15 February 2021

February Monthly News

New year, new ways to support your customers

Guess who’s back. Back again. Marwood’s back. Tell a friend.

That’s right. Tom Marwood, our Head of Partner Management, has returned for another instalment of his famous news from the worlds of Westcoast Cloud and Microsoft. In this first update of the year, Tom runs through all the latest offers, products and policy changes that every CSP needs to know about when talking to their customers.

Take it away, Tom…

Microsoft 365 E3 price change

From March 1st Microsoft are increasing the price of Microsoft 365 E3 effective immediately. The new cost will be shown in the March price lists, and the current price will be valid until the end of February, so if you have any customers wishing to purchase this SKU there’s no time like the present! The standard rules of a CSP price change applies: This is only for new customers on the CSP platform, and existing customers will keep the current, cheaper price until their anniversary….or that’s how it would usually work if you weren’t partnered with us!


This is where we come in: As we fully understand how frustrating price changes can be, we at Westcoast Cloud are running a refresh on all of our partners current Microsoft 365 E3 customers, meaning all customers on our platform currently using Microsoft 365 E3 will have their price protection reset, covering them until February 2022. If you have any questions please contact Tom and the team.

Windows Virtual Desktop: 30% off

Here’s an conversation starter for you; Microsoft are helping businesses to scale up remote working for less, with 30% off Windows Virtual Desktop. Promote the offer directly on Azure Marketplace, and help your customers work securely anywhere, with multisession remote desktop experiences.

This promotion will run until 31 March, and is applicable to all D-series and B-series Windows virtual machines.

New: Azure Purview

Azure Purview is a new service designed to help your customers manage and unify their data, by taking it all from multiple sources (on-premises, multi-cloud, SaaS) and putting it in one place. With Purview, businesses can spend less time classifying their data, find it more easily, and draw greater insights from it.

Purview is now available to your customers in Private Preview mode.

Find Ts and Cs with ease

Microsoft’s software and online service terms and conditions are all now located on one convenient web page. So if you’ve ever spent far too long trying to find a specific solution’s Ts and Cs, this is your lucky day.

Business Voice promotions

Since November, Microsoft has been offering 25% off 12-month new and renewed Business Voice subscriptions, to help businesses collaborate more for less.

This promotion is still available to businesses in the UK, US and Canada. But only until the end of April. So be sure to get your customers signed up by then.

If a customer isn’t ready to move their phone system to Teams but wants to add 12 months of audio conferencing, this can be added to a Microsoft 365 subscription for free. This offer is available in 70 countries until 31 March.

Perpetual software licences: now on sale

Great news for our partners. Perpetual software licences can now be sold to your customers. This means they can use the product indefinitely, rather than paying an annual or monthly subscription. It may prove to be a more attractive model for certain customers, who don’t need the flexibility that temporary subscriptions provide.

Go to Assets in your Resources hub, and you’ll find a readiness map which includes all the information you need, depending on your role. You can download the price list in the Software section of the Partner Centre Pricing and Offers page.

When your customers are ready to download their software and licence keys, there’s a how-to article in the 365 Admin Centre that you can share with them.

Changes to Azure offers

Last month, Microsoft announced a new Azure CSP commerce offer. Partners can now gain access to Azure services at pay-as-you-go rates for customers under the Microsoft Customer Agreement, through an Azure Plan.

This plan simplifies the purchase experience, by enabling the creation of multiple Azure subscriptions within an Azure plan. From 21 July this year, all new Azure Cloud Solution Provider programme business will be on the new Azure Plan offer.

That’s the good news. The potentially bad news is that previous offers will no longer be available from this date. More information can be found under January 2021 Announcements in the Partner Centre.

New Business Premium benefits

Microsoft have announced new Internal Use Rights for partners with Silver or Gold Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions competency. These rights are designed to help partners who are learning to deploy and support Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Qualifying partners will receive these new benefits for both Microsoft 365 Business Premium and Microsoft 365 Business Voice. Find out how this affects your partner competency benefits, as well as how you can activate these licences through the Partner Centre.

New North America calling plan

Microsoft has been promoting a new phone system recently, but for US and Canada customers only. So if your clients ask, just let them know they can use the vastly superior Business Voice instead.

Changes to CSP customer onboarding requirements

From the end of March, Microsoft will be ramping up security by changing its CSP customer onboarding requirements for customers in certain countries.

If you have customers located in countries including Turkey, Poland, Brazil, India, South Africa, UAE and Saudi Arabia, this affects you. You’ll have to submit a legal identifier (also known as an organisation’s INN) and phone number for each customer when onboarding them or editing their details.

Go to the January 2021 Announcements in the Partner Centre for the full list of countries and for more information on what to do next.

Got a topic for us to cover next month?

Need a bit of extra support from your Westcoast Cloud team? Reach out to your Westcoast Cloud contact, or email us on marketing@westcoastcloud.co.uk