Name: Scott May
Title: Director of Channel Programs

RCP: What do you call your program?
May: The Stratos Cloud Alliance

What do you call the CSP resellers in your program?
The Stratos Cloud Alliance includes three tiers for partners. 

  • The Cloud Agent program is perfect for partners with limited internal resources or who want to offer their customers cloud services as a value-add to their core business.
  • The Cloud Partner program is a true distributor model for partners who want to build a practice based on Microsoft cloud solutions.
  • The Cloud Merchant program is for partners with scale who see Microsoft cloud solutions as a core business focus.

What requirements does a partner need to meet to be a reseller for you?
Any partner with an interest in transforming their organization by capitalizing on the exploding market for Microsoft cloud business solutions can join the alliance.

Is there a cost involved?
There are no costs to participate as a Stratos Cloud Agent or Stratos Cloud Partner. The Stratos Cloud Merchant program requires a nominal monthly subscription to cover the cost of configuration and branding of a personalized online marketplace. Stratos Cloud Merchants are also required to generate at least $5,000 in monthly CSP revenue.

One of the attractions of the CSP program is that Microsoft does not own the customer billing. But has a reseller substituted Microsoft owning the customer billing for you, the CSP distribution partner, owning the customer billing?
Our Cloud Agent plan was developed precisely for partners who desire this sort of model. Cloud Agents simply refer their customers to Stratos and we take care of the onboarding, billing, administration and first line support. The Cloud Agent earns a recurring commission for the life of the account.

What protections or assurances have you put in place to reassure the reseller that they own the customer relationship?
Our systems are integrated with Microsoft's PartnerCenter to ensure that Cloud Partner and Cloud Merchant resellers are identified via their Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) number as the customer's digital partner of record.

Do you offer a white-label billing option or white-label support options? Is there a fee or different participation requirements for partners to use a white-label version?
Participation in our Cloud Merchant program includes a custom marketplace and does require a nominal investment to cover the cost of configuration and branding. Cloud Merchants can offer any or all of our CSP services bearing their own brand, along with their own custom solutions and bundles. Service offerings include implementation, training and support options.

In addition to distributing Microsoft cloud keys and billing, what benefits are you providing to the resellers that they can, in turn, offer to their customers?
In addition to processing and billing services, we provide:

  • Implementation, training and support services for all Dynamics 365 solutions, including Business Central, Customer Engagement, Sales, Project, Field Service, Marketing and Finance & Operations
  • Azure & Managed Services, including hosting for Dynamics GP, SL and NAV
  • Office 365 and Microsoft 365 support & migrations
  • PowerApps and Power BI implementation, training and support services
  • Managed IT and infrastructure services
  • A wide array of ISV products and services, including the largest selection of Dynamics 365 Business Central add-on solutions
  • Progressus PSA Solution for D365 Business Central
  • Complimentary access to our Stratos Success knowledge base for end user training and enablement

What differentiates your CSP distribution offering from the other CSP indirect partners?
The Stratos Cloud Alliance was built by partners for partners and is the only Microsoft Cloud Distributor specializing in Dynamics 365. Velosio was chosen as an indirect CSP by Microsoft based on our 30 years as a leader in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and pioneering of the Dynamics Master VAR program. Unlike other Indirect CSPs, we're able to leverage knowledge gained through thousands of Microsoft Dynamics sales and implementation cycles to provide a unique, positive partner experience.

Most importantly, the Stratos Cloud Alliance is the exclusive distributor of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. We work directly with Microsoft to help our partners develop their Dynamics 365 practice by providing them with Ready-to-Go Workshops, Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation training, demo sales training and prescriptive marketing programs. As the only CSP Distribution Partner that is also a Dynamics Master VAR, we're adept at assisting partners with List Price Licensing as well.

How much demand are you seeing from resellers?
Interest in our programs has been off the charts since the very beginning. Resellers clearly recognize that the Stratos Cloud Alliance offers a faster and easier way to drive revenue and increase profitability. We hosted over 1,400 partners for our inaugural webcast in 2017 and the momentum has continued to grow throughout 2018 as CSP requirements have been elevated by Microsoft.

How many resellers have you signed up so far for your CSP program (United States and worldwide)?
As of August 2018, the Stratos Cloud Alliance has over 200 active partners with new partners joining weekly.