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Rackspace Becomes 2-Tier Distributor in Microsoft CSP

Rackspace announced it has become a 2-Tier distributor in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program on Thursday.

The rare designation means that companies in the Rackspace Partner Network will be able to resell or refer Office 365 and Microsoft Azure to customers.

Microsoft's CSP program has three main levels: 1-Tier, 2-Tier distributors and 2-Tier resellers. The 1-Tier partners get to sell Microsoft cloud products directly to customers in their own services bundles, handling billing and support themselves. Until Thursday, Rackspace had been a 1-Tier partner.

The 2-Tier distributors are a more elite group that sit between Microsoft and the customer-facing 2-Tier reseller partner. The 2-Tier reseller buys the Office 365 or Azure service from the 2-Tier distributor on the customer's behalf or, in some cases, refers the sale to the 2-Tier distributor. Details vary depending on the 2-Tier distributor's program.

Already operating as 2-Tier distributors in the United States are App River, Ingram Micro, Intermedia, SherWeb, Synnex and Tech Data. Worldwide there were nearly three dozen last year, although Rackspace says fewer than 10 hosting providers globally offer the entire Microsoft cloud suite.

The Rackspace arrangement, formally called the Rackspace Reseller and Referral Program for Fanatical Support for Azure and Office 365, will offer the 5-time Microsoft Hosting Partner of the Year's signature "Fanatical Support" as part of the offering. Other features of the CSP offering that Rackspace's 2,800 resellers can leverage include customer migration and deployment assistance, support escalations, a dedicated reseller program team and sales/marketing support.

Both Office 365 and Azure will be available to Rackspace's U.S. partners, while an Azure-only version will be offered in other geographies.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 07, 2016 at 11:44 AM


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