Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.

Cloud solutions have played a key role in enabling businesses to respond to the pandemic and facilitate continuity, with many having rapidly scaled up their cloud capabilities, or deployed completely new services, in particular to support remote working.

Covid-19 has also highlighted the complexities of licensing, cost and lifecycle management associated with cloud infrastructure. But it needn’t be so complicated.

The Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme

The Microsoft CSP programme is built to enable Microsoft partners to work directly with customers and simplify the management of cloud products and services, such as Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Dynamics 365 and PowerBI.

Stone are a Tier 1 CSP, meaning we are able to handle licenses and lifecycles on the behalf of our customers, to help save them time, money, and hassle. This reduces the burden on IT staff and helps ensure businesses are getting the best deal on their cloud infrastructure.

The benefits of choosing a CSP

1. Simplicity and flexibility
As a CSP, we can create one simple package for all your cloud products and services, where you only pay for what you use. For instance, if you suddenly need to scale up your usage temporarily for a particular project or busy period, then reduce it back down a month or so later, you can. You’re never charged for what you don’t need – and there’s no commitment; you can enter or leave the subscription at any time.

2. Monthly billing with no upfront payments
Procuring your cloud infrastructure through a CSP means you receive one consolidated monthly bill based on your consumption across your services. Plus, there are no upfront licensing costs, unlike the Open License of Enterprise Agreement routes.

3. Local, dedicated support
If you choose Stone as your CSP partner, you benefit from a dedicated point of contact for all your questions and support requirements, including technical issues or subscription queries. We don’t outsource our support to random helpdesks, our support staff are Stone employees, based locally in the UK. In more complex cases, we can easily also escalate your support needs to Microsoft.

4. Access to licensing experts for a hassle-free experience
Licensing can be a minefield that’s time consuming to navigate. As your dedicated CSP, we take on the admin burden. We can look after licenses and subscriptions, so you don’t have to. Utilising our skills and expertise, we also work to ensure you get the best deal and maximum value from your services.

5. Competitive pricing
Choosing a Tier 1 CSP like Stone gives you access to more competitive pricing compared to traditional and direct procurement agreements, whilst not having to worry about your cloud solution lifecycles.

6. Saves time and money
As a CSP, we can not only save you hassle by managing your cloud services package, we can help you reduce your costs. By providing you with a breakdown of what you’re using and at what price, you can optimise your infrastructure, and stop spending on services you don’t necessarily need.

If you would like advice on how to get the most out of cloud technologies, or for more information on how we can support you and save you money as a Microsoft CSP, contact us today.

Contact one of our account managers today