Last week I ran a short walkthrough of Atria’s support for Microsoft Online Services. We have designed this solution for Cloud Solution Providers (CSP) wanting to increase their ability to scale up, while simplifying and removing the need for complex processes.
Atria tackles four core areas which are fundamental to the successful operation of a profitable Microsoft Service Provider business.
- Provisioning : Automation for setup of new tenants, users, subscriptions and license assignments – consistently and reliably.
- Security : Minimise the need for service desk staff to be granted privileged security roles (Global administrator is needed for most of these actions), and importantly revoking access to customer data.
- Delegation : Provisioning with security controls, allows reseller and partner channels as well as end-customers to safely self-service creation of tenants, users and license assignment.
- Data : Centralised tracking of all changes; who made them and when they happened. Generates detailed user-level billing.
Multi-Tenant Desktop Environments using ADFS
Many Atria CSPs have built large scale desktop as a service platforms using Citrix and/or Microsoft RDS technologies. Most have also taken advantage of Office 365 services to reduce operating overheads and to deliver increased value to customers. By using federated identities and solutions such as Microsoft ADFS, single sign-on is possible. In general this also needs an Azure AD Connect server to be setup and configured for each individual tenant.
Atria now automates provisioning of identity into both Active Directory and Azure AD, this replaces the synchronisation process handled by Azure AD Connect but operates without any tenant specific infrastructure. When the user provisioning process completes in Atria, the user is immediately able to access services.
In a non-automated Microsoft CSP, stringent processes are required to ensure licenses are not over provisioned. Any failure of process results in unassigned or unbilled licenses – net result can be severe damage to margins or time consuming billing problems.
Consider the example of a 10 user SMB consuming Microsoft 365 Business Premium
- CSP cost price per license is $16, Retail is $20 – giving a 20% margin of $4 per user
- For 10 users accurately provisioned, 20% margin delivers $40 of margin for this customer
- 1 overprovisioned user will drop the monthly margin to $24 (12%)
- 2 overprovisioned users drop it further to $8 (4%)
- At 3 users this customer will be costing money
This is a very common and very real scenario exacerbated due to separation of responsibilities between support and procurement. It is commonplace to find dramatic savings if this margin leakage can be stopped.
For Direct CSP partners, Atria will automatically right-size subscriptions with a scheduled nightly evaluation. Even if changes to users or subscriptions have been made outside of Atria, Atria will still right size the subscriptions.
Each Microsoft Partner Centre tenant is created within a region and is permitted to only create tenants and subscriptions within their region. As an example, a service provider in Germany is permitted to provision tenants into most countries within Europe.
Atria is aware of Microsoft regions, when you configure your Partner Center connection, Atria will allow you to provision into the markets contained within the Partner Center region.
If you operate across multiple Microsoft Regions, Atria gives you flexibility to configure multiple PartnerCenter connections. Using standard reseller features and service plans, you can configure Atria to align with your operating model and desired support team structure.
Onboarding new customers
If you use Atria today or if you are evaluating Atria for your CSP business, Atria is able to connect to existing Azure AD tenants, retrieve details and synchronise user accounts and license information into Atria. The process is simple and takes minutes to setup. Once the synchronisation process has completed, users can subsequently be managed via Atria.
The synchronisation process can be re-executed on demand and is also run on a nightly basis to ensure any licensing changes made outside of Atria are still captured.
Watch the video below and download the presentation below.
If you are reselling Microsoft Online services, such as Office 365 or Microsoft 365, we want to help you improve customer service and margins while reducing your support overheads. We are a friendly team and want to understand and help you with your challenges. Please get in touch for a stress free conversation to find out if Atria can help your business.