Pax8 March Microsoft update

Pax8 Microsoft Monthly Update Blog

Welcome to our Microsoft and Pax8 monthly update for March. Find a summary of everything you might have missed below. To get even more in-depth information about our unique partnership and everything it offers managed service provider (MSP) partners, sign up for our monthly live webcast.

Program updates

CSP Legacy to NCE seat-based migration continues

Microsoft is continuing the migration of Cloud Service Provider (CSP) customers to the New Commerce Experience (NCE) it began in January. Public sector (education, government, and nonprofits) offers will be available starting March 1, 2024, with the Microsoft-led migration starting July 2024.

We encourage our partners to self-migrate their legacy CSP clients to NCE in the Pax8 Marketplace by navigating to the Legacy subscription on the Pax8 Platform and clicking “Upgrade.” Read more about upgrading to NCE.

Self-upgrading from Legacy to NCE

Partners can easily upgrade from Legacy to NCE in the Pax8 Platform. The upgrade process allows partners to select their commitment and billing terms without needing to reassign licenses. Additionally, the upgrade tool accommodates both base licensing and add-ons. For subscriptions with an annual billing commitment, the upgrade button will maintain the legacy renewal date unless partners order on NCE and then cancel the Legacy to start a new 12-month commitment.

CSP TTM revenue requirements

Starting April 1, 2024, existing indirect resellers must maintain a minimum 12-month trailing CSP revenue of $1,000 USD or equivalent in other currencies. This requirement applies to each CSP region at the reseller tenant level and only to those authorized for at least one year. If an indirect reseller has multiple Microsoft MPNs or subscriptions from multiple providers, the revenue is combined to calculate TTM. Not meeting this requirement means you won’t be authorized, and there’s a minimum of one-year wait before you can reapply.

New benefits for partners

The benefit package includes three tiers: Partner Launch Benefits at $345 USD, Partner Success Core Benefits at $895 USD, and Partner Success Expanded Benefits at $3,995 USD. Each tier has specific offerings, including M365 Business Premium and Copilot, Azure Credits, Video Studio Professional, D365 Sales Enterprise and Sales Copilot, D365 Business Central, and other Biz Apps. Additionally, the package includes technical support, consultation services, and marketing support. There are no purchase or renewal requirements for any tier.


Developing an AI strategy

To develop an AI strategy, you need to consider you and your customer’s business and transformation strategies. Start by adopting responsible AI principles and consult on the deeper need with your customers as they drive their preferred AI outcomes. Preparation for AI capabilities includes cloud migration and license optimization. For your transformation, focus on unified security, identity access, data management, governance, orchestration, and estate modernization/migration. And to drive adoption, begin with a pilot project, build business buy-in, monitor AI solutions, and collaborate with Pax8 Professional Services to scale your service potential.

Data management

Partners should understand, classify, and govern their data, ensuring quality, privacy, and compliance. Microsoft’s data governance solutions, like Purview and Azure Data Factory, help discover, catalog, and map data sources, apply classifications and policies, and track data lineage. Partners can receive support from Pax8 Professional Services.

Copilot for Microsoft Azure

Azure Copilot is a service that provides intelligent recommendations and insights to help optimize your Azure environment. It can help you accelerate workload deployment, automate low-risk tasks, monitor and give environmental insights, and troubleshoot, help, and support.

Copilot for Sales and Service

Two SKUs will be available in the CSP for all customer sizes: Copilot for Sales and Copilot for Service. Microsoft Copilot for Sales is being updated on March 1, 2024, to enhance productivity and boost deal closure for sales teams. It integrates with CRM systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Salesforce Sales Cloud, offering sales-specific insights and recommendations within apps such as Outlook, Teams, and Word. New features include generating sales meeting preparation briefs in Word, summarizing emails with relevant buying intent analysis in Outlook, and creating collaborative deal rooms in Teams. The pricing includes a standalone license for $50 per user per month or a $20 step-up for existing Copilot for Microsoft 365 owners.

Microsoft is making its Copilot for Service generally available, aiming to streamline workflows and automate tasks for service teams. This AI solution integrates with existing contact center and CRM systems, and costs $50 per user per month as a standalone license or $20 extra for existing Copilot for Microsoft 365 users. While available for partners now, Cloud Solution Providers can access it from March 1st, empowering both sales and service teams through increased efficiency and effectiveness.

Demystifying Defender

Defender for Endpoint

Defender for Endpoint is a unified endpoint platform for preventative protection, post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response. Defender for Endpoint is an enterprise offer and has two plans available. Compare Plans.

Defender for Business

Defender for Business is an endpoint security solution that was designed especially for the small-to-medium-sized business, securing company’s devices from ransomware, malware, phishing, and other threats. Defender for Business is available as a standalone and included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Defender for O365

Defender for Office 365 safeguards your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links (URLs) and collaboration tools with Safe Links, Safe Attachments, and Anti-phishing. Plan 1 is included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

Defender for Identity

Microsoft Defender for Identity, formerly Azure Advanced Threat Protection or Azure ATP, is a cloud-based security solution that leverages your on-premises Active Directory signals to identify, detect, and investigate advanced threats, compromised identities, and malicious insider actions directed at your organization.

Defender for Cloud

Microsoft Defender for Cloud is a cloud-native application protection platform (CNAPP) with a set of security measures and practices designed to protect cloud-based applications from various cyber threats and vulnerabilities. Defender for Cloud combines the capabilities of DevSecOps, cloud security posture management, and a cloud workload protection platform into one powerful solution.

Defender for Cloud Apps

Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps is a comprehensive cross-SaaS solution bringing deep visibility, strong data controls, and enhanced threat protection to your cloud apps. A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) that supports various deployment modes including log collection, API connectors, and reverse proxy. It also provides rich visibility to identify and combat threats across Microsoft and third-party cloud services.

Get the most from Business Premium

Microsoft Defender for Business is Included in Business Premium

Microsoft 365 Business Premium is a comprehensive productivity and security solution that includes Microsoft Defender for Business, Microsoft Defender for Office 365 Plan 1, Intune, Exchange Online Archiving, Autopilot, Azure Virtual Desktop license, Windows 10/11 Business, and Shared Computer Activation. It is available as a standalone SKU for up to 300 users, with entitlement for use on up to five devices, or included as part of Microsoft 365 Business Premium for up to 300 users. An add-on server offering is also available.

Defender vulnerability management

Defender for Business includes a vulnerability management dashboard that is designed to save your security team time and effort. In addition to providing an exposure score, that dashboard enables your team to view information about exposed devices and see relevant security recommendations.

Azure AD Identity Protection

Identity Protection allows organizations to automate the detection and remediation of identity-based risks, investigate the risks using data in the portal, and export risk detection data to other tools.


Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution. It manages user access and simplifies app and device management across your many devices, including mobile devices, desktop computers, and virtual endpoints. Intune is included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

M365 Lighthouse

Microsoft 365 Lighthouse is an admin portal that helps MSPs secure and manage devices, data, and users at scale for their customers. Lighthouse simplifies the onboarding of customer tenants by recommending security configuration baselines tailored to SMB customers and providing multi-tenant views across all customer environments. With Lighthouse, MSPs can scale the management of their customers, focus on what’s most important, and take action to get their customers to a healthy and secure state.

Lighthouse + MDB

Lighthouse is available to MSPs enrolled in the CSP program that service SMB customers.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium + CIS

The Pax8 Business Premium rapid adoption offering is built on the foundation of Microsoft’s recommended best practices and CIS Controls. Choose Pax8 Professional Services to unlock the Zero Trust potential of Microsoft 365 Business Premium, E3, or E5 configured to CIS Controls.

Secure user identities

  • Phishing-resistant MFA with conditional access (CIS 6.3, 6.5)
  • Enablement of phishing-resistant password-less authentication (CIS 6.3, 6.5)
  • Geo-fencing to country/countries of choice

Secure devices and prevent BYOD threats

  • Windows 10/11 in cloud configuration (CIS 3.6, 4.1, 4.5, 4.11, 10.3, 10.5)
  • Mobile app management in Intune for iOS and Android
  • Conditional access to force mobile device access from protected apps (CIS 9.1)

Secure collaboration

  • Enabled Defender for Office with safe links, safe attachments, and anti-phishing (CIS 9.7)

Hands-on labs

If you’re interested in learning more about individual Microsoft solutions, be sure to sign up for one of Microsoft’s Pax8 Partner hands-on enablement labs. See some of their upcoming labs below:

Modern Work partner enablement sessions

  • March 14: Microsoft Intune
  • March 28: Microsoft Entra

Azure hands-on labs

  • March 21: Defender for Cloud

Sign up for the webcast