Fast Track for Securing Azure Expert MSP Status
Becoming an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP) has many benefits. This prestigious designation serves as a Microsoft endorsement that your business is one of the most capable and high-fidelity Azure MSPs – a coveted differentiator. Companies who achieve Azure Expert MSP status are able to experience accelerated revenue growth, build new revenue streams, and gain top priority access to Microsoft co-sell engagements and MSP business support.
Navigating Audit Requirements
While these advantages are lucrative, the steps involved can be daunting. To qualify for Azure Expert MSP status, companies must achieve the following:
- Meet a number of prerequisites, including having an active Gold Cloud Platform competency status and driving a high bar of Azure consumed revenue per month
- Undergo an extensive audit of MSP services, which requires a toolset able to seamlessly flow through the entire Azure customer experience
- Enforce guardrails for compliance and access management, including policies and governance restricting user access within the system
According to Microsoft, the auditing process can take more than 300 hours of effort and requires expertise across your business. A key element of a capable toolset is an effective and comprehensive cloud management platform (CMP). The following are key considerations for choosing an effective CMP to fast track Azure MSP Certification for your business.
Choosing the Right CMP
The most critical element to achieving certification is choosing the right CMP, integrated with Microsoft Cloud Platform—a specific Microsoft requirement. MSPs need a CMP to address common shortcomings that would otherwise prevent or delay certification. For example, many MSPs currently rely on toolsets that are siloed and require substantial human intervention with no common data set or user interface.
The Azure Expert MSP requirements outline the necessary functions of an effective CMP, which includes the ability to set up governance frameworks and policies unique to each customer. Microsoft also requires that all systems and tools for the CMP interact with each other, further increasing the complexity.
MSP teams may find it challenging to consolidate their disparate systems and break down existing silos to manage everything cohesively on a single platform and common data set. To overcome these challenges, businesses should leverage a CMP with deep functionality, quick ROI, rapid implementation, and overall ease of use. Further, the solution should be able to seamlessly integrate all system, tenant, and customer information, substantially preparing your business for the audit. An effective CMP will enable advanced functionality and automation for cloud management, governance, cloud security and multi-tenant billing capabilities for your business. With a solution like this, businesses can easily satisfy all key attributes to automate client management as outlined by Microsoft.
Extended Value Beyond Azure Expert MSP Status
Once you have achieved Azure Expert MSP status, the benefits of your CMP will continue to provide value. As an Azure Expert MSP, your CMP can be leveraged for multi-tenant billing management and expand to augment and build revenue streams in the Azure Managed Cloud practice. The CMP can be utilized across multiple use cases, including:
- Migration Planning to onboard complex workloads like enterprise resource planning systems to Azure
- Security Posture Management to enforce guardrails for security, compliance, and identity access management
- Cost Management for visibility and policy driven control to optimize cloud spend
Businesses should invest in a CMP that can shoulder the weight of the Azure Expert MSP audit and continue to provide value for customers once certification is achieved.
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