February 2021 announcements

This page details the announcements for Microsoft Partner Center for February 2021.


Reminder: Deprecation of GET qualification on May 4, 2021

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-09
  • 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 by May 4, 2021. By that time, you’ll need to have transitioned to using the new POST Partner Center APIs in purchase Education offers, and the new GET qualifications API to purchase prequalified 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

  • April: 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

Share co-sell deals at scale using the Partner Center bulk operations capability

Categories

  • Date: 2021-02-25
  • Enhanced Security and Compliance

Impacted audience

Partners co-selling in Partner Center

Summary

Co-selling partners can now export and import opportunities at scale using the new Partner Center CSV file bulk operations feature.

Details

Co-selling partners can now export and import opportunities at scale using the new Partner Center CSV file bulk operations feature. This will unify your referral sharing experience and ensure business continuity when moving from Partner Sales Connect. It’s also an alternative to investment in the Partner Center API.

See the article mentioned in the next section for full details.

Next steps

Learn more about the bulk operations capability by reading Bulk operations for co-sell opportunities using comma-separated value (CSV) files.

Questions?

Contact Support if you have any further questions.


Migrate your deals from Partner Sales Connect (PSC) using the new deal migration feature

Categories

  • Date: 2021-02-25
  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

Partners with deals in PSC

Summary

Partners with deals in Partner Sales Connect (PSC) can take advantage of the new co-sell experience inside Partner Center by migrating their co-sell deals using the deal migration feature.

Details

Partners with deals in PSC can now move faster to take advantage of the new co-sell experience inside Partner Center and eliminate working across two platforms by migrating their co-sell deals to Partner Center using the deal migration feature.

See the article mentioned in the next section for full details.

Next steps

Learn more about the deal migration feature by reviewing the PSC deals migration section in the Guide to co-selling in Partner Center (PC) for partners migrating from Partner Sales Connect (PSC).

Questions?

Contact Support if you have any further questions.


Increased flexibility with partner-led co-sell deals

Categories

  • Date: 2021-02-25
  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

Partners with co-sell ready solutions

Summary

Partners can now invite Microsoft sellers after creating a partner-led co-sell deal to make it a collaborative selling activity.

Details

Partners now have the option to invite Microsoft sellers after creating a partner-led co-sell deal to make it a collaborative selling activity. The details of the deal are not shared with the Microsoft sales team until the partner explicitly seeks Microsoft seller help. This scenario is also eligible for the Microsoft seller incentive.

Note that partner-led co-sell deals can be upgraded to active co-sell at any point prior to deal closure.

See the article mentioned in the next section for full details.

Next steps

Learn more by viewing our guide to managing co-sell opportunities in Partner Center.

Questions?

Contact Support if you have any further questions.


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

Categories

  • Date: 2021-04-02
  • Enhanced Security and Compliance

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:

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

  2. 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.

Change log:

December 17, 2020: Original publication

January 28, 2021: Republication no changes

February 25, 2021: Specific Launch Date announced

April 2, 2021: Updates include the following:

  • Launch Date provided
  • Title for Organization INN was updated to Company Registration ID
  • Note added to provide clarification for Company Registration ID

Now Live: DocuSign migration to Adobe Sign for partners under Microsoft Partner Agreements (MPAs)

Categories

  • Date: 2021-02-16
  • Capabilities

Summary

Microsoft will be transitioning all electronic signature processing from DocuSign to Adobe Sign.

Impacted audience

Existing direct and indirect Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners under MPA.

Details

In February 2021, Microsoft will begin transitioning all electronic signature processing from DocuSign to Adobe Sign for CSP partners.

You should expect a smooth transition. Upon migration, you will receive an email from adobesign@adobesign.com, instead of DocuSign, whenever your electronic signature is required. This email will provide you with a link to the Adobe Sign web page where you will need to sign. Microsoft partners will not have to re-sign existing agreements, only future Channel Agreements. Partners in Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan will be required to physically or electronically re-sign the Rider annually.

You can find an example of an Adobe Sign signature request email in the resource gallery.

For the best experience, make sure to do the following:

  1. Add adobesign@adobesign.com to your safe senders list to avoid emails from this account going directly into your junk email folder.
  2. Work with your IT department to:
    • Add the adobesign@adobesign.com email address to their safe senders list to ensure that it’s not included in any pre-established phishing rule.
    • Update existing security policies to ensure that all required recipients can sign documentation under your Adobe Sign enterprise license.

Resources pertaining to onboarding, functionality and business process questions can be found on the Adobe Sign Migration Partner Page.

Adobe Sign is Microsoft’s preferred Electronic Signature Solution (ESS). The transition to Adobe Sign will ensure a secure and efficient electronic signature experience that will deliver greater value to our customers and partners.

For additional information on how to electronically sign documents and electronic signature delegation, refer to the following tutorials:

Next steps

Share this information with the appropriate stakeholders in your organization.

Questions?

If you have any questions, contact your Regional Operations Center using the Call Logging Tool (CLT) or at Explore MS. Follow the standard CLT process closely so that we can resolve your query as quickly as possible.

Change Log

  • January 15, 2021: original publication
  • February 16, 2021: Now live, New Resource: Adobe Sign Migration Partner Page

Reminder: Introducing API throttling to partners calling Partner Center APIs

Categories

  • Date: 2021-02-16
  • Grow your Business

Summary

Microsoft will be implementing API throttling to allow a more consistent performance within a time span for partners calling the Partner Center APIs.

Impacted audience

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

Details

Beginning in February 2021, Microsoft will be implementing API throttling to allow a more consistent performance within a time span for partners calling the Partner Center APIs. Throttling limits the number of requests to a service in a time span to prevent overuse of resources. When a throttling threshold is exceeded, Partner Center limits any further requests from that client for a period of time.

Partner benefits:

Partner Center is designed to handle a high volume of requests, but if an overwhelming number of requests are made by a few partners, throttling will help maintain optimal performance and reliability for all partners.

  • Throttling ensures minimal downtime.
  • Throttling reduces the number of high-volume requests, helping to ensure a consistent performance for all partners.

APIs to be throttled:

Operation Partner Center documentation
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions  Get-all-of-a-customer-s-subscriptions
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions/{subscription_id}  Get a subscription by ID
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/orders  Get all customer orders
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/orders/{order_id}  Get an order by ID
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/orders/{order_id}/provisioningstatus  Get subscription provisioning status
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions/{subscription_id}  Manage orders and manage a subscription
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions/{subscription_id}/addons  Get a list of add-ons for a subscription
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions/{subscription_id}/azureEntitlements  Get a list of Azure entitlements for a subscription
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer_id}/subscriptions/{subscription_id}/registrationstatus  Get subscription registration status
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer-tenant-id}/transfers  Get all of a customer's transfers
{baseURL}/v1/productUpgrades/{upgrade-id}/status  Get product upgrade status
{baseURL}/v1/customers/{customer-id}/subscriptions/{subscription-id}/conversions   Get a list of trial conversion offers

We highly recommend that partners consider using the activity log API for more efficiency and to avoid throttling. For more information on this feature, refer to the details in API throttling guidance for partners calling Partner Center APIs.

Next steps

Review the resources for this topic and take the necessary steps.


Introducing Microsoft Viva Topics

Categories

  • Date: February 12, 2021
  • Capabilities

Affected audience

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

Details

Microsoft Viva Topics applies artificial intelligence (AI) to identify knowledge and expertise from across your organization and curate it into shared topics such as products, customers, or projects. With immersive topic cards and topic pages, knowledge finds you in the context of your teams, projects, and documents. AI and humans work together to improve knowledge and surface it in the apps that you use every day.

Users must be licensed with one of the following to be eligible for Viva Topics:

  • Microsoft 365 F1, F3, E3, A3, E5, or A5
  • Office 365 F3, E1, A1, E3, A3, E5, or A5
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Standard, or Premium
  • SharePoint K, Plan 1, or Plan2

Offer Details

These offers will have "Topic Experiences" in their offer names in the February 1 price lists.  These offer names will be updated with "Viva Topics" when the price lists are updated on March 1.

Offer name Offer ID Material ID
Viva Topics b9ef0c81-9ca6-45fd-a6c1-627745ba8b8a 1JV-00005
Viva Topics for faculty 8c930d38-db61-4afa-83f9-77c595c5cdfc 1TK-00006
Viva Topics for students 5de461d5-8ccc-4a8e-98ae-58a3ad400a57 1TK-00007

Next steps

  • Review the resources for this topic and share this information with the appropriate stakeholders in your organization.
  • You can find more information in the Viva Topics resource center.

Microsoft 365 E3 price changes coming for March 2021

Categories

  • Date: February 11, 2021
  • Offers/Markets

Affected audience

All partners transacting through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program in EUR, AUD, GBP, and JPY.

Details

The license-based preview price list for March 2021 has been updated to include the price changes for Microsoft 365 E3. The impacted offer and currencies are listed below.

Offer name: Microsoft 365 E3 Offer ID: 2b3b8d2d-10aa-4be4-b5fd-7f2feb0c3091 Material ID: AAA-35638

These Microsoft 365 E3 price updates are limited to only these currencies: JPY (Japanese Yen), GBP (Great British Pound), EUR (European Union), AUD (Australian Dollar). There are other price changes in the March file and partners should get the latest preview to view the other expected changes.

Next steps

Partners should download the latest price list files from the Partner Center to get the latest March prices.


License-based preview price list updated for Norwegian krone

Categories

  • Date: February 10, 2021
  • Offers/Markets

Affected audience

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

Summary

License-based preview price list has been updated for Norwegian krone pricing expected for March 1, 2021.

Details

FX rate changes for March were not included in the previous March license-based price lists. This file has been updated to reflect the expected Norwegian krone price changes. Partners should get the latest current preview pricing file to see these changes expected for March 1, 2021. These changes are only for Norwegian krone currency pricing.

Next steps

Partners should download the current price list preview file for expected changes for March 1, 2021.


Premium assessments, an add-on to Compliance Manager, is coming on March 1, 2021

Categories

  • Date: February 5, 2021
  • Capabilities

Affected audience

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

Summary

Premium assessments will be included in the price list preview in February and will be available from March 1, 2021.

Details

Premium assessments are an optional add-on to Compliance Manager and can help customers comply with national, regional, and industry-specific requirements that govern the collection and use of data. Premium assessments are reserved for Office 365 E5, A5, and G5, and Microsoft 365 E5, A5, and G5 customers.

Offer name Offer ID Material ID
CSP - Corp - Addon 76be61a7-2c03-4b3e-8330-63b11bd904ed 8JA-00003
CSP - Corp - Trial f2f6ae44-24fe-450c-9cd7-529e7c8cfcb4 8JA-00004
CSP - Educational - Faculty - Addon fa7f5773-063a-48cf-b3e2-de509ea1262f 8JB-00003
CSP - Educational - Faculty - Trial 828cecbd-8728-4339-b0c2-51e009a67d88 8JB-00004

Next steps

Review the following resources for this topic and share the information with the appropriate stakeholders in your organization.


Responding to COVID-19: Microsoft Partner Network update

Categories

  • Date: February 4, 2021
  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

All partners

Details

Microsoft is offering competency extension (except for the Cloud Business Applications competency) and advanced specialization extension for partners with anniversary dates (AD) between January 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021. Review our partner blog post for more information.


New updates to the Referrals module in Partner Center

Categories

  • Date: February 5, 2021
  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

  • Partners with Co-sell Ready offers
  • Partners with a transactable offer using an Azure incentive-eligible solution in the commercial marketplace
  • All partners using the Referrals module in Partner Center.

Details

As we move into the new year, we’re adding capabilities to enhance and enrich the co-sell experience in Partner Center. These new features will help you to accelerate deal velocity, extend seller access, and help you better scale your business. Introduced in the Referrals module, these new additions will help you reach more customers through other Microsoft partners or Microsoft sellers, all while managing your pipeline with Microsoft in one location.

Here’s what’s new in the Partner Center Referrals module:

All partners using the Referrals module in Partner Center

  • Create new SMB connections: Co-sell and work with Microsoft sellers to gain inbound opportunities related to SMB customers.

  • Expand referral permissions: Assign users’ referral permissions based on whether you want them to have - admin permissions (access to all co-sell opportunities) or user permissions (access to the user’s specific co-sell opportunities).

  • Partner Sales Connect user migration: Map existing Partner Sales Connect user permissions to the corresponding Partner Center Referral admin and referral user permissions, and then mass apply the new permissions to users. Review referral permissions documentation to learn more about referrals management.

Partners with Co-sell Ready offers

  • Co-sell with other partners: Invite another partner from our powerful partner ecosystem to co-sell with you and unlock access to more customer audiences.

Partners with a transactable offer using an Azure incentive-eligible solution in the commercial marketplace

  • Use auto deal registration: Save time and ensure accuracy by registering transactable Microsoft Commercial Marketplace Azure offers using the check box, “This deal/win has been or will be transacted through Azure Marketplace or AppSource.” So long as your transaction date is correct, the information for deal registration will be pulled directly from the Microsoft commercial marketplace.

Questions?

If you need help with using any of the new features, check out the Referrals section in our knowledge base or our how-to support materials available in our Co-sell experience gallery (sign-in required).

You can open a ticket with our Partner Support team for support.


Deprecation and retirement of PUT Qualification APIs for the Education customer validation process by February 25, 2021 and GET qualification by May 4, 2021.

Categories

  • Date: February 4, 2021
  • Capabilities

Impacted audience

Partners selling Academic, Non-Profit, and 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 PUT Qualification APIs Partner Center APIs will retire by February 25, 2021 and GET qualification by May 4, 2021. At that time, you will need to have transitioned to using the new POST Partner Center APIs in order to be able to purchase Education offers and the new GET qualifications API to purchase pre-qualified Non-profit 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

  • February: Updated timelines for deprecation of GET & PUT qualifications
  • January: Reminder of upcoming deprecations of GET & PUT qualifications