What is a CSP and why do I need one?
The term “CSP” means Cloud Solution Provider.
A Cloud Solution Provider is a company that:
(a) is authorized and vetted by the cloud platform manufacturer to provide that manufacturer’s cloud services
(b) has the infrastructure and support apparatus in place to sell, maintain, and support all cloud services from the specified cloud platform manufacturer
(c) is authorized by the cloud platform manufacturer to sell subscriptions and process billing for consumption based usage whereas the cloud solution customer transacts all business through the CSP instead of dealing with the cloud platform manufacturer.
A company needs to purchase Microsoft Azure Services or Microsoft 365 Services. Microsoft Corporation will sell the subscriptions directly to the customer but does not provide implementation, consulting, or configuration services to help the customer deploy and build the desired infrastructure as Microsoft has tapped CSP’s to do that.
Subscription Resellers such as GoDaddy will also resell cloud service license subscriptions to customers but do not provide implementation or administration services that the customer may need. Many customers mistake implementation and administration services for support and become upset when they find that what they need is not support and that they need to go find a CSP.
Therefore, companies without in house IT departments or without in house cloud platform expertise should purchase their licensing and subscriptions from a CSP at the start so that they can benefit from the CSP’s implementation, setup, and configuration services – many of which are included with the license or subscription purchase at no additional charge.
Since the cloud manufacturer (Microsoft, Google etc.) sets the pricing, purchasing your licensing subscriptions through a CSP is no different than purchasing from Microsoft or Google directly because the licenses are the same price as the manufacturer and often times less expensive because you as the customer get free implementation assistance on many aspects of the platform. The manufacturers often provide a bucket of funding to the CSP for the express purposes of assisting customers in these areas.
One example is when you purchase Microsoft 365 Online Email, you need to configure SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to ensure email messages you send are not misidentified by the recipient’s email system as SPAM.
If you do not know how to set this up, or you never set this up, you are at risk of your email being misidentified as spam and need a CSP.
If you did manage to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, or you hired a freelancer to do it, what happens when your DKIM keys roll, or need to be resynched, or what happens when you add a new marketing platform to your email configuration such as Mail Chimp or SendInBlue?
What happens when Microsoft updates their Security Apparatus or AntiSpam apparatus, and you need to react to ensure email you send does not go to the spam or junk mail folder?
All of these are things your CSP will help you with, often at no charge.
Many cloud customers do things in the wrong order which is (1) buy the cloud subscription (2) and then they run into problems and they are unable to get the assistance they badly need from the agency who sold them the licensing subscription, (3) they then may try to find a freelancer to help them but freelancers are not CSPs and do not have the resources required to properly facilitate, support, and maintain a cloud tenant on the back end because they don’t have manufacturer level access.
Customers in the situation listed above need to find a CSP and perform a CSP tenant transfer. The process involves a small number of administrative tasks, but in the end, you are going to have a trouble-free experience with your cloud product.
Ideally, customers should identify the CSP who they trust to provide implementation assistance and long-term support, and then purchase their cloud products and licensing from the CSP to avoid having to perform a CSP transfer after the fact, but many buy direct from Microsoft, GoDaddy, or Google and then find themselves in a situation where they are unable to obtain the level of implementation support required, and ultimately have to go out and find a CSP for implementation assistance, which requires the administrative action of a CSP Transfer.
If you find yourself in need of a CSP, Aloye Computer Enterprises LLC is a Microsoft CSP and recently attained Google CSP Authorization.
Microsoft Cloud Customers can read about the steps and initiate a CSP Transfer here: https://www.aloye.com/wp/csptransfer
Our Microsoft CSP profile can be seen at https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/partner-dir/dc3d8689-c388-4dfa-82e7-fb86923d1f59/overview
We also have a commercial software product on Microsoft App Source at https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/dynamics-365/acecorp.ace-d365-svctech
Google Cloud Customers can read about the steps and initiate a CSP Transfer here: https://www.aloye.com/wp/googlecsptransfer/