When it comes to managing a tenant in Microsoft 365, you might think of your own system. But if you work for an organization that looks after multiple tenants (for example, an ISP), having a portal to login to where you can manage each one makes life a whole lot simpler, right? If you had to open up portal.office.com and sign in with many different accounts, it could become a cumbersome job. But the Microsoft Partner Center ensures that you have a central place to go to do this.
Accessing Microsoft Partner Center
So how do you access the Microsoft Partner Center portal? Login to portal.office.com with your global admin account and click the nine dots in the top left-hand corner to expand the menu. Below that, under Apps, you will see Admin, which will be your own admin portal, and then you will see Partner. Click on Partner.
If you don’t have access to this page, you will get the error below:
The above can happen if you have multiple accounts as I do. It logs you in with the incorrect account. If you keep getting the above error even after you have logged out, try a different browser like Edge if you are using Chrome or the other way round. Alternatively, you could use incognito mode as information keeps caching.
Once you have logged in successfully, under CSP, you will see the following page:
A different-looking portal
Notice that the partner portal looks very different from the normal Microsoft 365 Office portal. For security reasons, some of the info has been taken out. If you click on Customers on the left-hand side, you will see a list of all customers under your umbrella, and you are able to do the following for your customer:
- Add products
- Add subscriptions
- View orders
- View subscriptions
- Manage users and licenses
- Perform administrative services
- View service costs
From this view, you can also add customers or request a reseller relationship, as shown below:
The next thing you are able to do is log service requests on behalf of your customers. Let’s say that a customer is experiencing an issue with Outlook connecting to Microsoft 365. You are able to log the request and provide all the technical steps/details that they normally would not know. (I am referring here to the end-user.) So how do you do this? On the left-hand side, you have a Support menu on the top and a Support menu/option on the bottom. We want to work with the one on the top, as shown below:
Once you have expanded Support, you can then click on Customer Requests, and it will show a search bar on the right. You can enter the customer name or a part of the name and click the search button or press enter, and it will list all the customers. Once you have clicked on a customer, it will now show any open requests, as shown above, and if you click closed, you can view all the closed requests. If you want to log a new request, you can click the black button “New Request,” and once you do that, a menu will drop down with options like:
- Microsoft Azure
- Dynamics 365
- Microsoft 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite
- Microsoft Intune
Once you have clicked on an option, as shown above, a new tab with open asking you to login again, and then you can follow the steps to log the support ticket.
If you click on “Partner Support Requests” under the same menu, you are able to see all Open and Closed Requests. Here is a sample view below:
As you can see, it is much simpler to manage your customers from one portal than having to log in to each one separately, and you can view everything in once place.
The next thing I want to chat about is the ability to access the Marketplace, Catalog, promotions, etc. from the same portal. If you expand Sell, you will see the list of options available, as shown below:
What is nice about this is if you click on “Pricing and Offers,” you will be presented with a page where you are able to download pricing for quite a few things. Take a look below. You can even see pricing per country/region:
If you head over to the Marketplace, you are able to browse through all the different categories like Backup, AI, blockchain, virtual machines, and many more. If you click on a virtual machine, for example, you can view pricing by market. In other words, from the drop-down list, you can select your country, and then you can see the SKU name and SKU ID.
If you head over to Catalog under the same “Sell” menu, you can see offers available, and you have a button that you can click to Update Offers as well.
The last few items on the Microsoft Partner Center portal is as follows:
- Azure spending
- Analyze information like usage and license usage
The above are self-explanatory, so we are not going into much detail on those.
If you click on MPN, you will see a new set of items. MPN allows you to see what you need to achieve to get to Silver or Gold status. So, if your team has written exams, they can associate their learning profile to the company.
Lastly, you have other sections like Referrals, Incentives, Commercial Marketplace, and Support.
Featured image: Shutterstock