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 EA Renewal Survey

Please take a few moments to complete a short survey on Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Renewals. I will share the results once we get a decent response sample. Thanks for helping our Microsoft licensing community!

MLR Insights

Create your own user feedback survey
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.

License Mobility and CALs (Updated July 2016)

CALsThe Product Terms were updated in July 2015 with a new format, that is in principle, easier to navigate and has been well received by the channel. As an experienced licensing practitioner, I have seen the small nuances of terminology and interpretation impact clients in assessment of whether they require Software Assurance (SA).

I often illustrate to my clients the role of Software Assurance as a critical enabler of their business. The role of Software Assurance has extended beyond ‘New Version Rights’ and a package of soft benefits, to become a licensing vehicle for extended software use rights that are increasingly critical to how enterprises implement and maintain Microsoft solutions. The requirement to pay Microsoft every year to use software in the way a modern enterprise expects software to be deployed and maintained, often in a virtual infrastructure and highly available and resilient has become beholden to the requirement for SA.

I tell clients that they can often elect to license for enablement, or they can license for restriction. The answer for most customers who want to deliver on their business and technical requirements is usually somewhere in the middle, the balance of licensing optimisation and technical design can achieve the right business outcomes.

5 years ago, the expansion of Software Assurance was in it’s infancy. The decision to renew maintenance was still principally about whether the business would upgrade to the next version. It was a question of whether the new product offered new features that were required, and when that product would be upgraded.

To decide to renew was about commitment to the Microsoft technology roadmap. The decision to exit SA was about whether you ‘owned’ the perpetual license and were happy to remain on the then-current version. It was common for practitioners to assess a ‘holiday’ for a number of years and then forecast costs of buying back in later.

Last week, I came across some advice from a ‘big three’ consultancy that was advocating a complete exit of a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) as a driver of cost savings for a client. This set my alarm bells ringing, as I have tracked those small nuances of licensing enablement and restriction that can determine ‘lock in’ for renewal of Software Assurance across the Microsoft solutions and services stack. The decision to exit Software Assurance must be carefully assessed based on contract, license and maintenance entitlement and current and planned utilisation of Microsoft solutions and services.

Experienced practitioners are acutely aware of the role of licensing as a vehicle to drive consumer behavior. The old days of buying a perpetual license and ‘walking away’ have been systematically curtailed with the limitation of value in the perpetual license, enshrined within updated Product Terms and closer integration of cloud services. Redmond are aware that licensing drives increased revenues, and small changes and new licensing models are not ‘revenue neutral’ but drive the double-digit growth of strategic product groups.

One common topic of conversation is about whether an organisation can ‘exit’ Software Assurance as a driver of cost savings. I always stand by two principles a) don’t pay for what you don’t need b) If you need it, pay as little as possible. So in principle, I agree with the logic of the ‘big three’ consultancy, but as with the law, the devil is in the detail.

A common deployment configuration for applications servers like Exchange, Skype for Business or SharePoint Server is within a highly available virtual server environment. Microsoft support dynamic re-assignment of licenses within their virtual server environment under something called ‘License Mobility’ has been enshrined within the ‘safe harbor’ of Software Assurance (SA) for application server licenses.

Under License Mobility Across Server Farms  Software Assurance benefit, an organisation can reassign any of its licenses which are designated under as benefiting from License Mobility to any of its licensed servers located within their server environment dynamically, unrestricted by the default ’90 day rule’ that would be costly without the ability to re-assign licenses as often as needed. (Ref: Product Terms March 2016, Page 82)

Some organisations have been informed that Microsoft extended the ‘safe harbor’ of SA to Client Access Licenses (CALs). Accordingly, our clients have been concerned that active Software Assurance is required to continue deployment within a high availability virtual server environments. This interpretation could have a material impact to vendor ‘lock in’ as organisations are unable to ever exit Software Assurance for CALs as well as associated Server Licenses.

The reason for this concern some new wording added in October 2015 Product Terms:

With the exception of New Version Rights, benefits available for Server Products requires coverage for both Server License and access Licenses, if any (e.g., CALs). […] Customer’s access and rights to use their SA benefits, generally expires upon expiration of their SA coverage, unless otherwise noted below or in the Product Entries. The benefits are subject to change and may be discontinued at any time without notice. Availability of benefits varies by program, region, fulfillment options and language”

(Ref: Product Terms, March 2016,Page 72)

However, looking more closely at the respective product entries, the License Mobility SA benefit is stipulated as pertaining to the ‘server license’ and no other licenses associated with the license model for the product are listed:

  • Skype for Business Server
    “License Mobility: Server licenses only
    Product Terms, March 2016,Page 33
  • Dynamics CRM
    “License Mobility: All editions (server licenses only)”
    Product Terms, March 2016,Page 25
  • Exchange Server
    “License Mobility: Server licenses only
    Product Terms, March 2016,Page 30
  • Project Server
    “License Mobility: Server licenses only
    Product Terms, March 2016,Page 30
  • SharePoint Server
    “License Mobility: SharePoint Server and Office Audit and Control Management Server (server licenses only)”
    Product Terms, March 2016,Page 32
  • Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
    “License Mobility: Yes (server licenses only)”
  • Product Terms, March 2016,Page 43
  • UPDATED The July 2016 Product Terms:

    License Mobility: The terms for SA benefits for server products were updated to restore the License Mobility across Server Farms rights to allow Customers with SA on Servers but not CALs to continue to invoke License Mobility across Server Farm rights, provided their CALs are appropriately licensed to access the version of server software being used. 

  • It would appear Microsoft have responded to the market (i.e. upset customers) and clarified their position. This was repeatedly invoked by some Microsoft Account Managers to drive SA renewal on CALs…. something not necessarily supported by the Product Terms. This is great news that Microsoft have not extended the ‘lock in’ of Software Assurance even further!

Key Considerations

  1. Maintain Software Assurance for applications servers deployed in virtual server environments to support dynamic re-assignment of server licenses.
  2. Updated Product Terms wording will likely extend the requirement for active Software Assurance (SA) for CALs for products eligible for other principle server Software Assurance benefits like Fail-Over Rights and Server Disaster Recovery Rights i.e. for SQL on Server/CAL.
  3. As Microsoft migrate customers under a ‘Per Core’ licensing model for SQL Server, Windows Server and System Center, the impact to renewal of CALs should be increasingly limited.
  4. Organisations that do leverage the limited Server Disaster Recovery Right for application servers like SharePoint, Exchange, SfB, should assess the true cost of three years renewal of Software Assurance for CALs, before taking advantage of reducing their licenensable server footprint under disaster recovery benefit.
  5. Should your organisation license application servers under commercial vehicles like the Core CAL and ECAL suite, then a wider critical assessment of contract and contractual amendments, technology roadmap, current and planned feature utilisation, failover and DR configuration, and adoption of cloud subscription services are required to ensure appropriate due diligence of commercial and technology considerations.
  6. UPDATED The July 2016 Product Terms:

    License Mobility: The terms for SA benefits for server products were updated to restore the License Mobility across Server Farms rights to allow Customers with SA on Servers but not CALs to continue to invoke License Mobility across Server Farm rights, provided their CALs are appropriately licensed to access the version of server software being used. 

  • It would appear Microsoft have responded to the market (i.e. upset customers) and clarified their position. This was repeatedly invoked by some Microsoft Account Managers to drive SA renewal on CALs…. something not necessarily supported by the Product Terms. This is great news that Microsoft have not extended the ‘lock in’ of Software Assurance even further!

With these licensing considerations in mind, and the business demand for cost savings and mitigation of commercial risk, the requirement to develop an optimum software licensing strategy are increasingly complex. This includes, but is not limited to,  price increases and licensing updates, new licensing models and metrics, complex desktop, application and virtual server environments and adoption of cloud have seen critical changes in licensing and commercial pricing models. The utilisation of licensing as a driver of global renewal and new technology investment behaviours, pricing and increased audit activity require a systematic considered approach to respond to Microsoft’s bold commercial strategy.

The logic of the ‘big three’ consultancy to advise their clients to simply exit an EA is an established renewal and/or negotiation  strategy, but with the current rapid release and license update cadence it requires an accurate, structured and holistic approach.


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.

 

Important Microsoft Licensing Updates and Price Increases – August 2015

Microsoft have announced some important licensing updates and price increases for August, and  reflects an ongoing ‘carrot and stick’ methodology, to drive adoption of Office 365 and Azure. While many organisations are currently completing their renewals with Microsoft at the end of the MS financial year in June, some organisations with upcoming renewals over the next several months should factor these licensing updates and price increases into their renewal strategy:

  1. Price Increase in User Client Access Licenses (CALs), effective August 1st 2015, there will be a 13% price increase to User CAL. This will reflect a 30% price differential over Device CAL
    The price increase will not immediately affect organisations committed to Core CAL or Enterprise CAL on a Enterprise Agreement (EA), or Enterprise Agreement Subscription (EAS), but will impact customers with renewals on or after August 1st 2015.
    Microsoft have confirmed that Academic and Charity organisations will not be affected by the price increase in User CAL.
  2. Microsoft will remove System Center Client Management Suite (CMS) from the Enterprise CAL Suite,
  3. Microsoft have confirmed that product updates for System Center Client Management Suite will continue, and customers with active SA will continue to receive entitlement rights until December 31st 2016, as an exception in the Product List. Organisations that have committed to ECAL (with active SA), who are using or plan to deploy System Center CMS, will have time to transition, and Microsoft have reiterated that removal of System Center CMS from the ECAL suite does not imply that the solution is ‘End of Life’ for either CMS or the rest of the System Center ecosystem of products. CMS will continue to receive updates and will be available outside the ECAL
  4. After 31st December 2016, Microsoft have stated that System Center CMS will continue to receive updates, and would also continue as a stand-alone offering outside of ECAL
  5. Advance Threat Analytics (ATA) to be added to the Enterprise CAL Suite, an on premise software product licensed for Clients by a Client Management License (CML) on a Per User or Per OSE Model. The General Availability  for ATA will be  available on August 1st 2015
  6. ATA will also be included as part of Enterprise Mobility Suite and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) on a Per User model on August 1st 2015. Existing EMS customers will automatically receive entitlement rights to ATA upon General Availability.
  7. Microsoft have stated that ECAL price was not increased due to inclusion of ATA (ATA will be available as a standalone solution)
  8. The EMS ‘Add On’ for ECAL SA will not include ATA, as the entitlement rights to ATA are included in the ECAL Suite.
  9. Price Increases for Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), Microsoft have increased the Core CAL Per User and Per Device ‘Add on’ by 27%, 15% for organisations buying a ‘Full’ USL, and 4% for organisations purchasing a From SA USL.
  10. There is no increase for EMS ECAL (Per User) ‘Add On’, (but a 7% increase on the EMS (Per Device) ‘Add On’).
  11. Microsoft have confirmed that Azure Rights Management Service (RMS), will be re-branded as Azure Rights Management Service Premium.
  12. Microsoft have sought to differentiate Information Rights Management (IRM) in Azure RMS Premium from the native IRM in Office365, by offering a new “Document Tracking” feature to allow tracked sharing of sensitive files. Microsoft will not be increasing the price of Azure RMS Premium, and this will continue to be available as a stand-alone service.
  13. Microsoft have  announced that MDOP  will now bundled into the Software Assurance for Windows, a tactical move to maintain Software Assurance (SA) business for organisations to maintain SA on Windows 10.
  14. The Windows SA price has been increased to match the ‘combined’ price of Windows SA and MDOP. This is represented as an 11% increase for Windows SA (Per User) USL due to the perceived value of MDOP
  15. The Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) will benefit from the inclusion of ATA, Azure RMS Premium and MDOP.
  16. The Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) price will increase by 5% for a ‘Full’ USL and 3% for a ‘From SA’ USL.
  17. Microsoft Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS) ‘Add On’ will also see price increases, with a 10% increase in (Per Device) Core CAL ‘Add On’, and 7% for the (Per User) Core CAL ‘Add On’ , 3% for the ECAL (Per Device) ‘Add On’, but notably a 11% decrease in ECS Per User ECAL ‘Add On’ to balance ECAL User CAL Price Increase.
  18.  Microsoft have also announced a licensing update to the ‘Bridge CAL’ for Office 365. Commonly providing access to on premise solutions including Windows Server CAL, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) CAL, System Center EndPoint Protection (SCEP), and Windows Rights Management Services (RMS).
  19. The ‘Bridge CAL’ now includes Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA)
  20. Effective August 1st 2015, ‘Bridge CALs’ are only available on a Per User model. Microsoft state that the majority of ‘Bridge CALs’ are purchased on a Per User model, and this standardization would ensure a consistent ‘Per User’ licensing model for Office 365 .
  21. Microsoft have provided a ‘grace period’ under the Product List for current customers, to allow organisations to continue to purchase Per User ‘Bridge CALs’ based on their device count. This Product List exemption will provide a “per device rights extension” for the current term of the contract.
  22. Effective August 1st 2015, ‘Bridge CALs’ are only available as a Subscription. Microsoft have eliminated all License & Software Assurance (L&SA) and Software Assurance Only (SA) SKUs from the Product List. Microsoft have sought to consolidate the number of Bridge CALs by limiting to a Per User Subscription model, but notably, customers will only receive perpetual rights to the then-current version of the software at renewal. Upon renewal, organisations will no longer receive perpetual rights to the components of the Bridge CAL.
  23. Microsoft will maintain a Platform Discount for organisations that are eligible, but the ‘From SA’ MSU SKU will be price the same as ‘SA Only’ price providing price parity, but without a perpetual use right.
  24. Microsoft have also stated that New MSU will be cheaper than the L&SA ‘Added at Signing’ price (accounting for the 13% User CAL Increase), and an estimated 20% more than the ‘From SA’ MSU SKU.
  25. Effective July 1st – Microsoft combine PUR and Product List into Product Terms, new monthly release cadence. FAQs
  26. Microsoft has revealed that the final releases of Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 and .NET Framework 4.6 will be available for download on 20 July http://t.co/wbLDxjbtO1

Your Microsoft Renewal

With these price increases in mind, and the business demand for cost savings, cost avoidance and mitigation of commercial risk, and effective vendor management require a systematic approach in your Microsoft renewal.  The requirement to develop an optimum software licensing strategy are increasingly complex. This includes, but is not limited to, vendor price increases and licensing updates, updated licensing models and metrics, proliferation of multiple device types, diverse user profiles, management of software demand, ‘bring your own device’ and work mobility. Considerations like desktop and application virtualization delivery models, complex virtual server environments and adoption of cloud services, have seen critical changes in licensing models from software vendors, and ongoing utilisation of licensing, pricing mechanisms and increased audit activity to drive customer purchasing behaviours increasingly require a pro-active and considered approach.

SoftwareONE have redefined the software licensing advisor landscape as the thought leaders in Software Portfolio Management (SPM) services. By combining commercial, technology, compliance and governance expertise into a balanced, integrated  service. Microsoft Advisory Services (MAS) helps IT Leaders to deliver on their vision with greater confidence and clarity.

Organisations often leverage independent consultancy services from within our Microsoft consultancy practice to optimise their Microsoft Strategy, benefits including but not limited to:

Discovery of current state deployment, and utilisation of software

  • Roadmap Discovery and Advisory
  • Latest insight into Microsoft Solutions and Services,
  • Latest insight into Microsoft Licensing
  • Optimised Commercial Investment Plan for Microsoft Solutions
  • Commercial Analysis across Contracts and Global Pricelists
  • Commercial Benchmarking
  • Negotiation Advantage
  • Negotiation Support

If you would like to discuss our consultancy services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

– Tony Mackelworth

Head of Microsoft Advisory Services


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

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

Tony lives with his wife in Oxford, England.


Disclaimer

  • This article is not intended to replace the Product Use Rights or Product List or Online Service Terms or other binding contractual documents
  • The Software Use Terms for each Product or Version are available within the Product Use Rights 
  • Further Product-Specific conditions, transition terms, or limitations on use of products, including soft benefits are in the Product List
  • 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(s) endeavour 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.

EA Renewal – Licensing Implications

 

Introduction

This resource will provide information on the software licensing changes that came into force at the end of a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. For many organisations, this change in the software licensing arrangement may result in non-compliance. Microsoft will therefore work with the individual organisations going forward to ensure a compliant licensing position is maintained.

This page will provide detail on an organisation’s obligations around Microsoft licensing, the use rights lost by expiration of the EA and the rights that will be renewed by the organisations entering into an appropriate licensing agreement with Microsoft. By working through this document, you will get a good view of the licenses you need in order to expedite any future licensing discussions.

Qualified Desktops

To start the process of licensing compliance, a line has to be drawn in an organisations infrastructure as of the expiration date. This was the last day of the Enterprise-wide Agreement (EwA) and therefore is important to defining the infrastructure (PCs and other qualified devices) that can make use of the perpetual rights of the terminated agreement.

All organisations need to have a clear record of deployment before and after expiration to ensure and ascertain compliance on any new devices.

  • Confirm the number of licenses that are allocated to your organisation from the EA.
  • Confirm the physical devices that had Microsoft licenses assigned to them prior to Expiry.

Windows 7 Enterprise

Physical devices that had Windows Enterprise assigned to them prior to Expiration and acquired the perpetual right through Software Assurance can use Windows Enterprise on those assigned device.

  • If Windows Enterprise was not deployed prior to Expiration, an organisation can deploy the upgrades after their coverage has expired.
  • If the assigned device was replaced after Expiration, then Windows Enterprise cannot be re-assigned to the replacement device.
  • New PCs that are replacing old machines can continue to use the perpetual right of Windows Professional
  • New PCs that will exceed the number allocated to your organisation will not be covered under the perpetual rights of the EwA and need to be licensed separately.
  • New PCs will need to have Active SA assigned to them to deploy Windows Enterprise and BitLocker

Enterprise CAL Suite

The ECAL Suite is a single licensing vehicle for a broad software portfolio. It provides a significant package value over acquiring separate components. In the current economic climate, a strong case can be made for a careful managed approach to vendor consolidation.

The Enterprise CAL Suite enables specific functionality in Microsoft solutions and it is recommended that you confirm the allocation assigned to your organisation under the EA.

If you are using any of the functionality below, you will need an Enterprise CAL (ECAL)

  • OCS (e.g. Instant Messaging)
  • Forefront Protection Suite (Anti-Virus)
  • SharePoint Enterprise (e.g. Electronic Forms, PerformancePoint, FAST)
  • Exchange Enterprise (e.g. Voicemail, Email Archiving)

It is recommended that once you have confirmed your allocation, any shortfall in licenses needs to be covered immediately. How to enter into a local agreement with Microsoft

Lync Server 2010 Grandfathering Policy

Though Enterprise Voice features are being discontinued from the Enterprise CAL with Lync 2010, Microsoft is offering rights to the Plus CAL to customers who qualify. Qualified customers include those who have purchased Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite and have maintained their Software Assurance benefits by the availability of Lync Server 2010.

This grandfathering approach allows customers, who knew about our upcoming change, to deploy Lync voice capabilities with Office Communications Server or Lync Server 2010 and validate its value to their organizations without an immediate increase in SA. The specific qualifications and entitlements are explained in the following sections.

Summary of Key Changes

Some voice-specific features previously offered with the Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL will be discontinued and only offered in the new Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL. As a result of this change, the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL and its associated features will not be included with the Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Suite.

Grandfathering Entitlements

Customers who have purchased Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Enterprise CAL or ECAL Suite and have maintained their SA benefits by the general availability of Lync Server 2010 will benefit from either of the following two Software Assurance rights:

a) Purchased prior to July 1st 2009 and maintain SA:

  • You will receive a perpetual license of Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL at its general availability (GA) date.
  • If you maintain SA on the Office Communications Server ECAL or the ECAL Suite, you will have access rights equivalent to the rights under the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL for two releases (Lync Server 2010 and release N+1 where N=Lync Server 2010).
  • You may separately renew the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL SA at your first renewal period post the release N+1 in order to maintain SA benefits of future releases.

b) Purchased after July 1st 2009 and before the release of Lync Server 2010 and maintain SA:

  • You will receive a perpetual license of Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL at its GA date.
  • You may separately renew the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL SA at your first renewal period post the Lync Server 2010 GA in order to maintain SA benefits of future releases.

Customers who do not have SA, or do not maintain SA, on their Office Communications Server Enterprise CAL or the ECAL Suite at GA of Lync Server 2010 will not be qualified for either grandfathering offer and will be required to purchase the Lync Plus CAL when it is released in order to have rights to the Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL functionality.

Software Assurance benefits

The EwA covered all devices for Software Assurance (SA) benefits. If your EwA has not been renewed, all SA benefits have expired for the whole of the estate.

Training vouchers

Training vouchers gave NHS IT staff access to class-based training provided by Microsoft Certified Partner Learning Solutions. As these were an SA benefit, they are no longer available. Please visit Microsoft Learning to buy courses on an individual basis.

E-learning

E-Learning is also an SA benefit which is currently offered to all eligible organisations via the Microsoft NHS Resource Centre, and has also expired as part of the SA. However, we are in discussions with with NHS IT Academies to explore alternative arrangements.

Microsoft Packaged Services

Many NHS organisations took advantage of the Microsoft deployment consultancy services that were included in the EwA. These services have been exhausted and organisations will need to contact Microsoft or any of our Certified Partners directly for equivalent services.

24×7 Problem Resolution Support

Access to the Microsoft support line for technical issues was included in the EwA, but these rights have now expired.

Multi-language options

Use of the Multi-language User Interface (MUI) for deployment of multi-language versions of Microsoft Office are an SA benefit, so any organisations using the MUI packages in their machine builds will need to either remove them or ensure there is active SA for the software license.

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP)

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is a subscription license that is available to all Windows PCs covered with active Software Assurance (SA). This right has now expired and any customers who are using any of the MDOP technologies will need to either remove them or license through another route. The MDOP technologies are:

  • Application Virtualization (App-V)
  • Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V)
  • Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM)
  • Asset Inventory Service (AIS)
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT)
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM)

Windows Virtual Desktop Access and Office Roaming Use Rights

Access to Virtual Desktop Access and Office Roaming Use Rights, which allow remote access to your desktop and applications, are no longer available and must be disabled.

Windows Mis-versioning

Microsoft Windows upgrade licenses are designed to upgrade pre-existing qualifying licenses you have bought. This means you must first have a full license for the qualifying underlying Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) OS for each PC before you install the upgrade.

Please be aware that Windows software is licensed differently from other Microsoft software and Windows Desktop OS is an upgrade license only.

Organisations that have procured PCs with Windows Home Edition (XP, Vista, Windows 7) installed and have upgraded this version to Windows 7 Professional under the upgrade rights of the Enterprise-wide Agreement should be aware of the Windows mis-versioning.

Since November 2006, it has not been possible to upgrade any Windows Home Edition for corporate use. Therefore any PCs with Windows Home Edition as the base license will need to have a qualifying OS purchased through FPP or the Get Licensed campaign to allow the PC to be upgraded.

What is Windows mis-versioning?

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