Work 365 Newsletter March 2019

Inside Work 365

Work 365 Spotlight

Upcoming Version 2.5 with New and Exciting Features

Work 365 Version 2.5 will contain many exciting features and will be available for Partners mid-late April. Some features to highlight:

CSP Microsoft Announcements 

  • March 2019 is the deadline for Direct CSP Partners to meet the new program requirements. Partners are required to have
    • Purchased a support plan: Either Advanced Support for Partners or Premier Support for Partners
    • At least one managed service, IP service, customer solution or application
    • Minimum infrastructure capabilities, including billing, credit check, customer support resources
      • This includes enabling self-service to customers
    • Proven growth and performance in these areas: usage, consumption, customer success management, customer base growth, Microsoft platform, and solution selling, revenue performance and growth
  • If Microsoft determines these requirements as not being met, Direct Partners will no longer be eligible to provision licenses for customers directly with Microsoft, and they will need to transition to a CSP indirect reseller.

Event

Work 365 Training Sessions

Bi-weekly Training Sessions

These sessions are useful for all levels of Work 365 users. We are looking for feedback on what questions you have, and specific examples or situations are highly encouraged. Furthermore, these sessions will be open-ended to address all questions Partners have. To submit feedback or a question you would like us to address, please send it here.

Register your feedback at https://bit.ly/Work365Feedback

Register for bi-weekly training sessions at https://bit.ly/Work365Training

Latest Blogs

Work 365 Version Handles Microsoft’s New Control Panel Vendor Program Security Requirements and MFA

Microsoft recently announced new mandatory security requirements that tackle potential security risks from unauthorized access to the Microsoft Partner Center, the CPV program. A Control Panel Vendor (CPV) is an independent software vendor that develops applications for use by Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners to enable them to integrate their systems with Partner Center APIs.

The new security model from Microsoft is based on the requirements:

  • CPV Vendors and the tenants cannot store credentials
  • API based access must provide the purpose of impersonating credentials to access partner center
  • Use a consent framework to receive permissions
  • The systems and CPVs must be able to support any future requirements
  • Both human and system admin CPV users must use multi-factor authentication to access the partner center

Click here to view the complete blog.

Work 365 Newsletter February 2019

Inside Work 365

Work 365 Spotlight

Latest Release 2.1

Work 365 version 2.1 has the following new features!

  • Fully compliant with MFA and security requirements for Partner Center
  • Notification Alert on Reseller Request when customer’s sign the MCA
  • Invoice Run Reports (preview mode)

Work 365 Release

New Version 2.1 Addresses Microsoft’s latest Partner Center Security Requirements and Provides Invoice Run Reports

Work 365 is compliant with Microsoft’s Partner Center Security Requirements. Get the details here Work 365 Security Changes for Direct Partners using the Partner Center. Upgrade Now to version 2.1 through the Help & About page. To set up the 2.1 integration with Partner Center, follow the documented instructions: Configuring Microsoft Partner Center Provider.

Work 365 v2.1 produces Invoice Run Reports through the Work 365 Labs initiative. These reports give you quick access to invoicing statistics and most error and success statistics.

Join us on March 7, 2019, at 11 am EST to learn more about Self-Serice and e-Commerce capabilities in Work 365- Register here at https://bit.ly/Work365Webinar

CSP Microsoft Announcements 

Billing Change for Azure reservations & server subscriptions:

  • Effective March 1, 2019, Microsoft is changing the billing cycle for Azure reservations & server subscriptions from the 1st to the end of the calendar month.
  • Currently, the billing cycle is based on the partner’s billing period and this change affects the invoice availability from the partner’s billing end date +3 days) to the 8th of the calendar day (UTC) of the following month.
  • The change is applicable to all Direct bill partners and Indirect providers and covers Azure reservations and Server subscriptions only. Other billing remains as they are, although it is indicated that they will align with this new format at some future date.
  •  Please refer to this Yammer thread for more information.

CSP Direct Bill Requirements, and Indirect Transition Capability:

  • In 2018, Microsoft announced the new Direct bill CSP requirements. Go to this Yammer post to see the announcement. To review these requirements, you can reference the CSP Program FAQ v3 here. Microsoft recently announced that “Starting March 2019: all direct bill partners past their CSP onboarding anniversary month without meeting the direct bill requirements will be restricted to add new customers or new subscription only as an indirect reseller. These (Partners can still manage the existing customer subscriptions in the same tenant but will not be able to add new customers or subscriptions as a direct bill Partner).”
  • Microsoft also highlighted a new CSP reseller transition capability that allows direct CSP Partners to work with an indirect reseller using the same tenant. This capability will be available for Partners with September to December anniversary dates. Note: Once Partners enroll as an indirect reseller using the new capability, there will be no option to reverse one’s status as a direct bill only tenant. Partners should fully evaluate business needs before enrolling as an indirect reseller.

Partner Center Security Requirements:

  • Microsoft previously announced that MFA will be enforced for Partner Center access starting February 4, 2019. The compliance deadline has been postponed by Microsoft until a new deadline date is announced. Partner accounts that access the Partner Center UI and/or use the API must have multifactor authentication enabled. In addition, the MFA solution needs to be Azure AD compatible. Partner’s having Azure AD Premium Plan 1 or higher will be able to leverage this to meet the MFA requirements. Partner’s that work with a CPV (Control Panel Vendor) such as Work 365 will need to provide consent from an MFA enabled account for the CPV solution to continue working for the partner. Refer the FAQ for details.

Microsoft Cloud Agreements:

Microsoft extended the deadline for compliance with the Microsoft Cloud Agreement (MCA) for partners accesing their customer information and Partner center through the API. Beginning March 22, 2019 Work 365 will enforce the cloud agreement acceptance.

Event

Work 365 Training Sessions

Bi-weekly Training Sessions

These sessions are useful for all levels of Work 365 users. We are looking for feedback on what questions you have, and specific examples or situations are highly encouraged. Furthermore, these sessions will be open-ended to address all questions Partners have. To submit feedback or a question you would like us to address, please send it here.

Register your feedback at https://bit.ly/Work365Feedback

Register for bi-weekly training sessions at https://bit.ly/Work365Training

Latest Blogs

CPV Solution for Payment Collections and Recurring Billing with Work 365

Work 365’s automated billing and payment management system allows Partners and CSPs to streamline accounting and sales by having all aspects of the billing management in one place. Partners can provision new customer accounts with the pricing and sales information that was used to win an opportunity in just a few clicks using the Customer Account Provisioning Wizard. Finance and Accounting can use Work 365 to

  • Review provider invoices
  • Reconcile vendor bills with customer services
  • Manage invoices
  • Receive payments for the Billing Contracts that are set up in the system through the ability to create customer payment profiles and collect money.

Click here to view the complete blog.

Work 365 Newsletter January 2019

First off, a very Happy New Year! We are excited to kick off 2019 with our first newsletter and some exciting announcements. We finished 2018 with the release of version 2.0 thanks to all the great feedback we received from Partners. Last year was full of CSP program changes and updates and we are happy to report that we kept up with them!

  • Microsoft started the year out with the Billing re-alignment for CSP partners (no more free periods)
  • Direct Partners needed to invest a Billing Automation System, and Advance Support for Partners
  • Acceptance of Microsoft Cloud Agreements was enforced in November
  • Product changes – more products are available through the CSP program
  • Azure Program changes with the availability of Reserved Instances

Our focus in 2018 was Scaling the cloud business with Profitability in mind. Our efforts through the year culminated in version 2.0 which was focused on streamlining internal partner operations like Billing, Subscription Management, Provisioning, Bundling and Payment collections.

Current Motion and Development

Our efforts in 2019 will be around enabling outstanding customer experiences. We will leverage the power of Dynamics 365, e-commerce, Azure and AI to create Self-service scenarios for your end-customers. Looking forward to seeing you at the Philadelphia IAMCP New Kick-off event! Thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at one of the upcoming events throughout the year!

– Ismail Nalwala
Follow on LinkedIn

Inside Work 365

Work 365 Spotlight

Latest Release 2.0

Work 365 version 2.0 has many new features!

  • Process customer payments for any invoice in Work 365 using Authorize.net
  • Includes Billing Contract level support for Processing of Refunds
  • Complete subscription life-cycle management from with Work 365 from provisioning to suspension and de-provisioning
  • Address Microsoft’s new Partner Center API security requirements due to the integration between Work 365 and Partner Center
  • Advanced error handling for Provisioning Failures. The license changelogs will show error details.
  • Enhanced Billing Contract Forms includes Agreements, Invoices and Contract Values

Track all your Provider Invoices data in Work 365. Provider invoices include License data from Partner Center for ease of license reconciliation.

Work 365 Release

New Version 2.0 Enables Partners to Manage Customer Payments within Work 365

Partners can now manage payment profiles and process payments in Work 365. A Work 365 payment profile will include a name “credit card ending in xxxx,” Account Name, a processor number reference, and date history. Payment profiles can either be created by the Partner or by sending a profile request directly to the customer. Work 365 payment processing is fully PCI compliant! Credit Card data is not stored or saved within Work 365 Application. The payment profile request can be branded.

When you are ready to charge the customer, just click on “Charge Invoice” button that appears on the top of the invoice form, select an existing payment profile and enter the amount to charge. The full invoice amount will automatically populate, but partial payments are also an option.

Announcements

Work 365 Pricing Changes

Effective January 1st, 2019, Work 365 will be available on an Annual pricing basis. Current users of Work 365 will have the option of maintaining their monthly subscriptions or moving to the new annual model.

CSP Microsoft Announcements 

Microsoft has announced that MFA will be enforced for PartnerCenter access starting February 4, 2019. Partner accounts that access the PartnerCenter UI and/or use the API must have multifactor authentication enabled. In addition, the MFA solution needs to be Azure AD compatible. Partner’s having Azure AD Premium Plan 1 or higher will be able to leverage this to meet the MFA requirements. Partner’s that work with a CPV (Control Panel Vendor) such as Work 365 will need to provide consent from an MFA enabled account for the CPV solution to continue working for the partner. Refer the FAQ for details.

Event

Work 365 Training Sessions

Bi-weekly Training Sessions

These sessions will be designed for Work 365 beginners, intermediate, and advanced users. We are looking for feedback on what questions you have, and specific examples or situations are highly encouraged. Furthermore, these sessions will be open-ended to address all questions Partners have. To submit feedback or a question you would like us to address, please send it here.

Register your feedback at https://bit.ly/Work365Feedback

Register for bi-weekly training sessions at https://bit.ly/Work365Training

Latest Blogs

Sales Incentive Management with Work 365

Why Have Sales Incentives? High-performance sales team know the answer to this and generally, any organization trying to achieve goals knows incentives work to motivate our teams and create a competitive environment.

So incentive plans are important for several reasons:

  • Acknowledgment of Milestones and Achievements
  • Exceeding sales goals
  • Fostering teamwork
  • Improving employee retention
  • Motivating sales staff
  • Rewarding employees
  • Rewarding extraordinary Service and Top performers

Click here to view the complete blog.

Work 365 Newsletter November 2018

Work 365 Spotlight

Upcoming release 2.0 – Available Early December

Work 365 version 2.0 has many new features to look forward to! Microsoft CSPs will now be able to:

  • Process customer payments for any invoice in Work 365.
  • Manage license reconciliation accross Providers.
  • Leverage enhanced customer reports and change logs on the self-service portal.
  • Address Microsoft’s new Partner Center API security requirements due to the integration between Work 365 and Partner Center.
  • Provision customers for Partner Center, set up billing contracts, and provision licenses all within the Work 365 allowing Partners to manage the entire deal closing process for sales within one solution.

Work 365 Release

New Version 1.8 Simplifies Deal Closing Process from Sales to Support 

Through the new Work 365 Onboarding workflow, Work 365 users can now close deals easier and faster than ever! After a deal is closed, Work 365 users can provision tenants, set up customer billing contracts and subscriptions, and provision licenses all within Work 365! This cuts down time and energy spent moving between different systems during the deal closing process allowing Partners to scale their business quicker and more profitably.

To see the detailed process on the customer Onboarding Workflow, you can check out this published Press Release Work 365 Solves Tough Customer Onboarding Issues for CSPs


Announcements

CSP Microsoft Announcements 

Microsoft has introduced a new security model for access to Partner Center APIs. This model is built on the Azure AD consent framework and is aimed at eliminating the need for providing user credentials to access the Partner Center APIs. This is especially relevant in the case of partners that use a Control Panel Vendor (CPV); which is a third-party ISV (such as Work 365) that provide billing and automation services to CSP partners. In an effort further improve security, CPVs will now be required to register with Microsoft. The implementation date of this is 12-Dec-18, and the enforcement date is 4-Feb-19.

Microsoft also announced that Multifactor Authentication (MFA) will be mandatory for access to the Partner Center portal. CSP partners that connect to the Partner Center portal will now be required to have an MFA solution (Microsoft or Third Party) before they will be able to login and perform operations from within the Partner Center portal. This will be enforced as of 4-Feb-19.

The deadline for tracking signing of the Microsoft Cloud Agreement (MCA) came into effect on 7-Nov-18. While, executing the MCA was always a part of the CSP agreement, Microsoft now requires that the MCA details be tracked in Partner Center. For those that are using Partner Center APIs, this deadline is extended until 22-Mar-19.

Finally, Microsoft has tweaked the process for CSP authorization. The invitation link of CSP authorization now points to Microsoft Store for Business and has an option to remove Delegated Administration. Until now, Partners got DA privileges when they got authorized as a CSP for a tenant. With this change, partners are now able to select whether they want to get DAP access on a customer tenant.


Event

Join us at eXtreme365 in Austin, Texas


Latest Blogs

Seven Pros and Cons of Microsoft’s Change to Default Office 365 Delegated Admin Privileges (DAP) for Partners in the Partner Center

Microsoft has been making an investment and change in the CSP program. Some of these changes are program changes and technology changes to better align the channel.

Some of the recent changes include Advanced SupportBilling Automation, Microsoft Cloud Agreements which we covered in our previous webinar and now Beginning November 1, Delegated Admin Privileges (DAP) are no longer automatically granted by default.

Click here to view complete blog.

 

Learn How Work 365 will automate your CSP business!

Sign Up for Latest Work 365 Webinar

Work 365 Newsletter October 2018

Work 365 Spotlight: Upcoming release 1.8

  • Microsoft CSP Cloud Agreements with clients will be updated within Work 365! Due to Work 365’s integration with Partner Center, Direct CSP Partners will no longer need to update the agreement status directly in Partner Center and can make any changes through Work 365.
  • Managing Payments: Partners will be able to add credit card information to a client’s billing contract, and accept payments.
  • Invoice Integration: Work 365 will have invoice integration with Xero, Quickbooks, and Microsoft Business Central.

To learn more about managing payments and the invoice integrations with Work 365, sign up for our next webinar: Managing Payments and Invoice Integration using Work 365.

Work 365 Release: 1.5.2 Details

If you have not updated your system yet be sure to update to Work 365 version 1.5.2. which features some minor updates.

  • Self Service Portal: The self-service portal in Work 365 now includes usage-based subscriptions under subscription types allowing Partners to see Azure reports and analytics on customer consumption. It’s an excellent way for clients to track their own monthly consumption of Azure to maintain usage costs.
  • Customer Invoices: The self-service portal now also includes generating customer invoices through Work 365 which allows customers to easily know what they are being billed each month without having to ask their providers.

Additionally, here are some minor updates:

  • Miscellaneous bugs
  • Some backend revamped configurations
  • A new field entry in Billing Contracts: ‘Next Invoice Date‘. This field is automatically generated by the system when the scheduled invoice date is triggered
  • Auto-send invoice functionality enables customers to receive an invoice from Work 365 automatically
  • Manual Provider no longer updates a status of ChangeLog, it only sends out reminder emails
  • Ability to reset service credentials

To update your system, you can download the latest version 1.5.2 zip file directly in Work 365 by going to Work 365 > Administration > Help & About; however, the latest features for the self-service portal are not available by zip file on the Help & About page. If you are currently using the self-service portal and would like to download the latest features, please reach out to Work 365 Ready.

New Customer Experience for DAP

Beginning Nov. 1, when Partners use Partner Center to connect with customers, they will have the option to choose whether their relationship with them includes Office 365 Delegated Admin Privileges (DAP). Prior to this change, all new relationships included Office 365 DAP by default, and the removal of DAP in Office 365 occurred after the reseller relationship was established. Furthermore, instead of being directed to the Microsoft Office Admin Portal when accepting reseller relationship invitations, customers will now be directed to the Microsoft Store for Business.

Whether Partners choose to include Office 365 DAP for new customers (a setting which must be checked off in Partner Center) will influence the landing page customers to see in the Microsoft Store for Business. For the Microsoft Store for Business experience with DAP, customers will accept DAP privileges as usual. For the Microsoft Store for Business experience without DAP (again an option that must be checked off in Partner Center), customers will accept a reseller relationship that does not include DAP. In other words, DAP is not mentioned in the invitation, and customers will need to assign Partner permissions themselves in Office 365 and Azure.

Next Steps

  • Starting Nov. 1, 2018 Partners must choose whether to include DAP when establishing new reseller relationships using Partner Center.
  • Send invitations using the appropriate links.
  • Ensure you update existing documentation to reflect the new experience.

We will discuss these changes in our next Work 365 Webinar if you would like to learn more. Any additional information on this topic will be shared in our Work 365 Yammer Group.

Tip of the Month

Bundle different types of subscriptions as differentiated product offerings!  

Work 365 allows Partners to bundle together license based subscriptions, usage-based subscriptions, and even service-based subscriptions. What this means is that Partners can create bundles incorporating Microsoft licensed products and usage products like Azure, third-party vendor products, packaged IP, and services such as support and migration services in the Work 365 application.

To create bundles like these, Partners create a parent subscription with the name of the bundle and then child subscriptions, the various products, and services included in the bundle, are added and linked to the parent subscription. Anytime a customer wants to add licenses to their subscription all the Partner has to do is add the licenses to the parent subscription and the child subscriptions are automatically updated. When the invoice is automatically generated the only subscription information that shows comes from the parent. This allows Partners to send simplified invoices that only show the product bundles they provide and not the various products and services included within the bundle.

Learn How Work 365 will automate your CSP business!

Sign Up for Latest Work 365 Webinar