Microsoft Cloud Agreement customer acceptance confirmation Frequently Asked Questions

Applies to

  • Partner Center

To learn more, see Confirm customer acceptance of the Microsoft Cloud Agreement.

Process

What is the new process for confirming customer acceptance of the Microsoft Cloud Agreement (MCA)?

Microsoft is committed to helping our customers and partners stay compliant. As a partner in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, you are responsible for reviewing Microsoft’s terms and conditions, including the acceptable use of Microsoft products and services with customers. To better assist partners in meeting compliance requirements and to ensure transparency, we are enabling a new process that requires CSP partners to confirm that their customers have accepted the MCA terms. As of August 7, 2018, we have introduced a new field in the Partner Center Dashboard user interface as well a Partner Center API for partners to provide this information. Initially it will be optional to provide this confirmation, however it will be required starting November 7, 2018.

When does this requirement go into effect?

Partners may begin confirming acceptance as soon as the functionality is available on August 7, 2018. Starting November 7, 2018, Partner Center Dashboard users are required to confirm customer acceptance of the MCA on all new transactions. On March 22, 2019 Partner Center API users will be required to do the same. The deadline for API users was extended to allow them additional time for technical implementation.

NEW | Does Microsoft validate the accuracy of the customer information provided by the partner?

Microsoft validates that the customer email address provided is of correct format. It is the partner’s responsibility to provide accurate information and correct any information that is found to be inaccurate.

NEW | How can a partner prove the customer’s acceptance of the MCA, whether it is signed, documented, digitized, or on paper?

The partner is responsible for ensuring that the customer has accepted the terms of the MCA and for managing their own process and records. By using the Partner Center Dashboard or Partner Center API process, the partner is confirming that the customer has accepted the terms of the MCA.

NEW | How will Microsoft check that the confirmation process is complete for a customer?

Beginning November 7, 2018, when a CSP partner initiates a transaction using the Partner Center Dashboard for a new or existing customer, Microsoft’s systems will automatically check if the customer confirmation information is present in the Partner Center Dashboard. If it is not present, the transaction will not be able to be completed.

Beginning March 22, 2019, when a CSP partner initiates a transaction for a new or existing customer using the Partner Center API, Microsoft’s systems will automatically check if the customer confirmation information is present. If it is not present, the transaction will not be able to be completed.

NEW | Is notification sent to customers whose email address is provided in the confirmation process?

There is no notification process.

Policy

Why is Microsoft requiring partners to confirm that customers have accepted the MCA?

The Microsoft Cloud Agreement (MCA) protects partners, customers and Microsoft by providing the customer’s use rights, terms, and conditions granted for Microsoft Cloud product and service orders.

Proper execution of the MCA protects our partners, customers and Microsoft by ensuring mutual alignment on many important topics including but not limited to security, privacy and data protection. The confirmation process ensures transparency and alignment and allows Microsoft to better assist customers who need to promptly respond to regulatory inquiries.

What customer information is required to complete the confirmation process? The following information is required regarding the person who accepted the agreement:

  • Date of agreement acceptance
  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number (optional)

NEW | What happens if we do not meet the due date?

Partners may begin confirming acceptance as soon as the functionality is available on August 7, 2018. Starting November 7, 2018, Partner Center Dashboard users are required to confirm customer acceptance of the MCA on all new transactions. On March 22, 2019 Partner Center API users will be required to do the same.

At the time of enforcement, new purchases for an existing customer or changes to seat count on existing subscriptions will not be permitted until the customer acceptance is confirmed. For a new customer, transactions will not be permitted until the acceptance is confirmed. Auto-renewal is not impacted by this requirement.

Which regions does this requirement apply to?

Confirmation of customer acceptance to the MCA is required for all regions under Microsoft Public Cloud. Confirmation of customer acceptance is not supported with national clouds (including Microsoft Cloud for US Government and Microsoft Cloud Germany).

Which partners are responsible for confirming customer acceptance to the MCA?

Effective November 7th, 2018, Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Indirect Providers and CSP Direct Bill partners are both responsible for confirming customer acceptance and may use the Partner Center API or Partner Center Dashboard to do so. Indirect Providers may need to first collect the required information from their Indirect Resellers and then make it available to Microsoft via the Partner Center API or Partner Center Dashboard. Contractually, it is the Indirect Provider who has a binding contract with Microsoft to ensure that their CSP resellers’ end customers have accepted to the MCA.

What customer scenarios require confirmation of customer acceptance of the MCA?

The acceptance of the Microsoft Cloud Agreement must be confirmed when CSP partners want to make the following transactions:

  1. A new customer completes new purchases
  2. An existing customer completes new purchases
  3. An existing customer updates seat count to existing subscriptions

Can I confirm the acceptance for existing customers separate from their new purchases or seat additions?

Yes. Customer acceptance can be confirmed for all customers covered by the MCA.

What are the requirements for customers that have multiple CSP partners?

Confirmation of acceptance is confirmed by the partner. If a customer transacts with multiple CSP partners, each partner will be required to confirm acceptance.

I am a CSP Indirect Reseller working with CSP Indirect Providers. What is my responsibility?

Contractually, it is the Indirect Provider who has a binding contract with Microsoft to ensure that the end customer has accepted the MCA. However, Indirect Providers may have separate arrangements with Indirect Resellers to collect customer acceptance. In this case, Indirect Providers will need to first collect the required customer acceptance information from their Indirect Resellers and then make it available to Microsoft via the Partner Center API or Partner Center Dashboard. You can support this process by promptly providing the required information to your Indirect Providers upon their request.

I am a CSP Indirect Provider. Do I need to coordinate with my CSP Indirect Reseller to be prepared?

Indirect Providers that need to collect the required customer acceptance information from their Indirect Resellers are advised to communicate this requirement to their Indirect Resellers immediately to coordinate delivery and receipt of this information.

How can I explain to my customers that they should confirm their acceptance of the MCA?

Proper execution of the MCA protects Microsoft, its partners and customers by ensuring mutual alignment on many important topics including but not limited to security, privacy and data protection. The confirmation process ensures transparency and alignment and allows Microsoft to better assist customers who need to promptly respond to regulatory inquiries.

NEW | If a customer works with a single CSP Indirect Provider but the transactions are completed with multiple CSP Indirect Resellers, does each CSP Indirect Reseller need to provide the CSP Indirect Provider with the confirmation information?

The CSP Indirect Provider is responsible for providing the confirmation of MCA customer acceptance to Microsoft. For each customer account, only one confirmation can be recorded in the Partner Center Dashboard at one time.

The CSP Indirect Provider is responsible for confirming that a customer contact person responsible for agreeing to the MCA has done so, regardless of the number of CSP Indirect Resellers who they transact with.

NEW | Who should be the authorized person to confirm acceptance of the MCA inside the customer organization?

It is the partner’s responsibility to obtain customer acceptance of the MCA from a person inside the customer organization. It is the customer’s responsibility to determine who is authorized to provide acceptance.

NEW | Which version of the MCA are partners responsible for confirming customer acceptance of? Do partners need to indicate which version of the MCA was accepted by the customer?

Partners are responsible for using the most current MCA when making CSP transactions with a new customer. Partners must confirm acceptance of the most current MCA when renewing, changing, or completing new transactions with an existing customer.

In the case that the MCA is updated prior to renewal, partners are not required to have the customer re-obtain customer acceptance of the MCA immediately, but must reconfirm consent to the MCA prior to renewal. However, you may wish to have the customer accept new terms prior to renewal to take advantage of new and improved terms in the MCA.

NEW | I am a CSP Indirect Reseller. If I record customer acceptance of the MCA in my company’s records, do I need to also provide this information via the Partner Center Dashboard or Partner Center API?

Contractually, it is the Indirect Provider who has a binding contract with Microsoft to ensure that the end customer has accepted the MCA. However, Indirect Providers may have separate arrangements with Indirect Resellers to collect customer acceptance. In this case, Indirect Providers will need to first collect the required customer acceptance information from their Indirect Resellers and then make it available to Microsoft via the Partner Center API or Partner Center Dashboard.

NEW | What if my customer does not agree to the terms of the MCA?

As a partner in Microsoft’s CSP program, you are responsible for customer acceptance of the MCA prior to placing an order. This is not a new requirement. For any reason, if the customer no longer agrees with the MCA, then the partner must cancel the subscriptions associated with this customer.

NEW | Can a reseller provide consent on behalf of the customer?

No.

Once I confirm that a customer has provided acceptance, do I need to re-confirm it for the customer in the future?

Once you have confirmed that the customer has accepted the MCA, this information remains in the customer account section in Partner Center and it is not necessary to reconfirm acceptance for the duration of time that the customer is covered by the agreement terms. You must only reconfirm acceptance prior to placing a new order.

In the case that the MCA is updated prior to renewal, partners are not required to have the customer re-obtain customer acceptance of the MCA immediately, but must reconfirm consent to the MCA prior to renewal. However, you may wish to have the customer accept new terms prior to renewal to take advantage of new and improved terms in the MCA.

NEW | I am not comfortable giving Microsoft my end customer’s direct contact information. How will Microsoft use this information?

When a partner creates a customer tenant, it is required to provide a primary contact information for the customer. Per the Online Services Terms, “Microsoft will process Personal Data only on documented instructions from Customer.”

Technical

How do partners confirm customer acceptance and provide it to Microsoft? Which tools are available to support this process?

There are two methods that are available starting August 7, 2018 to assist partners:

  1. Partners can use the Partner Center API to programmatically confirm customer acceptance.
  2. Partners can use the Partner Center Dashboard to confirm customer acceptance.

NEW | I am a CSP partner that uses the Partner Center API. What API changes do I need to consider?

In this case, the API changes to account for are:

What if I’m having difficulty implementing the Partner Center API?

Acceptance can be confirmed manually via the Partner Center Dashboard.

NEW | As an alternative to using the Partner Center Dashboard or the Partner Center API, can I bulk upload a file with the customer confirmation information instead?

At this time, the Partner Center Dashboard and the Partner Center API are the only accepted means of providing confirmation of customer acceptance of the MCA.

NEW | I am a partner using a third-party platform, or “middleware,” that performs functionality to connect my company’s systems with the Partner Center. What do I need to do?

Partners using platforms that integrate the Partner Center API are advised to speak directly with the providers regarding their plans and timelines for integrating the Partner Center API functionality that automates the customer confirmation process.

NEW | Can you provide an API flow example for importing the customer full name, email address, and date of MCA acceptance?

Partners are advised to review the Partner Center API documentation for details and examples.

NEW | How do I get the most current MCA to display to the customer and use in the confirmation record as part of my API process?

The current Partner Center API is very basic and does not provide for partners to programmatically retrieve a copy of the MCA, nor does it capture versions of the MCA accepted by a customer as part of confirmation.

NEW | Using the Partner Center API for this process requires a userID parameter. How do I manage this requirement when orders are placed through third-party platforms that don’t integrate with Azure AD?

The userID in this case identifies the employee under the partner tenant who is providing the confirmation of customer consent. If the employee does not have a corresponding Azure AD user account under the partner’s tenant, then you are advised to designate a specific user account for that purpose and create a process to separately capture the identity of the employee providing the confirmation.

NEW | Why is Microsoft requiring the partner to confirm customer consent to the MCA instead of obtaining it directly from the customer?

The customer is buying from the CSP partner, not directly from Microsoft. For using the services that Microsoft provides, Microsoft provides terms that are documented in the MCA. The MCRA requires CSP partners to have customers review and accept the MCA prior to placing an order.

NEW | I am using both API and Partner Center Dashboard web user interface to confirm the MCA customer acceptance. After November 7, 2018, what are my options to confirm customer acceptance?

Both options are available and acceptable for confirming MCA customer acceptance. Transactions using the Partner Center Dashboard will require confirmation to be present beginning November 7, 2018. Transactions using the Partner Center API will require confirmation to be present beginning March 22, 2019.