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.

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

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 July 2016

My brief update on some of the principle roadmap and licensing updates from Microsoft in July 2016.  Thank you to those of you who joined my recent webinars with SoftwareONE.

With the announcement of the indirect EA on MPSA in 2017, and Windows Server GA Per Core  on October 1st, and the new expansive ‘Secure Productive Enterprise’ (SPE) plans- there has probably never been a better time to challenge organisations to rethink how they work with their reseller, and what they need to enable and manage their digital transformation and cost reduction programmes.

  • Windows 10 Pro 1607 (14393) removes Group Policy Editor options for Pro i.e. display of ads/promos, Consumer Experience, Tips, Lock Screen, Cortana.
  • Microsoft Windows10 Enterprise E3 could EXCLUDE LTSB. Offering CB and CBB service branches only. Expect September. http://goo.gl/QV9eK0 (Reported by ZDNet) Update: I have asked ZDNet, and had confirmation it was from Microsoft presentation at partner show on E3 by Nic Fillingham ref: Mary Jo Foley.
  • CB, CBB Windows10 Servicing Updates would require Feature Updates for continued security patches. https://goo.gl/fJpnnn
  • Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) evolves from S-Plan pilot. Removes separate licensing on-prem application servers https://t.co/3Fv1kr35rd
  • Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) evolves from S-Plan Pilot. Supports one on-premise install of Office ProPlus MSI https://t.co/3Fv1kr35rd
  • Great little summary video from Microsoft on their ‘EA on MPSA’ programme changes https://goo.gl/Jw1UNw
  • Free Windows10 Pro Upgrade ended on July 31st
  • Office365 Feature exclusives worth considering incl. dynamic navigation in PowerPoint, ML enabled Editor in Word, and replacement of Clutter with Priority Inbox (Machine Learning) https://goo.gl/RaExF9
  • Azure AD Premium P2 within extended EMS E5 bundle in Q3 2016. ADP2 SKU on August Price File. Orders accepted September 1st
  • Microsoft to release Azure Stack in Mid CY 2017 with HP, Lenovo, Dell http://goo.gl/Hgf3OD
  • Always Encrypted in Azure SQL Database is Generally Available https://goo.gl/dsvF8e
  • Microsoft Stream in Freemium Preview. Named successor of Office365 Video https://goo.gl/r1E46K  shows cracks in MS integrated development
  • Azure Security Center is now Generally Available https://goo.gl/NnalYh  providing Breach Incident Reporting and Analytics across platforms (E5)
  • Microsoft Bookings comes to Office365 only for Business Premium Subscribers. E3 and E5 promised to follow https://goo.gl/qh0ndZ
  • Microsoft U-Turn on SA for CALs for License Mobility in the July PT (Updated Article) http://goo.gl/6hXVKm
  • New blog article ‘Enterprise Advantage on MPSA’ http://goo.gl/7cFZ32
  • Skype for Business Planning Tool https://goo.gl/Fg5Fn7  (Download)
  • SharePoint 2016 Feature Pack eligible SA will see Preview Lists in August w. Microsoft Flow and PowerApps to follow https://goo.gl/WyByCt
  • MOMS Upgrade Analytics (Public Preview) like MAP for Windows10 enables planning with App and Driver analysis https://goo.gl/AwpjES
  • Upgrade to Windows10? Skip 2012 R2. Look at SCCM 2016 Update 1606 (supports Anniversary Update) now rolling out! https://goo.gl/rdXmeu
  • Licensing comparison of Windows Server 2016 Editions https://goo.gl/VOLWOs
  • Microsoft publish tool to migrate Datazen content (dashboards and KPIs) to SQL 2016 Reporting Server https://goo.gl/rnFSFF   (download) illustrates integration into Enterprise Edition after acquisition.
  • Azure Decision Tree (Technology Selection) http://goo.gl/QdJYJr Really useful infographic.
  • Office365 Microsoft Flow (workflows) and PowerApps (forms) offer extensibility to updated UI SharePoint Lists https://goo.gl/SFFO09 look to future feature packs from Office365.
  • From July 1st, cloud OMS  Subscription extends to Incl. System Center on-premise. System Center OMS AddOn remains https://goo.gl/uTTsF1
  • System Center 2016 General Availability w. WinSvr 2016 October 1st. OMS extensibility, Linux and Unix Support https://goo.gl/sEKvu7
  • Office365 Education now available via supported CSP model via Resellers https://goo.gl/EjTi7t
  • Skype Meeting Broadcast will get transcription and translation end of CY 2016 https://goo.gl/EjTi7t
  • Skype PSTN Calling is now in UK and US. https://goo.gl/EjTi7t
  • Microsoft create Skype Operations Framework (SOF) planning and deployment methodology  https://goo.gl/Rty3FY
  • Microsoft Cloud updates summarised list https://goo.gl/SvYryo
  • Facebook likes Microsoft. Starts with Office365 Exchange Online and Delve  http://goo.gl/sAb8p8
  • Windows Server 2016 Datacenter and Standard w. 3 install options. Desktop GUI, Core w. PowerShell, and Nano https://goo.gl/rgFuua
  • Windows Server 2016 will also include LTSB vs CBB service branches. https://goo.gl/Mp01H2
  • Windows Server 2016 General Availability on October 1st. Get ready for Per Core with SoftwareONE https://goo.gl/yXPaf9
  • Microsoft pull support  for Win7 for next gen chipsets. Drives upgrades to Windows10  https://goo.gl/15zJED
  • Best article on TechNet on Windows10 feature update deferment models and withdrawal to security updates https://goo.gl/KDyafy
  • Microsoft pitch ‘Office in a Box’ strategy with expansive “Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) E5 bundle http://goo.gl/X2qvVk
  • Azure AD Premium P2 within extended EMS E5 bundle in Q3 2016. More robust identity privileged management features https://goo.gl/hsxjuZ
  • Secure Islands acquisition finds a home in Azure Information Protection Premium P2 within extended EMS E5 bundle https://goo.gl/z5K6K9
  • Microsoft integrate security EMS bundle across E3 + E5 offerings to align with “better” E3 vs. “best” E5 strategy https://goo.gl/z5K6K9
  • Microsoft play for integrated security layer, with “Secure Productive Enterprise” bundles http://goo.gl/X2qvVk
  • Windows10 “Premium” renamed Enterprise E5 Incl. Win Defender Advanced Threat Protection vs. Windows10 Enterprise E3 http://goo.gl/X2qvVk
  • SharePoint integration with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow is coming! http://ow.ly/xmGP3000e7s
  • Microsoft has the largest channel network in the industry. Larger than AWS, Google and Salesforce combined. Ref: WPC16
  • “Consuming or Interacting” with PowerBI Pro content requires a license. Nice gotcha list from Microsoft: https://goo.gl/S927EU
  • July 1st PT License Mobility within Server Farms SA enabled use right maintained on Servers without SA on CALs (for now) Microsoft apparent U-Turn or “Clarification” http://goo.gl/6hXVKm
  • Future of SharePoint sees closer OneDrive integration w. sync features, and analytics with Delve https://goo.gl/jsh0n6
  • There’s a new (July 2016) Operations Management Suite Datasheet with full details about the new OMS Subscription https://goo.gl/87OkNX
  • SAP Hana on Microsoft Azure is a landmark strategic partnership https://goo.gl/lVU2DK
  • Enterprise Advantage on MPSA ‘cost effective’ <2400 Users. Margin w. rebates to drive Office365, Dynamics, Azure
  • Enterprise Advantage on MPSA in 2017. Microsoft shift EA under the MPSA framework. Gov and Edu Advantage on horizon https://goo.gl/RCZlW3
  • Dynamics CRM Online 2016 U1, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 SP1 now available in the June “Spring Wave” Release Notes: https://goo.gl/65wq51
  • Microsoft acquired Wand Labs https://goo.gl/ZwkPO5 leverage intelligent agents and cognitive services into chat experiences Bing, Cortana
  • SoftwareONE Blog Article on the 500 EA minimum user/device counts going into effect today http://goo.gl/yNfi8v
  • July EA enrolment:  SCE contract wording will support reservations for eligible products.
  • July EA: Indefinite Extended Term: Azure, after 12 month enrolment term expires, service will be continue indefinitely at level A plus 3%
  • July EA: Indefinite Extended Term: Online Services maintained for <year after enrolment (under which they were purchased) expires.
  • July EA Pricing: Certain consumption Online Services Price Protection exempt. Initially Skype for Business impacted w. “floating prices”.
  • July EA enrolment: clarification on effective date at renewal. The new contract period is the day after the prior contract ends.
  • July EA enrollment: new contract terms do not support fewer than 500 Qualified Users/Devices. Renew once via Enterprise Renewal Form
  • July EA – Downgrade Rights clarification – right to downgrade to prior versions, the use terms at time of purchase would apply.
  • Office365 Planner is now GA for all Enterprise Plans E1-E5
  • Project and Visio side-by-side compatibility with Office365 C2V versions https://goo.gl/4mOxNb. June PT provides MSI Install! (p59)
  • Skype for Business PSTN Calling FAQs https://goo.gl/pGAqyY  
  • SQL on Azure VMs FAQs https://goo.gl/8itpO1

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.

Enterprise Advantage on MPSA

The channel community have had a short briefing with Microsoft about Enterprise Advantage on MPSA, effective early in CY 2017.

Briefing Notes:

  • Customers can ‘mix and match’ between subscription, software and cloud, and between productivity and server products, all in one contract.
  • “Coverage discount” for enterprise-wide commitment, and “platform discount” for eligible platform commitment continues. ‘EA on MPSA’ purchases aggregate organisation-wide to level-up pricing.
  • Interestingly, EA on MPSA has a starting point of 250 users/devices.  Not 500, as with the EA minimum commit http://goo.gl/yNfi8v remember the July EA enrollment: new contract terms do not support fewer than 500 Qualified Users/Devices. Renew once via Enterprise Renewal Form. Microsoft believe EA on MPSA will be ‘optimal’ for 250-2,399 users/devices.
  • True Up annual reconciliation model will continue, with True Down for subscription based products and services.
  • EA on MPSA will only be an indirect contract with potential margin. SoftwareONE will own the billing process.
  • Only one partner per Enterprise Advantage term.
  • Incentives will continue, likely aligned to strategic solutions and services. I pressed them slightly, but they stated the end of fees was “premature”. New fee structures will be communicated.
  • Main focus of channel fees appear to be DPOR (Digital Partner of Record) – Microsoft are aligning their channel incentive model to consumption.
  • Microsoft encourage partners to “Focus on Services” particularly digital transformation.
  • Importantly, Microsoft will start a process of “automation” of concessions empowerment, only  more ‘complex’ deals aligned to legacy EA model.
  • Microsoft believe EA on MPSA should be reasonably flexible for defining user profiles with subscription, perpetual or service profiling; and not necessarily requiring legacy EA (TBC)
  • Self-service features for the platform will expand with initially: SA benefit management, online service provisioning, improved asset management.
  • Higher deal throughput – “in less than a day”, increased sales velocity and lower cost of sale to Microsoft and Partners.
  • Government Advantage and Education Advantage to follow in 2017. They could not confirm (at this stage) whether Government Advantage would align with the end of CTA phase 2 in UK.(CTA Phase 2 was communicated as expiring in June 2017)

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.