SoftwareONE’s Perspective on Multi-Cloud – Stay In Control

Multi-cloud is on the rise. In some organisations, individuals and departments adopt various cloud solutions and services over a period of time, resulting in a gradual drift into a multi-cloud scenario. Other organisations deliberately assign workloads to both Microsoft Azure and AWS, seeking to reduce excessive reliance on either vendor, enhance flexibility, improve resiliency and mitigate exit strategy issues. In other cases, sovereignty regulations such as GDPR lead global companies to adopt multi-cloud strategies to keep data in local regions. Either way, multi-cloud is now so prevalent that its being referred to by some as the new normal.

However, multi-cloud raises challenges as well as benefits. Costs can run out of control, and management complexity can spiral as individuals and teams spin up workload after workload across the organisation, often without involving the IT department. Keeping track of what is under way, where, and for whom can become impossible.

Data and workload fragmentation sets in – silos, much like those we’ve seen for decades in the data centre, but now scattered across the cloud. Also, its not uncommon for IT to be unaware of the existence of certain cloud assets, much less where they all are, the resources they are consuming or the benefits they’re delivering.

Being Wise to Vendor Incentives

Meanwhile, both Microsoft and Amazon are focusing on retaining, as well as attracting, customers. They use contractual devices, but also reward end users for committing more data and heavier workloads to their platforms. Naturally, users take advantage of such rewards, and the greater their reliance on their cloud platform of choice, the greater their inclination tends to be to stick with it.

Unavoidably, a piecemeal approach to multi-cloud results in relentlessly escalating costs, and deteriorating visibility. To effectively leverage multi-cloud’s potential, it is important to improve visibility and bring costs under control. SoftwareONE employs three principal offerings to help you do exactly that, including:

PyraCloud

As well as helping with on-premises software portfolio management, SoftwareONE’s PyraCloud platform also helps organisations manage those workloads that have been moved to the cloud. Supporting decision-making with hard, actionable, up-to-date information, PyraCloud is a cloud-agnostic, modular solution offering capabilities including:

  • Decision Calculator – define workloads or use cases with a broad range of resource requirement parameters (compute power, network capacity, storage capacity, OS type, and geographical region, for example) then review providers to find the best cloud solutions, by capability and cost.
  • Tag and Resource Manager – discover, structure and govern cloud resources across multiple cloud environments. Consistently track what cloud resources are being used across multiple cloud environments such as Azure and AWS.
  • Cloud Budget Manager – Establish budgets by business units and cloud resources upfront to proactively track spend against budget to identify optimization opportunities.
  • Procurement and License Management – central management for all licenses, covering start, end and renewal dates, quotations, orders, contracts, and more. Consolidate invoices regionally or globally to reduce management complexity and enhance efficiency.

Microsoft Advisory Services

License costs are rising, and increasingly impacting technology decisions. The value of vendor discounts is falling some 70% of businesses are not confident they will get a good deal at renewal, and just over one in five business decision makers believe they receive accurate licensing advice directly from the vendor.

Independent advice on Microsoft licensing is rapidly becoming essential, especially in the cloud.

SoftwareONE’s Microsoft Advisory Services practice provides support and expertise across the board, through Software Asset Discovery, License Analysis, Commercial Analysis, License Design and Negotiation, and Implementation. Working closely with you, we help you ensure you buy the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price. The savings, both financial and in terms of management simplification, can be extensive.

Software Asset Management (SAM)

The traditional take on SAM amounts to little more than a one-time license compliance audit. SoftwareONE takes a more comprehensive approach, encompassing all of the infrastructure and processes necessary to effectively manage, control and protect every software asset across the organisation, through all stages of the software lifecycle.

We can help you control (and often, substantially reduce) your costs, remodel your licensing to make it more suitable to your needs and circumstances, and build a foundation for IT growth, leveraging technology to your advantage. We help you minimize risk, reduce IT costs and maximise end user productivity.

Blending these three key components (PyraCloud, Microsoft Advisory Services and SAM) with SoftwareONE’s unmatched commercial and technical experience and understanding in the software management arena, results in a compelling proposition: we can help you adopt multi-cloud with confidence, enjoying all its benefits – flexibility, vendor plurality, agility and efficiency – while maintaining clear visibility and tight cost control.

Find Out More

If you are based in the UK, we have a special event coming up, looking at Multi-Cloud and how to make it work for you. On 30th November  2017 at Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands, with input from SoftwareONE, Microsoft, Amazon and VMware this will be an ideal opportunity to find out more about multi-cloud and discuss the issues that matter to you with the experts here.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact me with any questions, or take a look at our website for more on what we can do for you.
Thanks All
This article also appears on the SoftwareONE blog here

About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update October 2017

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft EA Renewal

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

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

Modern Commercial Strategy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Structured Approach to Renewal

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

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

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

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

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

10 Recommendations for your Microsoft EA Renewal

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

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

 

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update September 2017

Hitting Refresh

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft News

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for September 2017 –

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

The Increasing Cost of Cloud Productivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update February 2017

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update January 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update November 2016

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update October 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Windows Server 2016 Per Core Ready

Microsoft have confirmed the launch Windows Server 2016 in October.

Windows Server 2016 is already available for evaluation since September 26 and will be on the October price list, with Volume licensing customers able to download fully licensed software at General Availability in mid-October.

Windows Server 2016 is a next generation operating system with cloud enabled security features, and ‘cloud ready’ protection of VMs. Microsoft have developed software-defined infrastructure features across compute, storage and network, based on an Azure model; and aim to support a cloud enabled application layer, with new ways to deploy and run existing and cloud native applications, whether on-premise on in the cloud, with new capabilities like Windows Containers and lightweight Nano Server deployment options.

Microsoft will depart from consistent feature parity between Windows Standard and Datacenter Edition for 2016, and some notable limitations on supported applications at GA. The new release will have over 86 new features and choices for deployment and service branches, with new management extensibility with System Center 2016 and OMS

Importantly, Microsoft will  re-align licensing from a processor to a per core metric, thus enabling a consistent licensing model across on-premise and cloud infrastructures, and securement of revenue growth by ‘riding the wave’ of the proliferation of cores at host level. The new pricing schema will equate the cost of a processor to 8 cores per CPU.

windows-server-per-core-cost-increase

Our Microsoft Advisory Services practice have completed some independent research which suggests a possible 22% spend increase at renewal, with a possible 4 in 10 servers already in excess of the pricing equivalent 8 cores per CPU, and a current host server average already estimated at 8.59 cores per CPU. This could represent a material increase in software spend at point of renewal, or over the next contract term, as hardware is upgraded with more powerful chipsets.

Microsoft have advised customers to complete an inventory and document the number of physical cores in each processor in use, that are licensed with Windows Server to ensure compliance. My team are already assisting our customers with a strategy to be ‘per core ready’ now, and save money by securing available license grants at SA renewal.

I recognise that the clients I work with are looking to drive licensing cost savings, and drive efficiencies by smart, tailored investment in cloud services. There is value in seeking expert advice to ensure a business is ‘Windows Server Per Core Ready’, enabling license spend reduction in Windows Server, securing available license grants, and identifying smart opportunities for hybrid or Azure investments.

There are also opportunities by identifying license spend optimisation, by looking at Azure Hybrid Use Benefit which to only require payment of the Azure base instance (up to 16 cores, and a minimum of 8) on Azure D Series VMs; and the expected ‘reserved compute’ option within Volume Licensing, allowing purchase of compute at a discounted rate versus hourly billing. Notably, Microsoft are expected to harmonise Azure.com pricing with both EA and MPSA to provide a more transparent and comparable offering with competitors like AWS.

Strategic partners, like SoftwareONE can also provide access to a digital platform to support intelligent management of cloud resources, with  PyraCloud Pro and a useful Azure consumption and analytics module. Enabling a business to on-board to cloud services with a “digital ready” management and analytics platform at outset, and avoiding the pitfalls of overage and service sprawl which are increasingly important to maintain the advantages of dynamic access to cloud resources.

In conclusion, the processor to core metric change will drive an increase in revenue based on prevalent emerging CPU architectures, driving double digit growth (as it did with SQL Server). The opportunity for customers is to be ready for this change and look at the immediate impact at renewal, but the wider strategy, inclusive of consolidation, upgrade and target candidates for cloud. There is a significant opportunity for spend reduction, but organisations need to align license design authority with technical design authority to drive effective and achievable spend reduction.

I will be running a series of webinars on Windows Server 2016 and these topics over the coming weeks:

  • Webinar Series (Thursday October 6th, Thursday October 20th) Register Here

Microsoft Resources


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.