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Azure for Microsoft CSP partners

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Microsoft partner organizations as atwork can sell and manage subscriptions of Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure with the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program (https://partnercenter.microsoft.com). Can they? Well, basically yes. But only partly…

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The reason is that some services in Azure are only available in the (old) Service Manager Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com) while CSP only makes the (new) Azure Resource Manager Portal (“ARM” for Azure Resource Manager portal, https://portal.azure.com) available.

This currently affects services as for example Azure Active Directory management, Operational Insights, ServiceBus and some more.

To make it clear: There is currently no way to access services managed from the Service Manager-portal from an CSP-managed Azure subscription.

Why is that? Well, our MVP colleague Aidan Finn wrote about this topic in his blog as well: Azure in CSP

Aidan wrote: "CSP and ARM. So here’s the gotcha. For some reason, Microsoft decided that customers who get a subscription in CSP will only be able to use ARM. Meanwhile, customers that have direct/trial, EA or Open subscriptions can deploy in either ARM or Service Management.”

Aidan’s recommendations are: “So, if your business currently or possibly will be using IaaS components, then I’m advising that you do not acquire Azure via CSP. If you’re in the SME world (less than 250 users) then stick with Azure in Open. If you’re over 250 users then go EA. And partners – avoid direct billing and trials (only convert into direct billing) because there’s nothing in it for you. You can start/continue to resell other online services via CSP, but Azure is just not ready yet, and we can blame some mysterious decision making by Microsoft for that. Hopefully we’ll get feature parity between Service Management and ARM soon, and then I’ll chance my recommendation about Azure in CSP.”

So, if  customers need services from Service Manager, the only way is to bypass CSP and create an open or EA Azure subscription (additionally). Aidan, perfectly summarized!


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