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Microsoft CSP Participation Growing Rapidly

The number of U.S. partners participating in the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is up by about a third over the last half year.

"We're just over 8,000 partners who are selling in the program," said William Lewallen, who leads the Microsoft CSP program in the United States, in a podcast posted on Wednesday.

The comments on the Vince Menzione podcast series, "The Ultimate Guide to Partnering," are an update from Lewallen's appearance on the same podcast about six months ago, when he said Microsoft had 6,000 U.S.-based CSPs. (See RCP's coverage of that podcast here.)

CSP is Microsoft's sales program that allows partners to resell cloud services -- such as Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) -- to customers, either directly or indirectly through indirect provider partners like Ingram Micro, Tech Data, SherWeb or others. Partners are encouraged to use the program to package the Microsoft services with their own and third-party services to present a complete solution to customers.

While still the U.S. lead for the program, Lewallen's position has shifted within Microsoft. Amid the major partner and field reorganizations taking place this year, CSP has moved into the new One Commercial Partner (OCP) organization, which is run in the United States by David Willis. OCP is organized into three main teams covering different functions of Microsoft interaction with partners -- build-with, sell-with and go-to-market. CSP is now part of the go-to-market team.

Among other updates, Lewallen said month-over-month revenue growth continues to advance at double-digit rates and mentioned that non-Office 365 products are gradually gaining share in the growing pie. In his previous appearance, Lewallen said Office 365 accounted for over 80 percent of CSP sales, which was down from nearly 100 percent the previous year. In Microsoft's view that non-Office 365 component needs to grow as the company emphasizes other products through the model.

"Our non-Office 365 products have continued to increase their share of the total pie by a few points, which is good. And that's primarily coming in the areas of Azure and Dynamics, and that's what we expect for the course of the year, is to continue that growth of those other products as a share of the total, obviously while continuing to grow the large Office 365 business as well," Lewallen said in the new podcast.

The 30-minute podcast, as well as a complete transcript, are available here.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 11, 2017