Microsoft Licensing and Services Update March 2018

Microsoft continue to cement their strong GDPR credentials in Q1 2018 with important feature releases across the EMS portfolio,  and strengthening of their Microsoft 365 offering.

However, the expansive service portfolio, with technical and licensing inter-dependencies is driving growth in indpendent consultancy as organisations balance the demands of GDPR with budget objectives.

As Microsoft see 42% growth YoY in Office365, and command a 350% price increase for end user ‘desktop’ over the last 10 years, businesses are challenging Microsoft to prove value for the increasing cost of productivity.

The advantage of an independent consultancy practices like the one I run for SoftwareONE, is that we can work with the customer to understand their roadmap, enable cloud adoption, support a ‘cloud ready’ strategy, understand ‘smart scale in’, and provide that due diligence on your next contract renewal.

Our team has experience negotiating contracts and critical data insights, and rapid commercial model tooling available, to enable our customers to “buy the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price”.

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for February 2017

  • March 1st Product Terms includes Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server. Specified use scenarios, flexible but with a key limitation on concurrent use when comparing to Windows Server Datacenter. Notably no Azure Analysis Services included.
  • Azure Information Protection Scanner enters General Availability. Notably aligned within EM&S E5 or AIP P2. Enables GDPR. https://t.co/XWnUXoBpVz
  • Office365 near term roadmap with new features across Planner, Advanced Threat Intelligence and Advanced Threat Protection https://t.co/b6YBT6cw6J
  • If you want to manage group naming conventions and expiry policies for Office365 groups, you will need Azure AD Premium licenses https://goo.gl/x7HzLc
  • Windows Defender ATP now supports Windows 8.1 and 7 https://goo.gl/T8hQPn
  • Microsoft Compliance Manager enters General Availability. Provided natively for Office365 Enterprise Plans for GDPR https://t.co/qtuvmAN5X5
  • Hybrid Azure AD Premium with on-premises MIM now enables hybrid self-service group management and self-service password reset reporting https://t.co/ikUOzvdHoU
  • The United States vs. Microsoft arguments started on February 27th. One to watch for the future of Azure and data privacy.
  • Microsoft enhance cloud spend management ecosystem for Azure with Budgets API (EA customers only), and ARM (Azure Resource Manager) compliant Price List and Marketplace APIs https://goo.gl/RbzfYK Providing additional valuable APIs to PyraCloud.
  • Windows Client OS have been completely re-written in the March 2018 Product Terms. Now 25% shorter.
  • Microsoft announce that Azure Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is now Generally Available on March 1st. Azure ATP resides within EM+S E5. #GDPR https://goo.gl/4qVLh2
  • Azure Stream Analytics introduces new pricing model       “If your customers have existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) enrollments that were valid as of February 1, 2017, they’ll be able to use Stream Analytics at the previous pricing model until the end of their current enrollment period” https://goo.gl/n4uiZA
  • Amazon cloud lead shrinks as Microsoft Azure growth explodes http://tek.io/2BrRdRH
  • Office 365 Multi-Geo address previous challenges of regional tenant requirements? Read More: https://t.co/IpaehntYfq
  • Dynamics NAV 2018 and GP 2018 in the March 2018 Microsoft Services Provider Use Rights: http://bit.ly/SPUR-Mar-18   (Ref: Jelle Kooi)
  • Common Area Phone, Azure Advanced Threat Protection in the March 2018 Microsoft Online Services Terms: http://bit.ly/OST-Mar-18
  • New Feature for Microsoft Teams : “Anyone with a business or consumer email account, such as http://Outlook.com , http://Gmail.com or others, can participate as a guest in Teams with full access to team chats, meetings and files.” https://t.co/izBxjLdn41
  • Microsoft Azure Migrate is now generally available. Microsoft step into commercial TCO with scenario planning inclusive of Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, Right-Sizing, No Charge Dependency Visualization https://goo.gl/N8CofC and further enabled by emerging features for cost and technical optimisation guidance https://goo.gl/gAVTYf within Azure Advisor.
  • Microsoft offer important capabilities around automated classification and encryption of data, GDPR critical features are often enshrined within E5 level services, and the ‘fire hose’ of information available within Office365 Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days within Office365, only extensible for 180 days with ‘premium’ Advanced Security Management (ASM) https://goo.gl/P9QDwL

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.
  • All original content from the author is subject to copyright.

Microsoft Licensing and Service Update January 2018

Getting GDPR Ready

Commonly data breaches can take minutes, but discovery and reporting can take weeks or even months, Exemplified by breaches like Yahoo and Equifax, driving risk of reputational damage and material fines from regulators.

The GDPR features offered natively in Office365 and Azure AD services are compelling, offering reporting via Office365 Audit Logs, and DLP for PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and Compliance Dashboard.

However, while Microsoft offer important capabilities around automated classification and encryption of data, GDPR critical features are often enshrined within E5 level services, and the ‘fire hose’ of information available within Office365 Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days within Office365, only extensible for 180 days with ‘premium’ Advanced Security Management (ASM) https://goo.gl/P9QDwL

Accordingly, adding E5 level subscriptions to deals can secure Microsoft’s strategic Tier-1 services, and enable GDPR, but the value is in how we assess requirements and secure the best commercial outcome that delivers on IT and Governance objectives.

The advantage of Microsoft Advisory Services (MAS) is that we can work with the customer to understand their roadmap, enable cloud adoption, support a ‘cloud ready’ strategy, understand ‘smart scale in’ or ensure due diligence and assurance. Our team has experience negotiating contracts, enabled by our global commercial benchmark service, insight into common purchasing and pricing trends,  to enable our customers to ‘buy the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price’

Competitive Advantage through Licensing

A core advantage to our business, is that we understand what enterprises own (Entitlement), and what they deploy (Inventory), and can drive insights into use (Consumption), and how much things cost and what people actually pay (Price). There are no other consultancies with global scale and delivery capability to access this valuable EICP data layer from our services business, and provide trusted actionable insights with our Advisory practice.

As publishers like Microsoft leverage commercial licensing and pricing models to drive competitive advantage over competitors like AWS;  smart assignment of legacy and active entitlements in licensing, can lower costs, afforded by Software Assurance under (often discounted) EA and SCE, and lower the overall TCO of a cloud architectures by including MAS license design principles in any solution.

For Example, AWS will often position ‘License Included’ (LI) solutions for Microsoft, with all licensing for the migrated Microsoft workloads included within a RI subscription. However, Microsoft are leveraging their ownership of the IP, to shift the cost landscape for SPLA providers over the last 7 years and secure the Microsoft workloads on Azure:

Taking selective advantage of (Hybrid Use Benefits for SQL and Windows Server in Azure, and selecting different architecture options, matched with available BYOL (Bring Your Own Licensing) in AWS, and our insights into both Entitlement and Inventory, and Price; MAS are able to provide optimised licensing TCO leveraging our ‘unfair advantage’.

Microsoft News

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for January 2017

  • Managing Office365 licenses becomes easier with group-based subscription assignments, Admins will be able to restrict individual services for staged deployments, and assign multiple service packages https://goo.gl/kTg5Yy
  • Windows Azure VM must enable port 1688 for licensing. To restrict access to Internet IPs, an admin must create an inbound rule in NSG https://goo.gl/pEFRPx to restrict the traffic. A network security group (NSG) https://goo.gl/wQHBoK contains a list of security rules that allow or deny network traffic to resources connected to Azure Virtual Networks (VNet).
  • PowerBI licensing can be expansive – a database managed by the Common Data Service (CDS) could incur all users of the app(s) that access the database to have a Plan 1 subscription. There is a good licensing resource available here: https://goo.gl/Bt6HgC
  • Office365 enables GDPR with auto-data classification (AIP P2 / E5), DLP policies, and Compliance Manager. However, the ‘fire hose’ of Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days, extensible with premium AddOn /E5 Advanced Security Management (ASM) for 180 days https://goo.gl/P9QDwL
  • Azure Info Protection scanner crawls through files in CIFS based file shares and SharePoint (2013-16) sites and apply classification, labelling and protection on files, policies. Note, as always the fancy GDPR content sits in AIP P2 or EMS E5. https://goo.gl/uuPGaz
  • Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams – Setting up Communication Credits https://goo.gl/fL1h8d to enable Pre-Pay access toll-free call-out for Audio Conferencing and Calling Plans https://goo.gl/doHp8n
  • A good resource on Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams add-on licensing https://goo.gl/5trxQ7
  • Impact on Office365 service features support across the various iterations of Skype and Lync desktop clients https://goo.gl/9Hy3Yt
  • PowerBI use scenarios can impact licensing and solution topology e.g. ‘User Owned Data’ vs, ‘App Owned Data’ when the user and app authenticate to access PowerBI APIs (for example for task workers to access a kiosk application) requires PowerBI Pro https://goo.gl/sYmgfW
  • Microsoft announce policy change on End of Support and Premium Assurance. Microsoft are re-evaluating the Premium Assurance offer construct, which provides up to six years of additional support beyond the extended support period. Effective Feb 1st 2018, Premium Assurance SKUs will be updated to lead-status and removed from the published price list. As of now Premium Assurance should no longer be sold, and Redmond are working on plans to announce at a later date. If you have a deal in progress and need guidance, please contact premiumassurance@microsoft.com
  • To allow additional time to deliver the full product and services catalog for software to the modern platform, the Select Plus Retirement suspension will be extended another 12 months. Microsoft will resume shutting down the remaining commercial Select Plus accounts in April 2019. Extensions have been automatically applied to all active commercial Select Plus accounts subject to retirement. Though Microsoft are not actively shutting accounts down, they are advocating moving customers out of Select Plus to a longer-term solution such as EA, CSP (or MPSA as appropriate). Note: Public Sector accounts are not impacted.
  • Microsoft have  announced that for pre-approved SMB customers that cannot transition to CSP, a 12 month Short Term EA Enrollment Extension option available until June 29, 2018 for pre-approved customers only.
  • An longstanding issue for Skype for Business,  Common Area Phone SKU will launch March 1, 2018. This new SKU will allow customers with phone devices not assigned to users and used in areas such as reception areas, break rooms, shop floors, or conference rooms to purchase just one SKU in order to enable those devices with the ability to make/receive calls. The SKU will include the service plans for Phone System and Skype for Business Plan 2. This new license will be available in EA, EAS, Open, CSP and GCC and will be restricted for assignment to devices only per updated Product Terms. The SKU will also roll out to EES customers in Q4FY18.
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Customer Service User CALs SA Only – have 61% discount empowerment until May 31st 2018. Available across Volume Agreement programmes.

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update November 2017

Hi All

This month we launched a multi-channel marketing campaign, with our “AWS Advantage” service – launched at AWS Re:Invent 2017. Expanding our core competency in Microsoft Advisory and SAM to deliver workload optimisation on AWS as part of a Multi-Cloud strategy.

SoftwareONE co-ordinated a Multi-Cloud service across the SoftwareONE Blog and MicrosoftLicenseReview.com, with Infographic,  Whitepaper, and Event at Mercedes World. Thank you to all our clients that attended with us, and enjoyed some time on the track.

Please find the latest licensing and Microsoft updates roundup for November 2017 :

  • Azure Reserved VM Instances are now available in all EA programs and on Azure.com https://goo.gl/hqe6xS
  • Azure Monetary Commitment funds can be used throughout the term of the enrollment for new orders through the EA Prepay (3 year upfront) option. New/Renewal direct EA customers will be billed quarterly for all coverages
  • Microsoft extend Microsoft365 GDPR reporting and management with Compliance Manager in Preview https://t.co/BaOQNlNUGI
  • Are you getting ready for the new Microsoft Licensing MCP – you can check out the refreshed online training from Get Licensing Ready
  • New Features for Office365 from October https://goo.gl/NGYQ3X
  • Editions and Supported Features of SQL Server 2017 https://goo.gl/TvG5RJ
  • Azure Info Protection scanner crawls through files in CIFS based file shares and SharePoint sites and apply classification, labeling and protection on files  policies – driving AD Premium – https://goo.gl/vMEXt3
  • Cloud App Security can read files classified by Azure Info Protection Scanner and set policies based on the file labels: https://goo.gl/mo5kZw
  • Need to control/restrict service access to Office365 services with Intune You will currently need Conditional Access via Azure AD Premium P1  https://goo.gl/EYKjc7
  • Microsoft approaching 1 billion identities synced with Azure AD  https://goo.gl/Tq65xy
  • Office365 and Azure are both GA from UK data centers. Microsoft marketing MoD move: https://goo.gl/9KrE7W
  • Microsoft update MAP Toolkit ready for SQL 2017 https://t.co/8YMVDjCTFw
  • If some users do not have a license for Azure Information Protection but do have a license for Azure Rights Management, edit the registry on these users’ computers to prevent them from running unlicensed features https://goo.gl/W9EiJ3
  • Where Microsoft Teams and Yammer fit in a ECM architecture https://goo.gl/RGzdtg

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn

 

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update October 2017

The latest solutions and services updates from Microsoft, for October 2017

  • Microsoft  EA renewals bookings grow 14%, and 9% in constant currency. Cloud profitability increased 8 points to 57% https://goo.gl/6cjiX5
  • Microsoft secure targeted $20B annual run-rate cloud commercial business.
  • Office365 up 42% and Azure up 90%  https://goo.gl/LBvHbc
  • Microsoft are completing moving their Azure customers to their ‘Modern Rating Engine’ to enable new billing and consumption models i.e. Azure Monetary Commit (AMC) and Reserved Instances (ARI)
  • Effective October 2nd 2017, SQL Server 2017 was made generally available.
  • You can now use Azure Information Protection BYOK with Exchange Online https://goo.gl/R6Hujt
  • Improvements to System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 incl. ‘workload aware storage’ for custom storage targets https://t.co/vNUcCmtODh
  • Microsoft confirm Skype to Microsoft Teams Roadmap https://goo.gl/As9BiL
  • Microsoft announce new ‘Secret’ Government capabilities for Azure Government https://goo.gl/VWmgeV
  • Microsoft ‘u-turn’ on unlicensed mailboxes https://goo.gl/TfeKDg
  • Microsoft365 F1 – a compelling market proposition, but pricing, licensing,  feature limitations may deter adoption https://goo.gl/jzuVQV (Service Description)
  • Reminder: Exchange and Outlook 2007 are exiting Extended Support in October 2017 https://goo.gl/eDDzTF
  • Office365 ProPlus Channels renamed: Monthly Channel, and Deferred ‘Semi Annual’ Channel with 18 Months Support. https://goo.gl/fFTJkN
  • Illustrating the expansive requirements for Premium features of Azure AD when running Office365 https://goo.gl/XcT9nv
  • Microsoft TechNet article on setting up Cloud Voicemail for Skype for Business Phone System and Calling Plans https://goo.gl/ZdPU1U
  • Microsoft compare Azure and AWS with a helpful service map- https://aka.ms/awsazureguide  [Download] https://goo.gl/mr4cTn  [Web]
  • Minimum Requirements for Windows Defender ATP for Windows 10 https://goo.gl/ufw2NX
  • SQL Server 2017 Licensing Datasheetsome welcome wording on readable replicas, and some new licensing additions https://goo.gl/fXM555
  • SQL Server 2017 ‘Modern Servicing Model’ CUs montly for 12 months, then quarterly for 4 years of mainstream support https://t.co/bSfqfwwCJ9
  • Windows10 KMS Activation approaches: A)Windows Server 2016 DC KMS or B) Windows Server 2012 R2 STD/DC for Windows10  https://goo.gl/dFk7WL
  • Cloud Spend Management (CSM) greatly improves with reporting Cloudyn acquisition integration for Azure https://goo.gl/txrmxS

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Microsoft EA Renewal

The Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) is the primary contractual vehicle for enterprises to make volume, normally enterprise-wide commitments, to the increasingly expansive solutions and services stack from Microsoft.

For most businesses, this was a vehicle to optimally buy Microsoft Office and Windows, enable users to access Server Products like Exchange, SharePoint or Skype,  and in more recent iterations, commit to Microsoft Cloud service offerings like Office365 and Azure.

Modern Commercial Strategy

Redmond has sought to increase profitability of their cloud business and pivoting their licensing partner ecosystem towards cloud adoption, management and support services; and away from the associated cost of channel rebates, documents of sale, and growing monetary value of discounts incurred by Microsoft (enough to buy a company the size of Citrix).

In 2016, Microsoft reported 49% profitability for cloud services in earning reports to investors. In 2017, Microsoft EA renewals bookings grew 14% and 9% in constant currency. Microsoft Cloud profitability increased 8 points to 57% and Satya Nadella secured his target of a $20B annual run-rate cloud commercial business. The main drivers of growth, was Office365 up 42%, and Azure up 90% in 2017.

As licensing costs also increase, their end-customers are under pressure to seek independent advice, ensure value, and enable cost savings at their next EA renewal.

Microsoft’s modern commercial strategy greatly incentivises standardisation on an always-up-to-date platform for productivity and communication supported by the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft exemplify this strategy through the cloud-supported solutions with ongoing security and feature updates provided by Microsoft.

The new generation of cloud supported applications and operating systems act as a ‘traffic light’ that are switched on from ‘red, to amber and then green’ with cloud services. Under the traditional on-premises software model, access to new features were accessed by upgrade of the office client to the latest software version, on a four or five year run lifecycle. Microsoft have increased this release and update cadence, with an extensive ecosystem of Office365 and Azure Identity Services accessed by Office, and Windows 10, and supported by SCCM, via a continuous service feature and support model, on a semi-annual release schedule.

To encourage upgrade of the Office ecosystem, Microsoft made a recent blog announcement  that as of October 2020, the traditional Office on-premise MSI application access to Office365 services will end at the expiration of “mainstream” support. Impacting customers limited to Office 2016 or 2013 releases and driving customers to ‘make a decision’.

Microsoft also announced recently that Office 2019 ‘perpetual’, aimed at on-premises customers, is expected in the second half of 2018; but how does this align with their wider ‘hit refresh’ strategy led by Satya Nadella, to deliver a $20 Billion run-rate cloud business? While Microsoft may have now confirmed a new traditional (MSI) release of Office 2019 for next year, the nomenclature of the announcement suggests this is targeted at customers who are running on-premises environments. Their support for “office perpetual” interoperability with Microsoft cloud services, and the available programmes it will be sold under, remains to be seen.

Accordingly, customers are responding to an eroding discount environment, with a strategic focus from Microsoft to position ‘premium’ tier 1 services within ‘expansive’ licensing packages, challenging Microsoft on both quantitative value and drive licensing cost savings.

A Structured Approach to Renewal

The advantage of  Microsoft Advisory Services is that we can work with the customer to understand their roadmap, and provide independent assurance to secure the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price.

I normally recommend a ‘classical’ approach, enabled by data and human expertise, to assess the opportunity and impact of e.g. volume spend or platform commitment, mixed and joint bundling, licensing models, investment cadence, consolidation and bill of materials reduction and optimisation, to provide recommended client optimised scenarios and a clear commercial forecast, based on a customers own business and IT objectives.

Our consultants can help assess a true ‘baseline’, and optimum renewal scenarios for a client to enable structured analysis to empower the procurement team, illustrating the impact of new licensing metrics, software use rights changes, product price increases, price list increases, currency impact, business growth, end of life products, planned new IT projects and programmes, and assess current utilisation; to hold a vendor accountable for their commercial position and quantative or qualative deal principles.

Our team are dedicated consultants, backed by bespoke tools that allow us to provide analysis at a “dash”, giving us some advantage over other competitors are doing this analysis entirely manually, or indirectly. This allows to present reliable and accurate commercial models for fact based decision-making.

We have a proven track record of working on these renewal programmes and a passionate team who love what they do, we work collaboratively, and to your brief.

10 Recommendations for your Microsoft EA Renewal

  • Provide a renewal programme lead, with consultant resource from our Microsoft Advisory Services practice.
  • Independently assess renewal scenarios to provide for fact-based logical discourse with Microsoft.
  • Focus on different licensing and investment builds to provide an accurate commercial forecast.
  • Assess your current, and future investment in Microsoft solutions and services.
  • Secure advice on contract design, structure and terms aligned to that roadmap. The cost of the same bill of materials can vary greatly.
  • Seek independent analysis of any commercial offers from Microsoft, further enabled by current insight into current deal structures, sourcing options, and pricing.
  • Understand strategic solutions and services that are important to Microsoft.
  • Review licensing optimisation and bill of materials reduction for ‘big ticket’ server products like  SQL Server and Windows Server
  • Leveraging licensing assets for optimum investment in cloud services, whether Azure or AWS
  • Understand your curent-state environment, and assess software compliance, with a trusted advisor. Seek independent advice on your True Up.

We all know that there is increasing pressure on software buyers to control cloud spend, with demand for value realisation and clarity on the licensing TCO of cloud services. Accordingly, independent advice, and data supported insights can provide enterprises with confidence and clarity as they commit to the next wave of Microsoft products.

As Microsoft develop a modern commercial strategy to achieve economies of automation and consolidation, towards one product catalog, pricing engine and contract vehicle; the challenge for business and IT leaders is to retain negotiation advantage and assess quantative and qualative value, and enable spend management over the lifecycle of a contract.

But it’s also an opportunity for leaders in the market, to provide independent trusted consultancy services offering intelligence insights,  digital platforms and adaptive sourcing, and cloud spend management services, to answer the demands of the digital business. The Microsoft EA renewal remains a key moment to make decisions not only on adoption of technology, contracts, and sourcing, but how the cloud investment is managed and supported over the term to drive value and enable ongoing spend reduction.

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

 

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update September 2017

Hitting Refresh

This week we have seen updates coming out of the MS Ignite conference in the US. Microsoft have announced Office 2019 ‘perpetual’ aimed at on-premises customers, expected in the second half of 2018, but how does this align with their wider ‘hit refresh’ strategy led by Satya Nadella, to deliver a $20 Billion run-rate cloud business?

Microsoft’s licensing models and commercial strategy greatly incentivise standardisation on an always-up-to-date platform for productivity and communication supported by the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft exemplify this strategy through the cloud-supported Office C2R client with ongoing security and feature updates provided by Microsoft.

The new generation of cloud supported applications and operating systems act as a ‘traffic light’ that are switched on from ‘red, to amber and then green’. Under the traditional on-premises software model, access to new server features where accessed by upgrade of the Office client to the latest software version on a four or five year run lifecycle. Microsoft have increased this release and update cadence, with an extensive ecosystem of Office365 and Azure Identity Services accessed by Office, and Windows 10, and supported by SCCM, via a continuous service feature and support model, without end-of-support dates on a semi-annual release schedule.

To encourage upgrade of the Office ecosystem, Microsoft made a recent blog announcement  that as of October 2020, the traditional Office on-premise MSI application access to Office365 services will end at the expiration of “mainstream” support. Impacting customers limited to Office 2016 or 2013 releases and driving customers to ‘make a decision’.

Microsoft may have now confirmed a new MSI release of Office 2019 for next year, but importantly, are inferring this is targeted at customers who are running on-premises environments. Their support for “office perpetual” interoperability with cloud services, and the available programmes it will be sold under, remains to be seen.

Microsoft News

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for September 2017 –

  • Microsoft announce Office 2019 “Perpetual” https://goo.gl/LZNtF3
  • Office365 Use Metering and ‘Reader Role’ designation for Usage Reporting https://goo.gl/m5Ptn1
  • Office365 Usage Analytics and will reach general availability in the beginning of 208, including new metrics on teamwork and collaboration, usage data for Microsoft Teams, Yammer, and Office 365 Groups https://goo.gl/m5Ptn1
  • Office365 Advanced Usage Analytics is also planned. Transmit the Office365 usage dataset to the Azure data store and join with user metadata from Azure AD. https://goo.gl/m5Ptn1
  • SCCM ‘Transition to Modern’ evolves from Windows10 and Office365 ProPlus, WSUS to WUfB, SCCM to Cloud Content Delivery, Win32 to Modern Apps
  • System Center release cadence, expect 1801 in 2018. Active Software Assurance for access to Semi-Annual channel.
  • Microsoft Azure competes with AWS with regional “Availability Zones” https://goo.gl/RZG1zB
  • Azure Cost Management services will be free for all customers. Microsoft Responds to demands of Cloud Spend Management https://goo.gl/cZGdEe
  • Microsoft EA (Enterprise Agreement) Azure cost reporting, enters preview  https://goo.gl/PBmtZN
  • Microsoft365 F1 a bold move to target a wider addressable market. At circa $10/u/m  and 2B users, you can see why https://goo.gl/WukgLu
  • Microsoft SQL Enterprise Edition SA and PowerBI Premium subscribers will access PowerBI report server https://goo.gl/jUzZh6
  • Microsoft announce SQL Hybrid Use Benefit to leverage SA for Azure SQL DB and discounted SSIS rates on data Factory https://goo.gl/M8gRWA
  • Azure SQL DB includes Database Managed Instance – offers managed PaaS  https://goo.gl/vkHpbS
  • SQL Server 2017 will be available for purchase in October 2nd https://goo.gl/rvU24Q
  • RedHat SQL offer – 30% off SQL 2017 subscription on Linux, and additive 30% off RHEL OS when purchased together https://goo.gl/bJS7aG
  • Microsoft announce Microsoft365 Education. New A3 and A5 flavours https://goo.gl/E1tQwo
  • Microsoft365 Education – A3 and E5. Office365 A1 also available. Compare plans : https://goo.gl/jjSb9j
  • Self-Password Reset and Writeback to on-premises AD is a popular Azure AD Premium P1 Feature. However, the licensing not enforced https://goo.gl/XhAxuN
  • Run a report to identify unlicensed users of Azure AD Premium i.e. users and apps using Conditional Access https://goo.gl/8VpiQn
  • New Azure flex CPU VMs “build burst credits” and access full vCPU when you need them: https://goo.gl/78mESL
  • Microsoft state direction of merging of Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams https://goo.gl/cyubH8
  • Skype Cloud PBX renamed to ‘Microsoft Phone System’, PSTN Services renamed ‘Calling Plan’ https://goo.gl/PxKdiX
  • You can now Restrict Windows 10 license reactivation and active state reporting to Microsoft https://goo.gl/8viqSt
  • Microsoft Teams – for users who leave the organisation, their chat history is maintained, with identity anonymised. https://goo.gl/v33KA2

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update August 2017

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for August 2017

  • Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) is re-launched as Microsoft365 E3 and E5 https://goo.gl/Zs2hY5
  • Microsoft365 customers up 6,000 to 52,000 with an licensed user base of 50M. Nortably, revenue up >100% for 13th consecutive quarter.
  • Microsoft are rebranding Office365 Plan K1 to F1 https://goo.gl/crr2Xw
  • F1 features include – Video (view only), Skype (multi-party Attend only), Flow (consume, 750 runs), PowerApps (consume)
  • Staffhub available acros Office365 F1, E1, E3 and E5 Plans enables staff schedules https://goo.gl/pEHyrx
  • In 2020, Microsoft to mandate Office ProPlus C2R, or mainstream supported Office MSI Clients for Office365 Services  https://goo.gl/xsuQ1R
  • Notably, Office 2016 MSI will be out of “mainstream support” in October 2020.
  • Microsoft announce that virtualisation use rights available for Windows 10 Enterprise licences in CSP on 6th Sep 2017: .
  • Microsoft Stream for Office365 available in all commercial plans  https://goo.gl/hMnQTn
  • An excellent article on restriction of user access to Office365 services https://goo.gl/uzddac
  • Azure AD group based license management https://goo.gl/uwo7SJ
  • Managing Microsoft Office 365 Licenses – Using Groups https://goo.gl/oXc3pv
  • Groups drives Azure ADP w. Data Classification, Usage Guidelines, Group AD Writeback, Dynamic Groups, Expiry Policy – See the Azure AD Premium feature list for Office365 Groups
  • Advantages of Office365 Groups over Site Mailboxes https://goo.gl/icfY3H
  • Effective July 1st the following Microsoft Dynamics 365, Enterprise edition offerings are being renamed:
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 1 => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 2 => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan
  • An updated Microsoft Dynamics pricing page https://goo.gl/ZHfW8V
  • Intune native support for deployment of Office365 ProPlus https://goo.gl/bHPD6x
  • SharePoint “Communication Sites” for Office365 begins rolling out https://goo.gl/ERZd6d
  • Restricted SharePoint sites now  termed “Isolated” https://goo.gl/fjQ5DJ
  • SQL Server 2017 first release candidate on Windows, Linux and Docker
  • Windows 10 service model updates, alligned with Office365 ProPlus https://goo.gl/uc39SA
  • Windows 10 release a plethora of training resources https://goo.gl/xijmcp
  • Microsoft continue to push Windows 10 Enterprise and service ecosystem security features to drive subscription licensing https://goo.gl/euSQwG
  • Azure Stack becomes generally available, effective August 2017, pricing information https://goo.gl/fudphJ
  • Microsoft release a file security whitepaper fo SharePoint and OneDrive https://t.co/HNzjsnHwV4
  • Microsoft365 Business aimed as SMBs offers relevant services like email marketing, invoicing, mileage tracking https://goo.gl/Zs2hY5
  • Microsoft Cloud benefits from GDPR support
  • Microsoft advocate how EMS can support GDPR https://goo.gl/uR7iU5
  • EMS Suite is bolstered by Skycure acquisition – offers mobile anomaly detection, enables conditional access https://goo.gl/8bvwk5
  • A new Office 365 PowerBI pack answers if we are using what we have bought. With expanding suites, that’s a good question
  • Office365 use metering data is also available from Office Graph using PowerShell https://goo.gl/4YGeYd
  • Enterprise Agreement customers will soon be able to view their Azure subscription cost reports https://goo.gl/pysx9i
  • Visio Online ‘view’ is available to all Office365 commercial subscription plans that include Office Online https://goo.gl/Xv5kvv
  • Visio enables new charting capability in PowerBI. Notably, Create and Edit requires a Visio license. ‘View’ doesn’t.  https://goo.gl/m6xGxo
  • A new Visual Studio 2017 Edition comparison table https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/pricing/
  • Microsoft launched new ’16 Core’ license packs, in addition to the ‘2 Core’ packs for Windows Server and System Center in May 2017. The Product Terms were updated from May 2017 https://goo.gl/UEVWGL

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

The Increasing Cost of Cloud Productivity

Microsoft have looked to increase profitability of their cloud business, pivoting their partner ecosystem towards cloud adoption, management and support services, and away from licensing solutions and the associated cost of personnel, rebates and incentives. This has been successful, with profits increasing to a reported 49% profitability for cloud services in earning reports to investors.

Accordingly, providing independent consultancy on the rapid release cadence of the Microsoft solutions and services portfolio and associated pricing and licensing schema has evolved from a nascent venture to a key component of the enterprise toolkit with increasing demand.

Why the demand? It’s partly a matter of trust and complexity, in a recent  survey of 20 enterprise businesses, respondents stated the following about their EA (Enterprise Agreement) renewal experience when assessing their commitment to the Microsoft solutions and services portfolio:-

  • 69% are not confident they will get a good deal at renewal
  • 69% do not believe Microsoft balance their strategic priorities with their customers goals
  • 23% of business decision-makers trust the licensing advice provided by Microsoft.
  • 62% expect to be audited by Microsoft if they do not meet their strategic, or financial spend objectives
  • 85% believe licensing complexity is increasing, not decreasing.
  • 62% increasingly see the cost of licensing impacting technology decisions
  • 38% of respondents agree Microsoft understand their business.

(Survey, February-March 2017, 20 respondents with between 500 and 100,000+ end-users)

It’s also down to increasing cloud spend. Microsoft commercial and contractual models have developed to enable an increasingly profitable productivity solutions and services portfolio.  The graph below, illustrates the ‘rising cost of productivity’ solutions from Microsoft. The Secure Productivity Enterprise E5 led sales strategy promises a much greater profitability per user for Microsoft over the next renewal cycle, driving increasing costs, with no indication the trend is abating. Microsoft investors are understandably sensitive to the profitability of their cloud strategy, with 49% profitability driving cost savings through both discount attrition, and channel rebates reduction, and the re-pivoting of the licensing ecosystem towards independent services like CSP (Cloud Solution Partners). The Secure Productivity Enterprise E5 offering promises an highly profitable subscription annuity business for Microsoft, securing long term revenue and lock-in via an expansive commercial package.

[Chart: For illustration and informational purposes only. The costs do not account for inflation. Pricing is based on EA UK GBP price list from December 2008 to January 2017]

Accordingly, there is increasing pressure on software buyers to control cloud spend, with demand for value realisation and clarity on the licensing TCO of cloud services. Accordingly, independent advice and data supported insights can provide enterprises with confidence and clarity as they commit to the next wave of Microsoft products.

It’s an opportunity for leaders in the market, to provide independent services offering intelligence insights,  digital platforms and adaptive sourcing, and cloud spend management services to answer the demands of the digital business.

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update February 2017

As Microsoft shift focus away from MPSA for Office365 and Azure and provide a one year extension for Select Plus, Redmond are pivoting towards “Microsoft Assisted” (EA) and Partner self-serve web options (MCA via CSP), confirming continuance of both ‘MS Supported’ digital direct, and partner enabled indirect digital channels.

February 2017 saw a number of important licensing and solution updates from Redmond, including but not limited to:

  • LTSB will support only current release silicon at the time of LTSB GA. Future silicon generation needs future LTSB https://goo.gl/eZCm3R making Software Assurance incredibly important
  • As a reminder, Windows10 only supported Windows OS for upcoming Intel “Kaby lake”, Qualcomm’s “8996”, and AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” silicon. https://goo.gl/wXzQCn
  • For customers looking to upgrade to Windows 10, OMS is becoming increasingly important, just as EMS has become for Office365. OMS providing Upgrade Analytics and Upgrade Compliance services (Preview) by connecting to Windows 10 telemetry data. https://t.co/gR6vM7ZY3E
  • Office365  Secure Score provides InfoSec scoring as Microsoft partner up with Cyber Insurance https://goo.gl/qmQuj2
  • Office365 E5 Advanced Data Governance enters Preview. Offers Machine Learning enabled data classification, policies https://goo.gl/qmQuj2
  • SCCM Active Server Branch 1602 enters technical preview https://goo.gl/uSxLb8
  • Azure AD Premium receives Connect Health for On-Prem AD,  Azure AD sync. However, with a complex 25 USLs per Agent licensing model, defined at Role Level: https://t.co/aDyrfmV3F0
  • Office36 Visio Online available in E1 and K1 Plans.  Allows users to View (but not Edit) Visio Diagrams https://goo.gl/YB7hUq
  • Microsoft Product Terms for February updated with Windows10 VDA Add-on, Dynamics365 Add-on and From SA https://goo.gl/WzxOyS
  • Reminder: Azure will no longer be available on February 1st via MPSA.
  • Microsoft to remove locked price SKUs and Multi-Year Offers April 1st on MPSA. Supports revised CSP and EA Strategy: https://t.co/U4NbRmqCzf
  • Microsoft depart from MPSA for strategic cloud. After April 1st  2+3 year Office365, Dynamics365, SPE, Windows10 are removed. <1 Year Only. https://t.co/U4NbRmqCzf
  • Office365 License Management now comes of age, with Azure AD Basic: Office365 and EM+S License Mgmt. with selective Services Deselect. ADP1: Dynamic Groups Auto-Assign w. Self Service https://goo.gl/EZyCF3 – Enables staged Roll-Out and service deselect control over expansive plans like Office365 E5.
  • Windows10 Build 1507 End of Servicing now pushed back to end of May. https://goo.gl/gOU8ex
  • Azure Information Protection comes of age: New App, AD Group Classification, Bulk Classification w. PowerShell https://t.co/KgTG88TkQG
  • Microsoft CSP program extends Windows10 “free” Pro Upgrade from 7/8.1 to enable/sell Windows10 Enterprise Subscription USLs under CSP https://t.co/SiJjlZc08M
  • Microsoft drop Azure VM and Blob Storage Prices https://goo.gl/ZRHd2g
  • It is possible to use SCCM to map user device affinity. Useful to identify primary device for pesky Windows10 licensing ref: MyITForum https://goo.gl/Y9G4BC
  • Microsoft expand Office Mobile App ecosystem, extensibility with Evernote, GIPHY, Trello Add Ins https://t.co/rSnlQqps6M

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update January 2017

In 2017, Microsoft continue to develop a modern digital licensing strategy, with a new focus on the ‘Cloud Solution Provider’ (CSP) and a deprecation of MPSA for strategic cloud services.
CPS enables Microsoft to develop a scalable ‘self service’ digital Office365 and Azure partner ecosystem, enabled with digital delivery and digital management platforms, cloud support, and managed services. Partner enabled “Self Service” web options enable on-premise and cloud native businesses to purchase, adopt, and manage their digital portfolio.

In the long term, Microsoft will improve “Microsoft Assisted” (EA) and Partner self-serve web options (CSP), hinting at continuance of both ‘MS Supported’ digital direct, and partner enabled indirect digital channels.

Accordingly, SoftwareONE, a digital platform, solutions and services company, are well place strategically in the market, with PyraCloud, Cloud Support and Managed Services to ‘wrap’ around the CSP model, while leveraging global scale for local support and sourcing intelligence.

Reflecting this strategy, from February 1st, Microsoft will stop adding new Azure customers through the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). [Edit: From April 1st, Microsoft will also only provide subscriptions to cloud services like Office365, EM+S, SPE, Windows 10 Enterprise CBB and Dynamics 365 to 1 year or less. Removing Multi-Year subscriptions for 2-3 Years.] MPSA customers who want to buy Azure and commit to Office365 will now be guided primarily to the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. An evolving programme which provides a platform for ‘self service’ and flexible access to Microsoft cloud solutions and services extensibly via rich partner ecosystem of digital platforms, support and managed services to enable a ‘digital ready business’.

Microsoft continue to direct customers towards ‘strategic cloud’ initiatives like Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) and Azure via EA, with classical resellers maintaining revenue streams based on rebates and incentives in the short term; but success for partners and customers will be dependent on their investment in digital platforms to enable and manage the cloud, technology and advisory services to enable return on investment and cost reduction over the digital lifecycle.

The Microsoft partners that thrive would have seen the course and not only reacted, but accelerated ahead of the competition, balancing Microsoft’s ‘modern licensing’ strategy with the needs and interests of their customers to manage a digital ready business. 

January and December saw a number of important licensing and solution updates from Redmond, including but not limited to:

  • Microsoft increased UK pricing goes into effect from January 1st. Office365 and Azure will now cost 22% more than in December, and on-premise solutions will increase by 13%
  • Microsoft removed 5% additional Azure discount from SCE in December as part of ‘flat’ pricing strategy for Azure across channels.
  • Microsoft VDA Subscription USL/ Upgrade USL now benefit from Windows 10 Ent CBB on Azure
  • Microsoft VDA Subscription Device will not benefit from the Windows 10 Enterprise CBB on Azure Benefit.
  • The Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (AHUB) is available from February 1st in all Azure regions https://t.co/VuHmYJ7UCJ pay only compute for Windows Server Images.
  • The Windows Server 2016 Nano Configuration will require CALs with SA
  • Microsoft clarify disabling cores for CIS, Windows Server and System Center 2016 DOES NOT reduce licensable cores in Volume Licensing.
  • System Center Client Management Suite is broken down to components from January 1st. Client MLs for DPM, SCOM, Service Manager, Orchestrator.
  • Effective March 2017, Windows Server and SQL Server Premium Assurance will be available as an SA add-on SKU https://t.co/OJgZ7P1J6Z
  • SQL Server 2016 SP1 includes Feature Updates. Microsoft assure customers Software Assurance (SA) is not required.
  • Standalone Yammer SKU retired on January 1st 2017. Existing EA customers can use retired SKU for 2 years, or for term or current EA
  • Software Assurance – Home Use Program (HUP) employees can now purchase Office Pro Plus 2016 AND Office Home & Business 2016 for Mac
  • Microsoft will standardise the naming for meters across all Azure services based on a common naming convention https://goo.gl/7I5JgV
  • Download Center: For all meters and their before/after attribute values: https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=836939&clcid=0x409
  • Microsoft have released ‘talking points’ for SPE https://goo.gl/3nLbzY
  • Office365 Advanced eDiscovery is renamed ‘Advanced Compliance’ from January 1st with all E5 components being rebranded as ‘Advanced’ packages with ongoing features evolution. https://goo.gl/zFdN03

Thanks All


About

This website is a way to give back to the licensing community and as an information resource for all customers that work with Microsoft software and licensing. I hope you find it of value.

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

If you would like to reach out for a coffee or a meeting under NDA, Email or connect via Twitter or LinkedIn


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Terms
  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • Please be aware that any licensing, or product information could be subject to change.
  • This document confers no rights and is provided for information purposes only.
  • Please be aware, my own emphasis may have been added to quotations and extracts from 3rd party sources.
  • This is not official guidance from Microsoft or its subsidiaries.
  • The following article is based on open information shared with Licensing Solutions Providers (LSPs) and based on  personal inference and understanding.
  • This document is provided “as-is”. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product.
  • Please be aware that nothing in this document constitutes specific technical advice. Some of the material in this document may have been prepared some time ago and therefore may have been superseded. Specialist advice from the vendor should be taken in relation to specific circumstances.
  • The contents of this document are for general information purposes only. Whilst the author endeavors to ensure that the information on this document is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and the primary author or it’s contributing Authors do not accept any liability for error or omission.
  • The contributing authors and owner of this document shall not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of, or inability to use, this website or any material contained in it, or from any action or decision taken as a result of using this website or any such material.
  • This Disclaimer is not intended to and does not create any contractual or other legal rights.