Applies to:

  • CSP partners

Transition from Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) direct bill partner to CSP indirect reseller

Note

This article is intended for direct bill partners who have decided to transition to indirect resellers.

You will be able to enroll in the indirect reseller program using your existing direct bill tenant.

Get started

  1. Make sure your partner profile in Partner Center and MPN ID are current.

  2. Sign in to Partner Center as the global admin for the direct bill tenant you are transitioning to indirect reseller.

Overview

  1. Review your partner details on the enrollment form.

Enroll now

  1. Select Enroll now. Your indirect reseller business will use the same AAD tenant you use for your direct business.

Note

Initially, this new transition capability will be available for partners with September to December anniversary dates. If you don"t have an anniversary date between September and December, you won't see the capability at this time. Partners with anniversary dates after December 2018 will be notified later once the feature is enabled for the partners.

  1. When your enrollment is approved, sign in to Partner Center again.

Note

While approval is usually immediate, it can take up to five business days. Once approved, you will receive a notification to the email address you have specified under primary contact in the enrollment form. You can also check your enrollment status under SettingsPartner SettingsPartner Profile → Program info.

  1. On your Overview page, you will see the indirect reseller agreement. Select Accept and continue. This enables the indirect reseller capabilities.

When you have accepted the indirect reseller agreement, notice that your Partner profile identifies you as both a direct bill and indirect reseller.

Indirect reseller agreement

Important

Once you enroll as an indirect reseller using the new capability, there is no option to roll back to a direct bill- only tenant. Please make sure that you fully evaluate your business needs before enrolling as an indirect reseller.

While you transition from direct to indirect reseller

During this phase you will continue to manage your direct customers’ subscription needs including the billing process. You can also begin accepting customers from your Indirect provider and operating as an indirect reseller.

You are both a direct bill and indirect reseller

Find an indirect provider

After enrolling, a link to Indirect providers will appear in your left nav. As an indirect reseller you will establish a relationship with an indirect provider who then can handle your billing, purchase products for your customers, and support infrastructure.

Different indirect providers offer different support and services, so you should evaluate the providers in your area to determine which ones best meet your needs. Generally, most providers will:

  • Provide you with technical training and assistance
  • Help you market your products and services
  • Manage your financing and credit terms

Search the list of official Microsoft indirect providers.

Learn more, read Partner with indirect providers

Accept a partnership invitation from your indirect provider

When you find an indirect provider to partner with, establish a partnership with the indirect provider in Partner Center.

The indirect provider you select will send you in email a partnership invitation link that will take you to their invitation in Partner Center. Be sure your global admin signs in to Partner Center and follows the invitation link. When you accept the invitation, the provider’s name will appear in your indirect provider list.

Acquire new customers as indirect reseller

Both you and your indirect provider need to have reseller relationships with customers. This enables you to manage a customer’s subscriptions and services on their behalf. To acquire a new customer who has an existing Azure AD tenant, you can invite the customer to establish a reseller relationship with both you and your provider at the same time.

To create an indirect reseller invitation:

  1. Select Indirect providers from your Partner Center left nav.

  2. Select Invite new customers to invite a customer to establish a reseller relationship with both you and the indirect provider at the same time. The provider needs to have a reseller relationship with your customer, so they can submit orders on your customer’s behalf when the customer wants to buy new subscriptions or add new licenses to existing subscriptions.

  3. On the next page, review the draft email message. You can open the draft message in email, or you can copy the message to your clipboard and paste it into an email.

  4. Edit the text in the email to say what you need but be sure to include the link as it is personalized to connect the customer directly to both your account and your provider’s account. Then select Done.

  5. After the customer authorizes you and your provider to be their resellers of record, you’ll have administrator permissions to manage their subscriptions, licenses, and users on their behalf, and your indirect provider will be able to submit orders on their behalf.

  6. To manage the customer’s account, services, users, and licenses, expand the customer’s record by selecting the down arrow near their name.

Unlike direct bill partners, indirect resellers can’t create Azure AD tenants for their new customers in Partner Center. Your provider will create the tenant and will specify you as the indirect reseller for this customer. This ensures that the customer will appear in your customer list in Partner Center.

Note

You will not be able to use your direct bill capability to create purchases for customers you acquire as an indirect reseller.

Move your direct bill customers to your indirect provider

Your indirect provider can’t submit orders for your existing direct bill customers until they have a reseller relationship with them. To establish the reseller relationship between your existing customers and your indirect provider, invite the customer using an indirect reseller invitation.

  1. Select Indirect providers from your Partner Center left nav.

  2. Select Invite new customers to invite a customer to establish a reseller relationship with both you and the indirect provider at the same time. The provider needs to have a reseller relationship with your customer, so they can submit orders on your customer’s behalf when the customer wants to buy new subscriptions or add new licenses to existing subscriptions.

  3. On the next page, review the draft email message. You can open the draft message in email, or you can copy the message to your clipboard and paste it into an email.

  4. Edit the text in the email to say what you need but be sure to include the link as it is personalized to connect the customer directly to both your account and your provider’s account. Then select Done.

  5. After the customer authorizes you and your provider to be their resellers of record, you’ll have administrator permissions to manage their subscriptions, licenses, and users on their behalf, and your indirect provider will be able to submit orders on their behalf.

  6. To manage the customer’s account, services, users, and licenses, expand the customer’s record by selecting the down arrow near their name.

Managing your direct bill customers and your indirect reseller customers

You manage your direct bill customers and your indirect reseller customers differently.

Direct bill customers (things you won’t do as an indirect reseller)

  • Create orders for products
  • Manage Azure reservations
  • Manage their order history
  • Purchase software
  • Bill customers directly

Indirect reseller customers

  • Your indirect provider orders products for your customers
  • Manage customers’ licenses and users
  • Handle subscription renewals

To identify customers that you acquired as a direct bill partner

  1. Select Customers

  2. Select a customer to view their details

  3. If this customer is one you acquired as a direct bill partner, you will see options to add or view products and you will see their subscriptions.

  4. If the customer has an indirect reseller relationship with you, those options will not be available.

What happens when your direct bill capabilities have been restricted

Whether you have decided to transition to indirect reseller and have a dual enrollment as both direct bill and indirect reseller, or you have not made an explicit decision yet to enroll as an indirect reseller, direct bill partners who do not meet the new requirements for the CSP direct bill partner program will be informed by Microsoft when their direct bill capabilities will be restricted.

In your Partner profile under Program info you will see that your Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider status has changed to restricted.

Affected direct bill capabilities

When your direct bill capabilities have been restricted, you can no longer make new purchases for your customers in Partner Center. This includes:

  • Azure subscriptions
  • License-based subscriptions
  • Adding new add-ons to existing license-based subscriptions
  • Making one-time purchases of software and reservation products such as software subscriptions, perpetual software, and Azure Reserved Virtual Machine instances.

You also cannot purchase new Azure subscriptions for your own use using the Azure partner shared services offer under the CSP program.

In addition to new purchases, you cannot access the following direct bill capabilities in Partner Center:

  • You can't create new customer tenants. The Create customer option under Customers in Partner Center will not be available.

  • You can't generate invitations to customers requesting a direct reseller relationship. The Request a reseller relationship option under Customers in Partner Center will not be available.

Note

If you have already enrolled your direct bill partner tenant as indirect reseller, you are able to send invitations to customers requesting an indirect reseller relationship instead of direct bill.

  • You can't create a new sandbox tenant. Each direct bill partner tenant can create one sandbox tenant for the purpose of direct bill API integration. If you haven’t created one previously, you will not be allowed to do so after you direct bill partner capability has been restricted.

What's not affected

Existing direct bill subscriptions are not affected. They remain valid and are auto-renewed. You will continue to be billed directly by Microsoft until you cancel them.

Continue to manage existing subscriptions in the following ways:

  • Suspend existing subscriptions

  • Adjust the seat count of existing license-based subscriptions

  • Adjust seat count of existing add-ons to a subscription. Note: You can't add new add-ons to existing subscriptions because add-ons are treated as new purchases.

  • Deploy new Azure resources and manage existing Azure resources under existing Azure subscriptions. This includes products which are available through Azure marketplace and Visual Studio subscriptions.

Enroll for indirect reseller incentives

After you have successfully enrolled as an indirect reseller on your existing direct bill partner tenant, you will receive an invitation to enroll for indirect reseller incentive within 30 days. The invitation is based on the partner MPN account that is currently associated with your CSP partner tenant. The invitation will be sent to the email address associated with the partner MPN account.

You are also eligible to enroll for direct bill incentive programs with that same partner tenant. You must manage the programs separately.

See also Additional information on becoming an indirect reseller and the Direct bill to indirect reseller fAQ.