Licensing Inactive User Mailboxes in Office365

For those keen eyed among you, may have noticed a single addition of “Exchange Online Inactive Mailbox” in the October Product Terms.

This addition is a new licensing change impacting all Office365 customers using Exchange Online Plan 2 features, or Office365 Enterprise E3 – Litigation Hold and Retention Policies – from October 1st 2017.

Updated October 3rd: The SKUs are in the October price file, and the “Exchange Online Inactive Mailbox” is included within the October Product Terms, but reportedly, Microsoft may be rolling back this change in an apparent u-turn. To be confirmed.

Updated October 3rd: Microsoft will postpone this licensing update for Inactive User Mailboxes in Office365. After publishing the Inactive User SKU to the October Product Terms and pricelists, with associated channel guidance, Microsoft are now suspending this planned licensing change.

The Inactive User Mailbox licensing change reportedly leaked in advance of general availability, and there was subsequent “negative feedback” at the MSignite conference. Redmond reportedly only made the decision on Thursday to postpone.

I will update this post once official comms are provided.

Updated October 4th: Microsoft have posted this to the Partner Ecosystem, confirming prior direct comms:

“Inactive User SKU and Shared Mailboxes Policy changes POSTPONED

Microsoft will be postponing the previous announcement regarding new Inactive User and Groups/Shared Mailbox policy changes. Current policies remain unchanged (i.e. 90 day license reassignment for Inactive Mailboxes and EXOP2 required for Retention and Litigation Hold on Shared Mailboxes) and no changes have come into effect on October 1, 2017. Please note, the new Inactive User SKU has been published on the October 1, 2017 Pricelist with plans to remove it by the November 1, 2017 Pricelist. Do not purchase this SKU.

Once a launch date is determined for these policies another communication will be shared.”

Inactive User Mailboxes

Inactive users (for example, users who have left an organisation) with mailboxes under Litigation Hold, and Retention Policies, are now required to have an “Exchange Online Inactive User” license.

To make a user mailbox “inactive”:

  • It must be assigned an Exchange Online (Plan 2) so that a Litigation Hold, or an Office 365 retention policy, can be applied to the mailbox (before it’s deleted).
  • Exchange Online (Plan 2) licenses are usually sold as part of an Office 365 Enterprise E3 and E5 subscriptions, or the expansive Microsoft365 E3 and E5 licensing packages.
  • If a mailbox is assigned an Exchange Online (Plan 1) license (which is part of an Office 365 365 Enterprise E1 subscription), you would have to assign it a separate Exchange Online Archiving license so that a hold can be applied to the mailbox, before it’s deleted.
  • Ref: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn144876(v=exchg.150).aspx

Inactive User Mailbox Update

  1. Microsoft will now charge for inactive mailboxes (from a customer’s next renewal) after October 1st 2017
  2. For customers who may have  possibly “thousands” of inactive mailboxes, you could engage with Microsoft to assess eligibility for a “1 year free trial” that can added to this service to the tenant. This has not been clearly defined, and subject to approval by exception.

Shared Group Mailboxes

Microsoft have had thus far, an inconsistent approach to the licensing model for shared resources under Office365:-

  • Under the prior licensing policy, shared mailboxes are assigned per user licenses to put on Legal-Hold:
    • “Shared mailboxes don’t have login credentials, so they are only accessible by licensed users who have been granted delegate access (full mailbox permission, send as, or send on behalf of). Note that Exchange Online Kiosk users don’t have delegate access, so they cannot access shared mailboxes.

      Shared mailboxes do not include a personal archive or legal hold capabilities. If you need these features, then you can purchase either Exchange Online Plan 1 or Plan 2 and assign it to the shared mailbox.” Ref: Exchange Licensing FAQs, October 2nd 2017

    • You must assign the shared mailbox to either an Exchange Online Plan 1 plus Exchange Online Archiving subscription, or to an Exchange Online Plan 2 subscription in order to enable In-Place Archive. A shared mailbox can’t be used to archive email for an organization, except for those messages that are sent from the shared mailbox or received by the shared mailbox.

      An In-Place Archive can only be used to archive mail for a single user or entity for which a license has been applied. Using an In-Place Archive as a means to store mail from multiple users or entities is prohibited. For example, IT administrators cannot create shared mailboxes and have users copy (via CC or Transport rule) a shared mailbox for the explicit purpose of archiving. Ref: Exchange Licensing FAQs, October 2nd 2017

  • Team Sites & Shared Folders were included with per user subscriptions.
  • To enable a shared mailbox to be placed on In-Place Hold, the customer must assign an Exchange Online Plan 2 license to it.

Ref: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/exchange-online-sharing-and-collaboration.aspx

Groups, Teams and Shared Mailboxes Update

  1. Shared Group Mailbox Update: Groups, Teams and Shared Mailboxes now include compliance and security functionality as long as 1 or more users are licensed for that functionality in the tenant.
  2. Microsoft still want all normal Users appropriately licensed. For example, if an admin wants to use Advanced eDiscovery across their organization.  All users required in the scope for the search should have E5 (or standalone equivalent) licenses, and the admin is also allowed to search all Groups, Teams, and Shared Mailboxes without additional E5/standalone licenses

The licensing requirements for ‘core’ compliance features are below:

Overview, inclusive of more advanced governance features:-

Summary

Microsoft are updating the Shared Mailbox and Inactive User policies to ‘simplify’ the licensing of these services and enable compliant usage of these services in Office365:-

  • The NEW Inactive User SKU, available on the 10/1/17 pricelist, will be available in EA, EAS, EES, Open, CSP and MPSA agreements (Ref: Product Terms, October 2017)
  • Existing customers will not be expected to begin purchasing this SKU until their next renewal, post October 1st.
  • This new SKU is intended to cover the cost of storage for archived or “inactive user” mailboxes and, to be compliant, customers will be required to purchase one SKU for every one archived mailbox (for Education customers, this SKU will be intended only for Archived Faculty/Staff Mailboxes).
  • Additionally, to lessen the complexity of licensing Shared Mailboxes, as of October 1st, Group/Team/Shared Mailboxes will include at no additional cost the compliance and security functionalities of the users in the tenant. As an example, if a tenant contains at least one Exchange Online Plan 2 user, the Shared Mailboxes in the tenant would be eligible for EXOP2 functionalities.

What is the Impact?

  • Inactive User Mailboxes are presented as an indicative cost of $3 Per User, Per Month (Microsoft Retail Price). The cost for every employee under data retention regulation, (over 7 years of retention): is circa $252 per employee.
  • For an average employee turnover of 15% per annum.  An average 1,000 user organisation would have an annual cost of  c. $5,400, and a total licensing obligation of c. $37,800 for 150 leavers over a 7 year retention period, for only that year’s leavers.
  • Microsoft do not accept use of shared mailboxes and transport rules to circumvent licensing policies. Conversion of users to shared mailbxoes for “genuine business purposes” is accepted.
  • Similarly, Microsoft do not accept merging of multiple user mailboxes, before creating an inactive mailbox.
  • Microsoft have a 90 day User Subscription License (USL) re-assignment restriction policy, and the end-customer is accountable for management of their licenses for joiners, leavers and movers.
  • If a customer only has F1 and /or E1 users, do not have the ability to set mailboxes to inactive without deletion of the mailbox data. To retain user data in a mailbox after the user leaves the company would require an ongoing F1 or E1 subscription, or assignment of Exchange Online Archiving, to set that mailbox on hold and ‘inactive’. This would enable re-assignment of the E1 or F1 license to another user.
  • If a customer only has F1 and /or E1 users, in order to place a mailbox on In-Place Hold, a customer must upgrade it to Exchange Online Plan 2 or purchase the Exchange Online Archiving for Exchange Online add-on.
  • If a customer only has F1 and/or E1 users they would need to purchase appropriate compliance feature licenses for those Groups/Shared mailboxes.

Working with MRP (Microsoft Retail Pricing), please see an estimated cost impact for a 1,000 user company. Please note, this is only using the Exchange Online Service Plan 2 MRP cost, and not optimimum pricing from CSP or EA programmes, but provides some insight for illustration purposes of how the costs of Inactive User Mailboxes on a per-user metric, over a 7 year retention policy:

Recommendations

  • Customer’s purchasing or renewing after 1st October 2017 should license Exchange Online “Inactive User” for inactive mailboxes, and will no longer need licenses for Shared & Group mailboxes for compliance features.
  • Ask for a quotation inclusive of ‘Inactive User Mailboxes’ from your Work with a Cloud Service Provider that can implement and manage your Office365 services via Cloud Support
  • Start reporting on Inactive User Mailboxes and go to the Security and Compliance Center> Data Governance for in-product inactive mailboxes reporting.
  • Ask for a quotation inclusive of ‘Inactive User Mailboxes’ from your Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) for your agreement(s).
  • Evaluate complementary third-party solutions that remove the inactive mailbox provision.
  • Inactive Mailboxes could enable and support GDPR, and remain discoverable, with data classifications and retention policies applied, providing a more complete data archiving solution.
  • For customers who may have a serious commercial impact of inactive mailboxes, you could engage with Microsoft to assess eligibility for a “1 year free trial” that can added to this service to the tenant. This eligibility has not been clearly defined, and subject to approval  from Microsoft.

The strategy will cause some pushback from customers, Microsoft are seeking to leverage their market dominance in email services to create an email archiving and storage business. The user metric would be scalable and profitable, but may be more failrly based on only a storage metric. It is possible that within 7 years of service, based on staff turnover and 7 year retention periods, organisations could be paying 20-30% of their email service costs per annum on archiving.

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.

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update November 2016

  • Microsoft have announced that new Azure spend will be re-aligned from MPSA to CSP programme effective February 1st 2017. Customers buying new Azure will be directed to CSP to enable partner value-add services. Microsoft have also communicated that they will continue to support EA and SCE. Customers with existing Azure spend on MPSA will be able to continue.
  • Microsoft released Dynamics Office365 on November 1st. Here is the Licensing Guide https://goo.gl/VDLwQK
  • Reminder: Windows Roaming Use Rights will be retired effective February 1st. Strong incentive to look at Windows Per User model and SPE. Customers who signed before February 2016, customers can rely on Roaming Rights until the end of their contract term. For those that signed after February 2016, they will lose the Windows Roaming Right at the end of January 2017.
  • Standalone Yammer SKU is set to be retired on January 1, 2017. Effective December 31, 2016, new orders of the standalone Yammer SKU will not be available for new customers except through CSP/Syndication. Existing customers can continue using the retired SKU through December 31, 2019, depending on their purchase program and EA customers who have the Yammer SKU will also be allowed to order the SKU through the term of their current EA enrollment. Yammer will continue to be available as a part of the Office 365 Enterprise plans, therefore most customers will not be affected by this change.
  • As part of the launch of new Enterprise Plans in the Dynamics 365 world, Dynamics has bundled in multiple Microsoft services, including Microsoft Project Online. Project Online will be included in Dynamics 365 plans in the following ways:
  • Enterprise Plans 1/2 include Project Online Premium
  • Team Member Enterprise Edition includes Project Online Essential
  • Standalone Project Service Automation plan includes Project Online Premium
  • For customers already purchasing standalone Project Online SKUs, there will be Step-ups to the Dynamics plans available starting February 2017.
  • Exchange Server 2007 is reaching end of support on April 11, 2017, per Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. As a reminder, after this date, there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. In addition to Exchange Server, the following Office products will also reach end of support within the next 12 months.
    • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Effective Date: 4/11/2017
    • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 SP3, Effective Date 10/10/2017
    • Microsoft Office Servers 2007 SP3, Effective Date 10/10/2017
    • Microsoft Office Suite 2007 SP3, Effective Date 10/10/2017
    • Microsoft Office Project 2007 SP3, Effective Date 10/10/2017
    • Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 SP1, Effective Date 10/10/2017
    • Microsoft Office Visio 2007 SP3, Effective Date 10/10/2017
  • After the end of support date is reached, there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates. Furthermore, as adoption of Office 365 accelerates and on premise deployments decrease, custom support options for all Office products will no longer be available after end of support dates noted above.
  • To drive ‘strategic cloud’ Microsoft have a new promo offer to accelerate Office 365 E5. The Office 365 E5 Step Up Promo provides the following components of Office 365 E5: Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Advanced Security Management (ASM), Customer Lockbox, Advanced eDiscovery, Delve Analytics and PSTN Conferencing at over 50% cheaper than the normal standalone SKU. This is on the December price file now.
  • Microsoft PowerApps GA in November 2016 – Licensing Overview: https://goo.gl/wJ1xQD
  • Microsoft PowerApps General Availability in 2016 https://goo.gl/s57FvQ
  • Microsoft Flow General Availability in November 2016 – Announcement: https://goo.gl/gcXZT2
  • Microsoft Flow was GA in November 2016. Compare Features and Plans: https://goo.gl/VoGA6f
  • First Kaspersky, now Salesforce and EU question Microsoft Anti-Competitive behaviour https://goo.gl/IO1nNt
  • Kaspersky calls foul of Microsoft competitive displacement with Win Defender in Windows10 https://goo.gl/pjKyq1
  • VMware also adjust exchange rate, uplift to pricing by 15% effective January 1st 2017
  • Microsoft Teams enters Preview https://goo.gl/bxb3BQ a strong new competitor to Slack
  • XenDesktop for Windows10 : Citrix position DaaS, Microsoft aim to secure platform: Azure IaaS VDI,  Windows10 USL AHUB BYOL at Future Decoded
  • Citrix XenApp Express Service: WinSvr BYOL,  RDS CAL or SAL (still), Azure IaaS. MS secure platform and RDS license spend  at Future Decoded

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 October 2016

I’m expecting to see a continued focus in 2017 on digital transformation, with SoftwareONE Advisory enabling our client’s to become a ‘digital ready business’. We are well positioned with our core competency as a License Design Authority (LDA) to provide tightly integrated work programmes aligning with client or our internal Technical Design Authority (TDA), supported by our core SAM expertise, and digital platforms like PyraCloud, to deliver an optimised digital transformation programme for our clients.

Licensing is increasingly impacting technology choices in the enterprise Architecture Development Method, with a common complaint from our clients that their TDA are not supporting optimisation in software spend, or incurring unbudgeted costs to the business.

Our clients often tell us they “want the best deal”, and to feel confident when going to cloud, with an accurate commercial forecast, and driving negotiation advantage by incorporating license design into the IT roadmap decision making process. Advisory can deliver an tightly integrated license design and technology investment roadmap, we can incorporate license design and strategic procurement into the DNA of a digital transformation strategy.

As always, we have compelling events to help drive our wider services.  MAS (Microsoft Advisory Services) are offering an integrated service for Windows Server Per Core. Great opportunity to integrate into a wider renewal programme of work for your upcoming Microsoft renewals.

We can also support clients with the announced UK GBP Price Increase with a forecast uplift of 13% for on-premise software, and 22% for cloud services for renewals after January 1st 2016.

Here is my brief update on some of the principle roadmap and licensing updates from Microsoft in September and October 2016:

  • Microsoft Increase UK Prices for commercial on-prem software 13% and 22% for cloud effective Jan 1st 2017 https://goo.gl/dRbS4j
  • SoftwareONE FAQ http://bit.ly/2eZpjCf
  • Microsoft offer Office365 API extensibility to PowerBI pre-built dashboards in development. New Office365 user adoption metering and Azure metering on horizon offered natively by Microsoft by PowerBI dashboards, powershell scripting and APIs. SoftwareONE need to integrate PyraCloud Pro with Cloud Insider with client adoption and zero touch services.
  • Application Guard for Windows Defender. Edge virtual sandbox for untrusted sites. https://goo.gl/yeCL3H
  • Azure Site Recovery gives 1 click migration of Apps and OS. Pay only for compute, storage while you test for 31 days https://goo.gl/BJOeCZ
  • Here’s how you assign Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB) in PowerShell to BYOL WinSvr Licenses w. SA to Azure and save https://goo.gl/KNCXc9
  • New ‘Commercial Cloud Gross Margin’ metric in Annual Earnings Report, at 49%, reflects strong focus on cost reduction from Microsoft.
  • Compare EM+S E3 and E5 Plans https://goo.gl/lUjUhi
  • New security and reporting in Yammer Extensibility via Management APIs and Office365 Security and Compliance Ctr https://goo.gl/A8kyQo
  • Dynamics 365 will be GA on November 1st. Microsoft have published a basic Licensing overview: https://goo.gl/IBxtgG
  • Hicurdismos is a fake Microsoft Security Essentials installer. Mimics BSoD to install malware https://goo.gl/LHTBYU
  • SCCM update 1610 Tech Preview. New features: limit updates to subset of devices, retract prior App permissions https://goo.gl/DMabqz
  • Great introductory resources on Windows Server 2016 https://goo.gl/U6OZ2D
  • What impact will the change to per core licensing have on your Windows Server estate? https://goo.gl/WABnBQ
  • New Article: A Primer on Secure Productive Enterprise (And Why It’s Great for Microsoft) http://www.microsoftlicensereview.com
  • Windows 7 and 8.1 pre-installed OEM End of Sales on Oct 31st. Expect a price increase on Windows10 Pro OEM downgrade SKUs from supplies like Dell https://goo.gl/NM3pUM
  • Great article from Neil Lomax on the Azure price changes on the SoftwareONE blog https://goo.gl/8Xe63s
  • Windows Defender ATP (Advanced Threat Protection) has Office365 ATP interoperability via Win Enterprise E5 offering https://goo.gl/G6ORd1
  • Microsoft confirmed general availability of Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) platform suites on October 1st https://goo.gl/ZzyKb1
  • Windows10 Enterprise E3 now with App Guard. Virtual Container Isolation for Edge. https://goo.gl/CyQu5M
  • Microsoft drop Azure pricing. Flatten prices across Azure.com , EA, MPSA. Enables AWS comparison https://goo.gl/RHJGrv
  • Microsoft re-brand Delve as MyAnalytics and provide its own App in the AppLauncher https://goo.gl/rAiGKt
  • Microsoft launching Azure Av2 VMs on November 17th with SSD storage and 30% cheaper than A-series
  • Microsoft announce Azure Reserved Compute coming GA in H2. Using Volume Licensing to reserve compute at discounted rate vs. hourly
  • 1st October Azure Existing SCE Customers can do a one-time renewal for lower minimum commit, with roll over of existing terms.
  • 1st October Azure Monetary Commit for SCE moves to 10 MCUs ~1K Per Month$100 minimum commit still available for existing EA, or on MPSA
  • AzureAD Identity Protection, AD Premium P2 was GA September 15th https://goo.gl/Rf6kcc The September Product Terms added Azure AD Premium Plan 2
  • Microsoft officially launched Azure and Office365 datacenters in UK in September https://goo.gl/6KVeFM https://goo.gl/VgBTWz (Durham and London)
  • New – Project Online, Professional and Premium were generally available from August 1st. Project Online Pro via EA/EAS have 15% off promo
  • Operations Management Suite (OMS) Security generally available, and Azure Log Analytics subscribers https://goo.gl/FndmEC from September 1st.

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.

A Primer on Secure Productivity Enterprise (And Why It’s Great for Microsoft)

In July 2016, Microsoft officially announced a new licensing package called ‘Secure Productive Enterprise‘ (SPE) as a new strategic licensing initiative to drive adoption of Microsoft Cloud Services.

SPE represents a bold strategic play by Microsoft to present an increase in committed cloud spend to investors. The new licensing vehicles, incentivise business customers to both upgrade and commit to keystone solutions like Windows and Office, secured by  cloud supported security and ongoing feature updates; tightly packaged with Office365 productivity services and cloud based identity management.

spe-e3

The Secure Productive Enterprise is also a play to usurp competitors, leveraging market predominance in certain keystone solutions, like Windows, Office, AD, and Exchange; to annex market share across security, identity and telecommunications sectors, and Microsoft are betting big that a tightly integrated keystone solutions and services portfolio, with strong feature dependencies across the wider solutions and services stack, will allow Microsoft to move into and secure new markets.

Microsoft are changing how they work with their global partner ecosystem. The global rebates and incentives programmes, are strongly focused on adoption of cloud services, with limited incentive for advice on licensing. The communication strategy is one of ‘simplification’ with a single user-based subscription model. Microsoft are hoping to focus communication on how cloud can enable business objectives and promote productivity, and talk less about licensing and pricing.

The third pillar of this multi faceted strategy is contract simplification. The traditional vehicle for business customers was to buy an Enterprise Agreement (EA) for committed spend Select Plus for transactional software. However, with the organic sprawl of strategic initiatives across client computing, core infrastructure and databases, and cloud IaaS and PaaS, customers were soon finding themselves signatories to a plethora of contractual documents. The MPSA (Microsoft Products and Services Agreement) represents the contractual ‘simplification’ plan to provide a single contractual vehicle for procurement of Microsoft solutions and services. The  committed spend packages of the Enterprise Agreement, are  consolidated as ‘Enterprise Advantage on MPSA’ under a single MPSA contract umbrella, enabled by a digital pricing and ordering platform, to accelerate the closure process and deal cadence.

The fourth pillar, is about accelerating commitment to cloud services, while customers continue to leverage existing software investments. The Secure Productive Enterprise enables customers to sign up to cloud services, but maintain access to on-premise applications services (like Exchange, SharePoint or Skype for Business), or enable the business to access a cloud supported Office (Office365 ProPlus) but continue to run a traditional install (Office Pro Plus MSI), without paying concurrently for on premise software and cloud. This is a compelling message, and supports the Microsoft mantra of ‘simplification’. The drawback, however,  is that Microsoft haven’t completely trusted their customers to adopt cloud under this model. The on premise software rights are limited by conservative restrictive software use terms and loss of perpetual rights, with caveats as to eligibility. Investors may seen a keen uptake in cloud committed spend, but the actual adoption may be deferred. The advantage to Microsoft is they have secured committed annuity with customers unlikely to renew into more costly on premise annuity models.

The fifth and final pillar is about cost reduction and cloud ecosystem enablement. Microsoft have announced that ‘EA on MPSA‘ will be an indirect contract sold via a channel model. This enables two key programme initiatives, firstly, strategic cloud licensing packages can be sold as scale, and supported by an ecosystem of service providers with complimentary digital platforms, solutions, and managed services. Secondly, Microsoft are starting to drive a global cost reduction programmes by passing on the cost of transaction and cloud support services to the channel.

spe-e5

A Course for Success

Microsoft is charting a course, and starting to turn the ship. The decision to move from a direct, to an indirect model will bring the strategy ‘full circle’, driving channel partners  to reduce margins, supplemented by complimentary services. Simply directing customers towards ‘strategic cloud’ initiatives like Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) and Azure, will maintain 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, and also access to capital to support an indirect resell model.

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.

The success for Microsoft will be dependent on implementation, Secure Productivity Enterprise could hyper-scale and be incredibly successful, but could still be held back by conservative licensing restrictions.


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 2016

My brief update on some of the principle roadmap and licensing updates from Microsoft in August 2016.

  • The Microsoft September 2016 Product Terms add Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in CSP, Azure AD Premium P2: http://bit.ly/PT-Sep-2016
  • New Project Online Essentials, Professional and Premium in the August 2016 Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST): http://bit.ly/OST-Aug-2016
  • Windows Enterprise E3/E5, Azure AD Premium Plan 2 and new Project Online line-up in the Aug ´16 Microsoft Product Terms: http://bit.ly/PT-Aug-2016
  • Windows10 Enterprise E3 now available with partner supported CSP programme https://goo.gl/qEUdqg
  • Operations Management Suite (OMS) Security generally available for OMS and Azure Log Analytics subscribers -SIEM https://goo.gl/FndmEC
  • Public preview: N-Series instances for Azure Virtual Machines come with NVIDIA GPUs https://goo.gl/Eos00k
  • Machine Learning workspaces and web service pricing plans available in Azure portal https://goo.gl/lnvHwr
  • Microsoft extend Office365 Trust Center to Service Assurance Dashboard https://goo.gl/Mj0Y6e
  • Reminder: Windows10 SA ‘Roaming Right’ extended use right to be retired to drive per user subscription. See the key dates here https://goo.gl/MqB9Tp
  • Windows10 Enterprise will be the new home for MDOP‘s App-V and UE-V. Greater bolstering of native Enterprise Edition https://goo.gl/2SXELr
  • Microsoft Windows10 Enterprise E3 could EXCLUDE LTSB. Offering CB and CBB service branches only. Expect September. http://goo.gl/QV9eK0
  • ExpressRoute FAQs https://goo.gl/mNngVg
  • Citrix Partnership puts hatchet to Azure RemoteApp for delivery of Win Apps from Azure Cloud. Free XenApp Express https://goo.gl/6saj5H
  • General Availability for Azure AD Authentication for access to Azure SQL DB and Data Warehouse services https://goo.gl/29nv39
  • PowerBI gets connector for Amazon Redshift data. (Only via Desktop App and not Web or Gateway) https://goo.gl/8TPGqd
  • Azure IaaS ‘Top Right’ Gartner Magic Quadrant behind AWS http://goo.gl/QkQhio
  • Increase in minimum commit for Azure only SCE. This will increase from 1 to 10 MCUs from 1st Oct 2016. Expiring SCEs one-time renewal

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

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Disclaimer

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