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TerryJR
Level 2 Contributor

The Microsoft Cloud Partner Program isn't suitable for developers of multi-tenant Cloud solutions

Hello,

 

I have contacted Microsoft Support about the difficulties we are facing in applying for the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme as an ISV offering multi-tenant Cloud solutions on the Azure platform. They suggested that I add our case study to this forum, with the hope that the new requirements of the Partner Programme will be rethought for companies such as ours.

 

We have been a member of the Microsoft Partner Programme for over 20 years, initially developing Windows software products and then moving to Cloud-based services hosted on Azure. Now we are looking to renew our membership of the Programme, it has become clear that part of the new requirements do not match our business model.

 

In order to achieve 'Net Customer Adds', we need 1 - 3 new Azure tenant subscriptions with a minimum spend of $1,000/month. However, we host our off-the-shelf services on a single Azure tenant. Although we regularly gain new clients, and we are constantly increasing our use of Azure services and our spending on the Azure platform, we do not add new Azure tenants.

 

It may be possible to use artificial means to meet the Programme requirements in the short term. For example, we could create a new tenant and move our Azure resources across to it so that we have a ‘new’ tenant for the purposes of the Partner Programme. However, that is not straightforward when our services are live and running 24/7. It is also not clear whether we could achieve this requirement in the second year. Possibly we could close our resources again and ‘lose’ this tenant so that we can create another ‘new’ one, but clearly this is not the intention of what the Partner Programme is trying to achieve.

 

So overall, as an ISV delivering typical multi-tenant solutions on the Azure platform, and as long-standing members of the Microsoft Partner Programme, we very much need the programme requirements to be reviewed so that they are applicable for our type of business.

 

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@TerryJR 

Thank you for the feedback and raising your concerns here.

The answer I have on your scenario is certainly not what you hope for - regardless of you achieving a split your shared services platform to use multiple tenants, this would not work with achieving the solution designation.

When we/Microsoft says "Net Customer adds" we mean tenants that are owned by a customer, not tenants owned/controlled by an ISV providing shared services from your end customer. The same was true also for the old competencies, e.g. for Cloud Platform competency your own tenants, even when you use them to provide services for others, did not count towards the ACR (Azure Consumed Revenue) threshold for those. Same is true for rules about Incentives - since in the current MPN setup those tenant(s) are owned by you as a hoster, there are not any Incentives since we don't provide incentives for your own usage. In some of the reports in Partner Center you even find this ACR being reported as "Partner as Customer" - so, any account teams in Microsoft could see your footprint in Azure and could support you based on that, but it still does not count against MPN or Cloud Partner Program requirements.

 

For ISVs, the only current way to receive a Solution designation is to provide services that are deployed into customer tenants - e.g. Azure managed Application, that you may also publish in Azure Marketplace, and that will be deployed into an end customer tenant. 

If you provide shared services in your tenants, even if those are used as backend for SaaS solutions you sell via and publish in Azure marketplace/AppSource to end customers, there is no ACR in an end customer tenant and so it does not count. The only exception to this - Your own revenue currently only counts against Co-Sell requirements

Microsoft is aware about this situation, and at Inspire we have now announced the ISV Success Program and other plans to improve this situation for ISVs that will have challenges to fulfill the requirements of the Cloud Partner Program now. 

 

Look at Inspire 2022 BRK00 - The Microsoft Cloud for ISVs: a pathway to success

And here the info about the new ISV Success Program 

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team

View solution in original post

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@TerryJR Thanks for your feedback, happy that I could provide at least some clarity.

I can confirm what my colleagues in support have told, you can continue to obtain the legacy benefits at next renewal, see also the FAQ mentioned on this site: Solutions Partner (microsoft.com)

 

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5
JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@TerryJR 

Thank you for the feedback and raising your concerns here.

The answer I have on your scenario is certainly not what you hope for - regardless of you achieving a split your shared services platform to use multiple tenants, this would not work with achieving the solution designation.

When we/Microsoft says "Net Customer adds" we mean tenants that are owned by a customer, not tenants owned/controlled by an ISV providing shared services from your end customer. The same was true also for the old competencies, e.g. for Cloud Platform competency your own tenants, even when you use them to provide services for others, did not count towards the ACR (Azure Consumed Revenue) threshold for those. Same is true for rules about Incentives - since in the current MPN setup those tenant(s) are owned by you as a hoster, there are not any Incentives since we don't provide incentives for your own usage. In some of the reports in Partner Center you even find this ACR being reported as "Partner as Customer" - so, any account teams in Microsoft could see your footprint in Azure and could support you based on that, but it still does not count against MPN or Cloud Partner Program requirements.

 

For ISVs, the only current way to receive a Solution designation is to provide services that are deployed into customer tenants - e.g. Azure managed Application, that you may also publish in Azure Marketplace, and that will be deployed into an end customer tenant. 

If you provide shared services in your tenants, even if those are used as backend for SaaS solutions you sell via and publish in Azure marketplace/AppSource to end customers, there is no ACR in an end customer tenant and so it does not count. The only exception to this - Your own revenue currently only counts against Co-Sell requirements

Microsoft is aware about this situation, and at Inspire we have now announced the ISV Success Program and other plans to improve this situation for ISVs that will have challenges to fulfill the requirements of the Cloud Partner Program now. 

 

Look at Inspire 2022 BRK00 - The Microsoft Cloud for ISVs: a pathway to success

And here the info about the new ISV Success Program 

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team
TerryJR
Level 2 Contributor

Thank you very much for your reply @JanoschUlmer. As you say, it isn't what we hoped for, but thank you for such a clear and comprehensive reply.

 

Thank you also for the link to the ISV Success Program - I can see that it is still at an early stage, but I will find out more and it looks like a good route for us to explore.

 

If I understand correctly, although we will not be able to renew our competencies or achieve the new Solutions Partner designations in the Microsoft Cloud Partner Programme, we will be able to purchase access to our current Partner Programme benefits (internal access to Microsoft software licences) when we come to renew our membership in March 2023. I have discussed this with a very helpful member of the Microsoft Support team, who confirmed that is the case, for a maximum of one year, until our renewal in 2024.

 

Are you able to confirm whether my understanding is correct?

 

Thank you again for your help and for the extremely clear response that you have provided.

JanoschUlmer
Microsoft

@TerryJR Thanks for your feedback, happy that I could provide at least some clarity.

I can confirm what my colleagues in support have told, you can continue to obtain the legacy benefits at next renewal, see also the FAQ mentioned on this site: Solutions Partner (microsoft.com)

 

Kind regards, Janosch
Receive consultations via Technical Presales and Deployment Services team
TerryJR
Level 2 Contributor

Thank you very much for clarifying this @JanoschUlmer, and thank you again for your help.

v-jillarmour
Community Manager

@JanoschUlmer Do you know where I can submit this type of feedback for review? Would contacting support be the best route? I'm not certain the record feedback. Any guidance is appreciated (as always!)🌻🤔