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 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.