Buy Office 365 from ISP or from Microsoft direct?

furuno used Ask the Experts™
Primarily interested in a hosted email provider other than Gmail.  

ISP sells Office 365 but it is also available direct from Microsoft.

What would be the best option? What value can an ISP or Microsoft direct add?
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Senior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010
There's very little difference. Your ISP is likely acting as a Cloud Service Provider for Office 365, so it depends on the agreement level they're on (there are various CSP levels). Most likely, it means that if you have issues that are covered under the support contract, you would deal with your ISP's tech support instead of Microsoft's. There is almost no difference between the two options aside from that.
RobOwner (Aidellio)
Most Valuable Expert 2015


I think this is more about what you need and what your requirements are.  For instance, I'm a sole trader and I subscribe to Gmail to handle email, calendar and those collaborative products.

I also subscribe to Office 365 directly with Microsoft for purely using the office programs and be compatible with my clients as needed.

My question to you is, "what can your ISP offer you as a reseller?".  If you can't see a difference (other than they might be more expensive?) then I would recommend going direct to the source.  The more hands you remove from the pie so to speak, the better experience you'll have.

Éric MoreauSenior .Net Consultant
Top Expert 2016

I have purchased through an ISP. It was exactly the same price. But I have another level of support with my ISP.

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