Pax8 and Microsoft September update: getting started with Microsoft 365 Government, demystifying Defender, and more

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To stay up to date with all things Microsoft, one of the leading vendors for our managed service provider (MSP) partners, register for our monthly Microsoft partner update webcast. Read about the latest updates below.

Program updates

Granular delegated admin privileges (GDAP)

Microsoft has begun transitioning delegated admin privileges (DAP) to GDAP for customer tenants and has partnered with Pax8 to transition all Pax8 end customer relationships to GDAP. For new end customers, Pax8 will prompt partners in the checkout flow to establish GDAP between Pax8 and the end customer. A partner can bypass this but should then establish GDAP.

Deprecation of legacy offerings

Cloud service provider (CSP) partners currently providing legacy, license-based pricing and offers across all markets, take note: Multiple legacy offers are being deprecated. In addition, some commercial license-based legacy offers available in New Commerce will no longer be available for purchase as legacy subscriptions.

To facilitate this transition, CSP Partner Center has made more than 400 legacy license-based offers migratable to New Commerce. Partners who wish to acquire new subscriptions for migratable offers will need to obtain the corresponding New Commerce product SKU.

Tech for Social Impact grant update

Starting October 1, the Microsoft Azure grant amount will be updated to $2,000, and nonprofit customers will receive the updated amount of Azure sponsorship credits on or after October 1.

Also on October 1, Microsoft will end their Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise grant. Customers who previously received the grant will see the price for the five granted licenses increase from $0 to the standard nonprofit discounted price when renewing on or after October 1.

Teams rooms devices and licenses

Teams Room Standard and Premium will be retired and replaced with Teams Room Basic and Teams Room Pro. Active subscriptions will retain functionality until the renewal date, upon which subscriptions must be transitioned to a new SKU. By September 30, all Teams Room devices must be licensed with Teams Room Basic or Pro or they will be blocked by Microsoft.

Tips on the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program

Find the latest tips on the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program below:

  • Skilling requirements: Certifications identified for retirement continue to count toward your partner capability score for one year after retirement or until your individual certification expires, whichever is sooner.
  • Modern Work: Microsoft Viva is now an eligible workload for Modern Work under net new customer adds, deployments, and usage growth, and you may now begin earning points for the Viva workloads you manage.
  • Security: Microsoft has adjusted Solutions Partner for Security designation requirements, including new prerequisites. Visit Partner Center to see how this impacts your score.

New designations and specializations for the Microsoft AI Cloud Partner Program (MAICPP)

New MAICPP designations were announced to further help partners differentiate their technical expertise: support services, training services, and independent software vendor (ISV). New or revised specializations include Business Apps, Data and A.I., and Infrastructure.

Pax8 Platform Inbox

Pax8 has a new partner communication system within the Pax8 Marketplace called Platform Inbox. This allows partners to update their default communication preferences to receive communications through the Marketplace. Just click the mailbox icon on the top right-hand corner of the Marketplace homepage to enable it.

U.S. Government Community Cloud update

Microsoft agreement for online services — government

The AOS-G program enables government and commercial organizations to purchase Microsoft Government Cloud Community High (GCC High) licenses from an authorized Microsoft partner.

The process is different from the usual CSP one and needs to be ordered through a volume licensing process. Benefits include that access to the organization’s customer content is restricted to screened Microsoft personnel and that the Microsoft 365 Government programs comply with certifications and accreditations required for U.S. public sector customers.

Getting started with ordering GCC High

If your customer requires Microsoft 365 Government – GCC High or DoD (Department of Defense), you’ll need to direct them to apply for government validation through Microsoft by filling out the Microsoft Government General Validation form. Be sure that you and/or your customer carefully review your admin and security settings and consider impacts on compliance before you modify them, as well as review any restrictions on applications and services due to compliance requirements.

To order through Pax8, contact your channel account manager or productivity solution consultant to request for the licenses for your organization to be unlocked. The process may be lengthy and take several hours for the tenant to be created and three to five days for provisioning. Speak with your Pax8 rep for more details.

Security and Microsoft 365 Business Premium

What are “Zero Trust” principles?

In a hybrid work world, “Zero Trust” is the safest way to maintain cybersecurity. Zero Trust is a proactive, integrated approach to security that requires every transaction to be verified, grants least-privilege access, and relies on intelligence, advanced detection, and real-time response to threats. This approach helps you support remote and hybrid work, prevent or reduce business damage from a breach, meet regulatory requirements, and generally provide a stronger security posture.

Demystifying Defender

There are many different types of Microsoft Defender, and Pax8 can help you navigate through them. Put simply:

  • Defender for Endpoint is a unified endpoint platform for preventative protection,
    post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response.
  • Defender for Identity 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.
  • Defender for Business is an endpoint security solution that was designed especially for small- and medium-sized businesses, securing company devices from ransomware, malware, phishing, and other threats.
  • Defender for Cloud is a cloud-native application protection platform with a set of security measures and practices designed to protect cloud-based applications from various cyberthreats and vulnerabilities.
  • Defender for Office 365 safeguards your organization against malicious threats posed by email messages, links, and collaboration tools.
  • Defender for Cloud Apps is a comprehensive cross-SaaS solution bringing deep visibility, strong data controls, and enhanced threat protection to your cloud apps.

Getting the most from Business Premium

Business Premium has a number of features and platforms partners should be aware of:

  • Defender for Business includes a vulnerability management dashboard that enables you to view your exposure score, top security recommendations, and recommended remediation activities.
  • Azure AD Identity Protection Identity Protection allows organizations to automate detection and remediation of identity-based risks, investigate risks, and export risk detection data to other tools.
  • Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution.
  • Microsoft 365 Lighthouse helps managed service providers (MSPs) secure and manage devices, data, and users at scale for SMBs.

What’s new in security at Pax8?

Pax8 provides multiple paths of security support for partners transacting Microsoft solutions, including active security evaluations (U.S. and Canada). Pax8 also offers migration support so you can lift and modernize environments with more ease as well as professional services so you can scale Microsoft 365 Business Premium with framework benchmarks, helping you provide secure user identities, device configuration, and collaboration.

Pax8 and Microsoft enablement

Our current enablement offerings include partner enablement sessions, Bootcamps, On-Demand courses, Instructor-Led trainings, Peer Groups, and more. Take a look at Pax8 Academy to find everything you need to increase your Microsoft expertise and start selling more solutions today.

Pax8 Momentum is coming soon

Pax8 Momentum, happening October 10-12 in Denver, provides partners a new place to continue the journey from previous Pax8 events and translate that knowledge into operational success. With customized breakout sessions and an interactive approach, this event delves deeper into key aspects to help our partners achieve their goals. Register now.

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