At rhipe, our team of CSP experts work hard each month to bring you all the relevant updates from Microsoft. They do the heavy lifting so that you can concentrate on what you do well.
Please find below links directly to all the latest news and updates. If there is something that you want covered, please reach out to one of the CSP team at rhipe and we will endeavour to cater to your needs.
On the January 1, 2020 Co-op became part of the Microsoft Incentive Programme for CSP. Funds will be available for usage in H1 FY21 and beyond. The split consists of 60% Rebate and 40% Co-op. To qualify, the threshold for Co-op is $4K USD per fiscal semester – if you do not meet this threshold, the Co-op will continue to be paid as part of the rebate. Unfortunately, if you do not claim, the funds are forfeited.
Why Co-op? The Co-operative funds help partners showcase their value and differentiate from their competitors, whilst growing the sales pipeline.
What do you need to do now?
As a valued partner of rhipe, we are here to help you navigate the intricate world of Co-op management with Microsoft. Planning is just as critical as execution. Start thinking about what you want to use the funds for.
Talk to your Account Manager about how rhipe can help facilitate this change.
New Microsoft 365 Business Voice
Update: Microsoft had confirmed that Microsoft 365 Business voice without calling plan will not be available in Australia until further notice. It will still be available in other new geographies.
Microsoft will introduce Microsoft 365 Business Voice to additional geographies in April 2020. Microsoft 365 Business Voice Without Calling Plan (using direct routing) will be available in APAC, including Australia and New Zealand, starting April 15th 2020. The SKU is expected to be available in the rhipe PRISM Portal in late April or early May.
Microsoft 365 Business Voice is a cloud-based phone system for businesses of up to 300 users that provides the ability to make and receive calls from any phone number in Microsoft Teams. Together with Teams, it delivers an all-in-one communication solution combining calling, chat and meetings.
Microsoft 365 Business Voice is available as an add-on to the following plans:
- Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, F1, A1, E1, A3, E3
- Microsoft 365 Business, F1, A3, E3
With the new voice plan, end customers who want to have Cloud-based phone system with advanced features including call transfer, multi-level auto attendants, and call queues no longer need to upgrade to Enterprise E3 or E5. Instead, they can stay on their current Business plans. This significantly lower the investment in licences required to acquire ability to call out from Microsoft Teams.
Reach out to your rhipe Account Manager to find out how you can take advantage of this new offering by partnering with rhipe.
For more information:
- Visit Microsoft partner centre gallery to learn more about the value proposition of this offer.
- Learn about the benefits Microsoft 365 Business Voice offers here
- Discover the features of Microsoft 365 Business Voice by reading the service description
New Microsoft 365 F1 coming to CSP pricelist in April, existing Office /Microsoft 365 F1 to be renamed F3
On April 1, 2020, Microsoft will introduce new offers in the Microsoft 365 F-SKU line-up, providing better value to Firstline Workers and growth opportunities for partners.
What are currently known as Office / Microsoft 365 F1 will become Office / Microsoft 365 F3. All customers will be backfilled with additional value. The new entry-level SKU will be called Microsoft 365 F1 and will offer value tailored to Firstline Workers, extended security and identity value to all workers. This offer includes Teams, SharePoint Online, Yammer Enterprise, Stream, EMS E3, and read-only access for Office Web / Mobile Apps. Exchange mailbox will not be part of the new Microsoft 365 F1.
Detailed comparison between the new F1 and F3 can be found in the table below:
Check out content from Microsoft here to learn more about the value proposition of the new F-SKU line up and create marketing collateral to accelerate sales and create new opportunities for your business.
Update: Given the difficult economic situation and current health crisis, Microsoft is no longer moving forward with this price increase. The commercial estimated retail price (ERP) for Microsoft 365 E5 Compliance will remain US$10 per user, per month.
Microsoft 365 E5 compliance add-on, which is part of two Microsoft 365 E5 mini add-on SKUs, is being repackaged to accommodate latest offerings such as Insider Risk Management and Communication Compliance and Records Management. The offering is predominantly targeted towards highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance and government, or any customer who is conscious about data security.
Following this change, Office 365 Advanced Compliance add-on and Azure Information Protection Plan 2, which was part of the Microsoft 365 compliance add-on earlier will be replaced by 3 new mini SKUs:
- M365 E5 info protection and governance
- M365 E5 insider Risk management
- M365 E5 e-discovery and Audit
Office 365 advance compliance add-on and Azure information protection Plan 2 will no longer be available for new customers after April 1, 2020. There is no change for the existing subscription of Office 365 Advance Compliance, Azure Information Protection P2 and M365 E5 Compliance add on until renewal.
Starting from April 1, 2020, Dynamics 365 Sales Professional and Customer Service Professional attach SKUs will be made available to the Dynamics Business Central Online offers. This means that instead of having to pay the full US$65 / AU$89.20 to purchase the Dynamics 365 Sales / Customer Service Professional licence, new and existing Dynamics 365 Business Central online customers only need to pay US$20 / AU$27.50 to add the additional Sales / Customer Service functionality for a user to add each additional app.
New database (DB) offers will also be added to Dynamics 365 Business Central in CSP for customers to add additional database capacity to their Dynamics 365 Business Central service.
Conditional Access for Office 365, which allows admins to assign a single consistent policy across all Office 365 apps, is now available in public preview. Conditional access is a set of policies and configurations that can protect access to various services and data sources within an organisation. For Office 365, admins can configure policies such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) or require managed devices before users in their organisation can access Office 365 apps like SharePoint Online, Exchange Online and Microsoft Teams.
What makes Office 365 work so well is that these different apps interact with each other to provide users with a more cohesive experience and help them be productive. Assigning different policies to different Office 365 apps can result in unexpected interruptions as users access data that has dependencies on other Office 365 services. To learn more about this topic, look at Conditional Access service dependencies documentation. Conditional Access for Office 365 suite solves this problem by giving admins the option to assign a single policy across Office 365 with just one click.
Configuring a single policy across Office 365 suite provides consistent coverage and improves the user experience by avoiding the unexpected interrupts as users navigate from one Office 365 app to the next. Policy can also be enforced to apps that aren’t available in the Conditional Access app list, like the Office.com portal. See the complete list of individual apps included in the Conditional Access for the Office 365 suite. New Office apps will be added as they are released, and organisational policies will be automatically applied.
To enable a Conditional Access for Office 365:
- Go to Azure AD portal to configure a Conditional Access Policy like you normally would
- When making the app assignment, select Office 365 (preview) shown below (Microsoft put it right at the top of the list to make it easy to find)
- After finishing the setup of the policy, try running it in report-only mode. Using Conditional Access report-only mode will let you try out the configured policy right away and review its impact before enabling it across the organisation.
Visit this blog from Microsoft for more information!
Microsoft announced the availability of Azure Active Directory Premium P1 for Microsoft 365 Business subscribers. This change will be gradually rolled out in early April and expect to complete the roll-out by the end of June. Once this update is complete, customers with the said subscription will see a new service plan called “Azure Active Directory Premium P1” in the list of plans included with in the subscription. While these changes are about to take place, you can now start evaluating how Azure active Directory Premium P1 may benefit your customer’s organisation. Learn more about features under Azure AD Premium P1 here.
Your Teams and Skype for consumers users will soon be able to chat and make Voice over IP (VoIP) calls to one another:
- Microsoft will roll this out gradually at the end of March 2020
- The rollout is expected to be completed by the end of April.
This means that Teams users in an organisation can chat with and call Skype users by using their email address and vice versa. To prepare for this change, Teams-Skype interoperability is disabled by default.
Admins who wish to enable this feature will need to go to Microsoft 365 admin center > Org-wide settings > External access and Enable users to communicate with Skype users.
Admins will soon be able to pre-install apps that will be visible when a user clicks the ellipses (...) on the left rail of the Teams desktop app. The gradual rollout in the Teams Admin Portal will start in mid-March 2020 and expected to be completed by early April.
Teams admins can already pre-pin apps for their end users. In this additional feature, Microsoft is adding a new setup policy that makes it possible to pre-install apps that users in the organisation will see immediately when they click the ellipses on the left rail of the Teams client.
Note that when Teams admins install the app for their users, it can only be uninstalled by removing it from the list of Installed Apps in the Setup policy.
Start navigating with this new feature by navigating to the Teams admin portal admin.teams.microsoft.com and go to Setup policies under Teams Apps.
The Microsoft Defender ATP team is now in public preview. If you have preview features turned on in the Microsoft Defender ATP Security Centre, you should be able to access the Linux onboarding page immediately. If you have not yet opted into previews, Microsoft encourages you to turn on preview features in the Microsoft Defender ATP Security Centre today.
To learn more about our Linux capabilities and to get started with Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux public preview, visit the Microsoft website for documentation.
For more information please visit the Microsoft blog here.
The Microsoft Cloud Agreement is retired and the acceptance of Microsoft Customer Agreement (MCuA) by end customers are now mandatory for them to create new tenants, increase/decrease seats or suspend subscriptions through their CSP resellers.
As a CSP reseller transacting through rhipe, you have now two options when presenting the Microsoft Customer Agreement to your customers:
Option 1 – Partner Attestation: You can present the new Microsoft Customer Agreement (McuA) to customers in much the same way that you previously did for the Microsoft Cloud Agreement by doing the following:
Options 2 – Customer accepts directly through M365 Admin Centre: This option enables simplified agreement management, faster implementation and less work for partners. Once the customer accepts directly within the Microsoft 365 Admin Centre, it confirms approval of terms. You can do this in two ways; (1) by sending your customers this generic link to M365 Admin Centre, or (2) by requesting for reseller relationship from your customers, which they will also be asked to accept the Microsoft Customer Agreement during the process.
We have created a quick summary deck to help you understand what MCuA is and how you can confirm the acceptance MCuA for your customers here.
For more information, please read the rhipe blog.
The Microsoft Partner Agreement is a simple, unified and digitally accepted partner agreement framework. It offers concise terms to help partners, customers and Microsoft comply with regulatory requirements, supporting enhanced privacy, security, compliance and transparency.
All CSP indirect Resellers are required to accept Microsoft Partner Agreement to create new customers or place new orders for existing customers in the CSP program. Partners who have not accepted the Microsoft Partner Agreement will not be able to place new orders and will be limited to managing existing subscriptions only.
What you need to do:
- You must enrol as a CSP indirect reseller before signing the MPA. Please ensure that you have enrolled as a CSP indirect reseller here. Note that having Partner Centre access doesn’t mean that you have enrolled as CSP indirect reseller
- Sign in to Partner Centre dashboard page as a Global Admin to download the latest MPA and inform key stakeholders in your organisation to review and accept the Microsoft Partner Agreement on Partner Centre
- Sign the Microsoft Partner Agreement as a Global Admin.
We have also prepared a step-by-step guide to guide your through the Partner Centre sign up and MPA signing process. Click on the link here to learn more.
More resources are also available at Microsoft CSP resources gallery page.
Do you use Microsoft Azure AD baseline policies to satisfy Microsoft Partner Centre Security requirements? From February 29, 2020 the Security “baseline” policies has been retired and is now replaced by the “Security defaults”, a more comprehensive set of protection policies for you and your customers. Security defaults in Azure AD help protect your organization with preconfigured security settings for common attacks. Partners who are currently still using the baseline polices on their partner tenants should enable the security defaults policy to maintain their MFA enablement and avoid any service disruptions.
Security defaults policy is one of the options that partners can choose to implement MFA for the security requirements depending on their business needs. It offers a basic level of security enabled at no extra cost. Please review how to enable MFA for your organisation with Azure AD and the key considerations below before enabling the security defaults.
Partners can consider other options if security defaults do not meet their needs.
Key considerations for security defaults
- For the partners who are using conditional access, security defaults will not be available
- Security defaults enforce all policies at once including the required MFA for admins policy, end user protection policy, and required MFA for service management
- Blocking legacy authentication will not be enforced for partners at this time. However, as most events related to compromised identities come from sign-in attempts using legacy authentication, partners are encouraged to move away from these older protocols
- Security defaults automatically excludes the Azure AD Connect Sync account
- Security defaults are the general availability replacement of the preview baseline policies. Once a partner enables the security defaults, they will no longer be able to enable baseline policies.
Next steps and resources for security defaults
Partners who are currently using the baseline policies:
- Learn more about security defaults and enabling MFA for your organisation.
- Plan the transition from baseline policies to security defaults.
- Enable security defaults with one-click for each partner tenant as soon as possible. If security defaults do not meet your needs, consider other options.
Partners who are adopting security defaults as new:
To help more customers adopt Dynamics 365, Microsoft has launched a new Dynamics 365 Sales Professional SMB offer promotion. From now until June 30, 2020, your SMB customers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore can purchase Dynamics 365 Sales Professional at a discount of 25% off and enjoy the special price for up to 3 years!
- CSP-only offer, available for customers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore
- New Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales Professional customers only
- Existing Microsoft Office SMB customers
- Minimum 10 customer seats up to a maximum 75 seats purchase required to qualify for customers that owns Microsoft Office
- Valid November 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020
- The discounted offer SKU will be discontinued either when the qualifying licences expire or after two annual terms. At that point, customers will need to buy a relevant offering that fits their business needs at the regular price.
- Offer SKU Name: Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional (SMB Offer)
- Offer SKU ID: 0ACF8D18-7B68-483C-ABBA-411736E6F0DC
- SKU MRP: USD 48.50 / AUD 66.60 / NZD 73.30
More details about the promo terms and conditions can be found on the rhipe website.
This rhipe monthly CSP blog is brought to you by the rhipe Marketing team and our CSP Partner Enablement Specialists.
To stay up to date with what’s happening in the Microsoft CSP program, we strongly encourage you register for the live or on demand webinars to engage with Microsoft Subject Matter experts and learn about the latest Microsoft CSP licensing updates:
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