within your organization and with your resellers to help them prepare for these changes.

Questions?

For any questions related to this notification, contact Partner Center support.

Change log

  • May 4, 2021: Final reminder of upcoming deprecation of GET qualification

  • April 9, 2021: Reminder of upcoming deprecation of GET qualification

  • February: Updated timelines for deprecation of GET & PUT qualifications

  • January: Reminder of upcoming deprecations of GET & PUT qualifications


New format for the new commerce PDF invoice in CSP

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-05
  • Capabilities

Summary

Microsoft is introducing a new format for the new commerce PDF invoice in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program to display billing details by product detail instead of SKU description.

Impacted audience

Partners transacting through the CSP program

Details

Starting May 2021, Microsoft is introducing a new format for the new commerce PDF invoice in the CSP program to display billing details by product detail instead of SKU description. With this new update, we will be aggregating the line items by product type while displaying every product on an individual line.

Partners will notice this change coming into effect in their May invoice for the billing period between April 1, 2021 and April 30, 2021. The affected offers are Microsoft Azure Reserved Instance, Azure subscriptions (Azure plan), and Marketplace.

Any credit-rebill requests made after the invoice format has been updated will be generated in the new format.

Partner benefits

This update will offer the following improvements to the invoicing experience for partners:

  • Reduced invoice size while retaining critical data

  • Alignment of the format to the industry standards for compact and user-friendly invoices

The following elements will not be affected:

  • Billing summary page on the invoice PDF

  • Existing invoicing APIs

  • Reconciliation files (Recon files can be used for retrieving granular data.)

  • Usage and license-based charges invoices

Next steps

Review the information about this topic in the Operations Readiness resource gallery on the Microsoft partner website. For more information about billing and tax topics including billing resources, invoices, CSP billing, and taxes, visit the Billing section in Partner Center.


Changes to the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) customer onboarding requirements

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-02
  • Offers/Markets

Summary

As part of our commitment to help partners and customers run their business based on trust, we will request additional customer information, effective March 25, 2021.

Impacted audience

CSP direct bill partners and indirect providers who have new or existing customers in the countries listed in the next section

Details

Microsoft runs on trust. We’re committed to providing a compliant, safe, and secure method of customer validation for transacting customer subscriptions in the CSP program. On March 25, 2021, we will be introducing Partner Center API and user interface (UI) enhancements that will affect partners who meet both of the following criteria:

  • The partner has a direct billing relationship with Microsoft (which means that the partner is either a direct bill partner or an indirect provider).

  • The partner does business with new or existing customers in the following countries:

    • Thailand
    • Vietnam
    • Turkey
    • Poland
    • South Africa
    • India
    • Brazil
    • Iraq
    • Myanmar
    • South Sudan
    • Saudi Arabia
    • United Arab Emirates
    • Venezuela

Partners who meet the criteria will have to submit a customer's company registration ID (also known as the customer's organization INN) and phone number when they next update or create a subscription for that customer. These partners can also enter an optional middle name for the customer.

Note that when you add your company registration ID you should use your business tax ID and not the customer personal ID.

Partners who do business with new or existing customers in the following countries have already been onboarded with a previous release in November 2020.

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Hungary
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Russia
  • Tajikistan
  • Ukraine
  • Uzbekistan

Partners with customers in the rest of the world will have the ability at the end of March 2021 to enter the company registration ID, phone number, and middle name for customers as optional details.

Next steps

  • Review the technical documentation and frequently asked questions in the dedicated partner collection for more detailed guidance.
  • Prepare to incorporate the changes using Partner Center API and web user experience. API/SDKs will be available for testing.
  • Make sure to submit the additional data when onboarding new customers or modifying existing customer details.
  • If you’re using a control panel vendor (CPV) solution, consult your CPV.

Questions?

Contact your tax advisor or local tax office if you have any questions related to the company registration ID (also called INN or TIN). Microsoft cannot provide guidance on tax matters.

If you need support with your operations with Microsoft, open a service request.

View this month’s product launches and offers

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-01
  • Capabilities

Summary

The April 2021 product launch calendar is now published.

Impacted audience

All partners transacting through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program

Details

The April 2021 product launch calendar is now available in the Operations readiness resource gallery. View the upcoming product launches and offers here.

Next steps

Review the product launch calendar, and share the information with the appropriate stakeholders in your organization.

Questions?

For any further questions about these offers, check your relevant Yammer communities.