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Blog December 29, 2020

From EA to CSP: How Changes to Microsoft’s Commerce Experience May Affect You

Plenty of things changed throughout 2020. For Microsoft, this meant efforts centered around digital transformation focused on delivering a new commerce experience. The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) has provided predictable pricing, support, deployment, and other benefits to organizations with 500 or more users or devices. For enterprise customers, the EA will generally be the best licensing construct as there is more discounting landscape across the totality of the program, providing flexibility to buy cloud services and software licenses under a single agreement. Alternatively, users can also purchase through Cloud Service Provider (CSP) partners.

What is a CSP?

A CSP is a third-party company offering a cloud-based platform, infrastructure, application, or storage services. Not unlike utility services such as electricity or gas, with a CSP you typically only pay for cloud services used. CSPs provide companies a wide range of benefits including flexibility, scalability, and responsive load balancing in response to changing demands. This is typically a better option for smaller corporate customers.

Connectria is a CSP partner that can assist with that migration, moving you off of an existing EA, as it expires, and onto the CSP program. We’re also a managed services provider and can further assist with the migration as a professional services engagement. We remove the complexity of managing your environment from initial planning through ongoing managed services, effectively simplifying your experience and enabling you to focus on customers instead of cloud resources. Our value-added services from DevOps to enhanced data security and migration assistance provide you the service you need with the support and expertise you want. Ultimately, we help you leverage the full potential of your environment with 24×7 security and performance monitoring, cost optimization, migration, and more.

Microsoft Commerce Changes

An inquiry came to Connectria faced with an unrenewable Microsoft EA. The first challenge involved reviewing alternative options in place of renewing the EA, but they also needed to consolidate their Microsoft spend within one single ecosystem. This needed to include their EA and CSP but also Office 365 and other Microsoft assets including Azure.

Purchase options and licensing changed as customers transitioned from on-premises software to the cloud. Therefore, Microsoft transformed how different types of clients purchase from them with the goal of creating a better customer experience. Conversations that formerly revolved around EA and CSPs changed thanks to the Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA).

What You Need to Know

Instead of making purchase decisions through licensing programs, Microsoft rolled out its new Customer Agreement earlier this year, in September 2020. With MCA, you work with your Microsoft seller or your CSP partner to understand your options. The Microsoft Customer Agreement provides:

  • The ability to accept your terms once
  • Automated processing and a digital acceptance option
  • Updates to the agreement as you add products to your portfolio

CSP Support

Moving assets from a certain tenant to another tenant can sometimes be more like an actual migration. Microsoft’s new commerce platform is intended to ease tenant complexities between EA and CSPs. However, there are a number of complexities involved which Connectria can help you navigate. From addressing possible elements that would prevent a simple account transfer to assessing the need for a formal migration, our Microsoft experts can help answer your most pressing questions.

Contact a Connectria expert. As a certified Gold Microsoft Partner, you can rely on Connectria to help you manage your most important systems. With our expert Microsoft support from cloud migration to fully managed services, we can provide added control when deploying and modifying your Azure Cloud or Office 365.

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