At rhipe, our team of CSP experts are dedicated to bringing you all the relevant updates from Microsoft each month. We 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.
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.
As of January 31, 2020, all partners in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Program should have accepted the agreement for all transacting CSP tenants. Microsoft previously communicated that the next phase of implementation for the agreement would begin in April 2020, however, to help prevent any disruption to the business, Microsoft has extended the next phase of implementation beyond April 2020.
What you need to do:
- You must enrol as a CSP indirect reseller before signing the MPA. Please enrolhere. Note that having Partner Centre access doesn’t mean that you are automatically enrolled as a CSP indirect reseller
- If you have previously onboarded to Partner Centre as an Indirect Reseller, accept the Microsoft Partner Agreement on the Partner Centre dashboard page using Global Admin credentials.
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.
Microsoft renamed all Office 365 SMB offers on April 21, 2020 (US time) to communicate the values and line-ups of the products more consistently to their customers. The following changes are reflected in the rhipe PRISM portal as of 1st week of May.
- Office 365 Business Essentials are renamed Microsoft 365 Business Basic. This is the entry-level offering for customers looking for basic cloud services.
- Office 365 Business Premium are renamed Microsoft 365 Business Standard. This is the core offering for SMBs, including cloud services and cloud-connected desktop apps.
- Microsoft 365 Business are renamed Microsoft 365 Business Premium. This remains the Hero SKU for high-end SMBs looking for additional security, device and identity value.
- Microsoft have adopted Microsoft 365 Apps as the new name for our two Office client subscriptions:
- Office 365 Business will become Microsoft 365 Apps for business.
- Office 365 ProPlus will become Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise.
This renaming allows customers to better understand the incremental value included in each offering, allowing partners to better position upsell opportunities for their accounts. It also addresses naming inconsistencies in the Office 365 / Microsoft 365 Business plans. Similarly, this renaming clearly separates core Office applications, sold through the new Microsoft 365 Apps for business / enterprise, from broader plans.
Please visit our M365 Partner landing page to learn more.
Microsoft planned to launch Commercial M365 - Unattended License offers on April 1, 2020, as per the preview pricelist. After extensive testing, we learned that users may encounter unexpected behaviours during provisioning. Therefore, Microsoft relaunched the product on May 1, 2020.
Microsoft 365 E3 Unattended Licence enables the use of Office applications with service or other non-user accounts, as is typical during automation process execution.
This new licence can provide a new option for working with productivity data and tools, when even product APIs like Microsoft Graph are not meeting your automation needs.
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 unexpected interruptions 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!
(Reminder) New Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service Professional attach SKUs for Business Central Online
Starting from April 1, 2020, Dynamics 365 Sales Professional and Customer Service Professional attach SKUs will be made are now 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.
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, subscribing customerswill 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.
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 the reseller relationship from your customers. They will 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.
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 organisation 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:
This rhipe monthly CSP blog is brought to you by the rhipe Marketing team and our CSP Partner Enablement Specialists.
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