Microsoft Enterprise Agreement vs CSP program – what is the difference?
The primary way that people buy Azure is through either a Microsoft enterprise agreement (EA) or a cloud solution provider (CSP) agreement. The EA is an existing agreement that an organisation may have in place that they can then add Azure cloud services on to, or they buy an EA for Azure when they buy new. Alternatively, the CSP is much more of a flexible agreement, with no commitment levels, and you can buy as and when you want.
One thing that most people wouldn’t know about a Microsoft enterprise agreement is that you must have a 500-user commitment up front, which covers products that aren’t necessarily Azure. With the CSP, you don’t have that level of commitment; you buy what you need when you need it.
In addition, the cloud solution provider program gives you the ability to have a relationship with a reseller that can provide provisioning, technical support, pricing, auto billing, and other value-added services. Microsoft is there to provide the infrastructure and platform services; they rely on the CSP program to be able to deliver that layer of additional support to their customers.