Why a Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider (LSP) is not your partner

Introduction to Microsoft LSP: Who are the LSPs?

Licensing Solution Providers (LSPs) are companies that enable Microsoft end clients to purchase licenses, cloud services, and access value-added services. To sell licenses and subscriptions through Microsoft Enterprise Agreements and enrolments, it is required to be a certified Microsoft Licensing Solution Provider (LSP). Microsoft must approve the registration of a company that wants to become an LSP. In the end it is Microsoft that decides who becomes an LSP. Microsoft pays the LSP for selling Microsoft products and delivering services to clients.    

Ideally the LSP serves as your “go-to person” when as an organization, you want to purchase and use Microsoft products.  We can say that the LSPs are Microsoft’s external sales teams. In every country you have a set of LSPs.  Some LSPs are so big that they control 70% of the market in some regions.  There is no competition between the LSPs.    

What are the roles of an LSP?   

1. The LSP serves as your “go-to person” on a new Volume Licensing Agreement 

The LSP uses agreements and contracts prepared by Microsoft to assist you when purchasing products and services. With this agreement, LSPs can offer your organization clarifications to aid you with your signing up. They also assist your organization to get invoice on products used and how to proceed with payments. Next to their sales activities an LSP is also Microsoft’s administrative body between Microsoft end the end customer.   

2. Changing agreement details on existing Volume Licensing Agreements   

This is possible as the LSP offers administrative roles when you engage them as an organization. In the instance where you want to undertake changes in detail on your existing Volume Licensing Agreement, you need to review the agreement to understand limitations and permissions to proceed. Together with the LSP, your organization should identify what needs to be changed. For example, adjusting user counts, pricing, licensing terms or modifying any other relevant terms.  

3. Ordering Volume Licensing products   

The LSP will need to engage you prior to placing the order to understand your software requirements and needs as an organization. Also look at the number of users and devices that need the licenses, the specific Microsoft products needed, then proceed to place the order.   

4. Invoice accuracy, pricing, payment status or other billing matters relating to volume licenses   

Your LSP can help you acquire accurate invoice as this is crucial for your organization’s management of budget effectively. This can be done by verifying that your organization is only paying for the licenses it needs and is using. Also assisting to reconcile with actual software usage to prevent over-licensing. Also, should be able to provide insights into upcoming renewals and licensing changes to avoid unexpected costs.    

Why will your organization engage an LSP?

At the time of looking for Microsoft solutions for your various Microsoft licensing & cloud services need, you may have turned to an LSP with hopes of offering you the needed support. Well, on the face value, they will offer you the “so called support” as Microsoft sales team externally.  

As a Microsoft partner an LSP works on behalf of Microsoft and is paid based on sales pitches that have been successfully executed. The LSP you engaged as an organization ideally will assist with licensing advice and after the advice, they will sell the product to you. The advice is to help you understand product features, deployment best practices but is your interest really tops on the agenda? 

Your LSP will come across as supporting you to gain access to Microsoft products and services. From software licenses to cloud services to support your agreements, bear in mind that they will be looking for opportunities where they will suggest you purchase additional licenses. Not that you may really need them or cannot do without these licenses, but remember the more they sell, the more they make money (commission).   

Most LSPs advertise themselves as licensing experts who have a deep understanding of the complex licensing models, product use rights and is there primarily to assist your organization. Their expertise may be in no doubt, but how well do they help you optimize your license? Remember they are partners to Microsoft, meaning they work for Microsoft and if not for anything at all, they have a divided interest when assisting you. Their support is not 100% as compared to an independent unbiased Microsoft licensing and cloud expert.    

Working with a Microsoft LSP compared to an independent licensing expert   

Licensing Solution Partner (LSP)   

  • An LSP has a direct relationship with Microsoft   
  • LSP is paid by Microsoft    
  • LSP is an advisor and a seller at the same time   
  • LSP will have advantage of having inside information on the latest. However, to what effect really, especially savings wise does this information benefit you.    
  • LSP is looking out to sell more licenses to you for increased commission. 
  • LSP is not too keen on helping you optimize your agreement.   

Independent Microsoft expert   

  • These Microsoft experts have no tied relationship to Microsoft    
  • These experts can provide 100% neutral advice in your interest.   
  • They also help you explore a range of licensing options which Microsoft and LSP don’t want you to know. 
  • Independent licensing company does not sell software on behalf of Microsoft.   
  • An independent licensing expert will also focus on optimizing costs across various licensing options to find the most effective one   
  • An independent expert does not get paid by Microsoft.   
  • Due to the flexibility with which they operate, your organization using a mix of services from different vendors is not a hindrance but rather, they are able to provide broader comprehensive advice.   
  • An independent expert also offers personalized advice based on your organization’s specific needs with no limitations to a single vendor’s product suite.   

Q-Advise as your independent license advisor   

We treat every case with high levels of unbiased expertise and an independent approach to maximize results. We have learnt over the years what to do that gets clients the right fit for their needs. We have no affiliation with any vendor hence our client’s interest comes first when it comes to solving issues.    

Our team of experts are well-vested in cloud and on-premises-related issues and can provide various scenarios to guide your final decision-making. It’s a painstaking effort we carry out prior to giving solutions, recommendations or advice on your potential deals with the vendor. We carry out due diligence, structuring your agreement to ensure favorable outcomes.    

We know how strategy gives a good outcome in the event you are dealing with Microsoft, and this is how our experts will assist you to close your deals. Our experts are client-focused with the goal of helping you make well-informed decisions in your interest.    

We engage in continuous learning to stay informed about the latest developments in Microsoft, IT and licensing space to deliver up to date and appropriate solutions.    

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