There are currently multiple Microsoft licensing programs customers can sign up for – each one of these requires a separate agreement to be signed.
When accessing the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) portal, customers are required to sign a Microsoft Customer Agreement for each of the partners they are purchasing from i.e. O365 licenses purchased via Partner A and Dynamic 365 licenses purchased via Partner B would require two (2) separate agreements to be signed.
This is obviously not ideal and a recent Gartner’s study identified that this requirement is viewed by Microsoft customers as an unnecessary step, adding complexity to the purchasing process and is a key pain point.
In light of these findings, Microsoft has introduced a new, generic Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCA) process. This process is a short, efficient way for customers to agree to enter into a contract with any partner regardless of the Microsoft suite they are purchasing, without the need to sign a new agreement every time.
The MCA will include flexible and relevant terms based on the geographical location and segment of each customer and also covers other Microsoft and third party products, with relevant terms and conditions added as required.
Microsoft is aiming for a process with minimal complexities, manageable renewal cycles and elimination of paperwork with a fully digital, single agreement per customer process. The new MCA will be used for engagements ranging from a single user to complex, multi-tiered organisations.
What is the difference between the current Microsoft Cloud Agreement and the MCA?
The Microsoft Cloud Agreement
- Was created for CSP customers only to purchase licenses via the CSP Channel
- Requires renewal at the end of each subscription period and is non-portable
- Was restricted to only purchasing options made available to the CSP channel
- Relied on partners to maintain records of their customers’ signed Microsoft Cloud Agreement
The Microsoft Customer Agreement
- Does not expire or require renewal
- It is portable and can be used for purchasing across multiple channels and offerings
- Partners are able to direct Customer to accept MCAs directly via the Microsoft portal
When will the new Microsoft Customer Agreements come into effect?
The new MCA is now available and will completely replace the Microsoft Cloud Agreements from the 1st February 2020.
What do Customer’s need to do now?
In order to prepare for the 1st February cutover and to be able to access the new functionalities and offers via the Channel Portal, Customers will need to agree to the MCA no later than 11.59pm on the 30th of January 2020 – nothing further is required.