Microsoft Licensing and Service Update January 2018

Getting GDPR Ready

Commonly data breaches can take minutes, but discovery and reporting can take weeks or even months, Exemplified by breaches like Yahoo and Equifax, driving risk of reputational damage and material fines from regulators.

The GDPR features offered natively in Office365 and Azure AD services are compelling, offering reporting via Office365 Audit Logs, and DLP for PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and Compliance Dashboard.

However, while Microsoft offer important capabilities around automated classification and encryption of data, GDPR critical features are often enshrined within E5 level services, and the ‘fire hose’ of information available within Office365 Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days within Office365, only extensible for 180 days with ‘premium’ Advanced Security Management (ASM) https://goo.gl/P9QDwL

Accordingly, adding E5 level subscriptions to deals can secure Microsoft’s strategic Tier-1 services, and enable GDPR, but the value is in how we assess requirements and secure the best commercial outcome that delivers on IT and Governance objectives.

The advantage of Microsoft Advisory Services (MAS) is that we can work with the customer to understand their roadmap, enable cloud adoption, support a ‘cloud ready’ strategy, understand ‘smart scale in’ or ensure due diligence and assurance. Our team has experience negotiating contracts, enabled by our global commercial benchmark service, insight into common purchasing and pricing trends,  to enable our customers to ‘buy the right technology, on the right contracts, at the best price’

Competitive Advantage through Licensing

A core advantage to our business, is that we understand what enterprises own (Entitlement), and what they deploy (Inventory), and can drive insights into use (Consumption), and how much things cost and what people actually pay (Price). There are no other consultancies with global scale and delivery capability to access this valuable EICP data layer from our services business, and provide trusted actionable insights with our Advisory practice.

As publishers like Microsoft leverage commercial licensing and pricing models to drive competitive advantage over competitors like AWS;  smart assignment of legacy and active entitlements in licensing, can lower costs, afforded by Software Assurance under (often discounted) EA and SCE, and lower the overall TCO of a cloud architectures by including MAS license design principles in any solution.

For Example, AWS will often position ‘License Included’ (LI) solutions for Microsoft, with all licensing for the migrated Microsoft workloads included within a RI subscription. However, Microsoft are leveraging their ownership of the IP, to shift the cost landscape for SPLA providers over the last 7 years and secure the Microsoft workloads on Azure:

Taking selective advantage of (Hybrid Use Benefits for SQL and Windows Server in Azure, and selecting different architecture options, matched with available BYOL (Bring Your Own Licensing) in AWS, and our insights into both Entitlement and Inventory, and Price; MAS are able to provide optimised licensing TCO leveraging our ‘unfair advantage’.

Microsoft News

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for January 2017

  • Managing Office365 licenses becomes easier with group-based subscription assignments, Admins will be able to restrict individual services for staged deployments, and assign multiple service packages https://goo.gl/kTg5Yy
  • Windows Azure VM must enable port 1688 for licensing. To restrict access to Internet IPs, an admin must create an inbound rule in NSG https://goo.gl/pEFRPx to restrict the traffic. A network security group (NSG) https://goo.gl/wQHBoK contains a list of security rules that allow or deny network traffic to resources connected to Azure Virtual Networks (VNet).
  • PowerBI licensing can be expansive – a database managed by the Common Data Service (CDS) could incur all users of the app(s) that access the database to have a Plan 1 subscription. There is a good licensing resource available here: https://goo.gl/Bt6HgC
  • Office365 enables GDPR with auto-data classification (AIP P2 / E5), DLP policies, and Compliance Manager. However, the ‘fire hose’ of Audit Logs are retained for just 90 days, extensible with premium AddOn /E5 Advanced Security Management (ASM) for 180 days https://goo.gl/P9QDwL
  • Azure Info Protection scanner crawls through files in CIFS based file shares and SharePoint (2013-16) sites and apply classification, labelling and protection on files, policies. Note, as always the fancy GDPR content sits in AIP P2 or EMS E5. https://goo.gl/uuPGaz
  • Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams – Setting up Communication Credits https://goo.gl/fL1h8d to enable Pre-Pay access toll-free call-out for Audio Conferencing and Calling Plans https://goo.gl/doHp8n
  • A good resource on Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams add-on licensing https://goo.gl/5trxQ7
  • Impact on Office365 service features support across the various iterations of Skype and Lync desktop clients https://goo.gl/9Hy3Yt
  • PowerBI use scenarios can impact licensing and solution topology e.g. ‘User Owned Data’ vs, ‘App Owned Data’ when the user and app authenticate to access PowerBI APIs (for example for task workers to access a kiosk application) requires PowerBI Pro https://goo.gl/sYmgfW
  • Microsoft announce policy change on End of Support and Premium Assurance. Microsoft are re-evaluating the Premium Assurance offer construct, which provides up to six years of additional support beyond the extended support period. Effective Feb 1st 2018, Premium Assurance SKUs will be updated to lead-status and removed from the published price list. As of now Premium Assurance should no longer be sold, and Redmond are working on plans to announce at a later date. If you have a deal in progress and need guidance, please contact premiumassurance@microsoft.com
  • To allow additional time to deliver the full product and services catalog for software to the modern platform, the Select Plus Retirement suspension will be extended another 12 months. Microsoft will resume shutting down the remaining commercial Select Plus accounts in April 2019. Extensions have been automatically applied to all active commercial Select Plus accounts subject to retirement. Though Microsoft are not actively shutting accounts down, they are advocating moving customers out of Select Plus to a longer-term solution such as EA, CSP (or MPSA as appropriate). Note: Public Sector accounts are not impacted.
  • Microsoft have  announced that for pre-approved SMB customers that cannot transition to CSP, a 12 month Short Term EA Enrollment Extension option available until June 29, 2018 for pre-approved customers only.
  • An longstanding issue for Skype for Business,  Common Area Phone SKU will launch March 1, 2018. This new SKU will allow customers with phone devices not assigned to users and used in areas such as reception areas, break rooms, shop floors, or conference rooms to purchase just one SKU in order to enable those devices with the ability to make/receive calls. The SKU will include the service plans for Phone System and Skype for Business Plan 2. This new license will be available in EA, EAS, Open, CSP and GCC and will be restricted for assignment to devices only per updated Product Terms. The SKU will also roll out to EES customers in Q4FY18.
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales, and Customer Service User CALs SA Only – have 61% discount empowerment until May 31st 2018. Available across Volume Agreement programmes.

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

 

 

 

 

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.

Licensing Inactive User Mailboxes in Office365

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

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

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

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

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

I will update this post once official comms are provided.

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

“Inactive User SKU and Shared Mailboxes Policy changes POSTPONED

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

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

Inactive User Mailboxes

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

To make a user mailbox “inactive”:

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

Inactive User Mailbox Update

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

Shared Group Mailboxes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Groups, Teams and Shared Mailboxes Update

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

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

Overview, inclusive of more advanced governance features:-

Summary

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

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

What is the Impact?

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

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

Recommendations

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update September 2017

Hitting Refresh

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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft News

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for September 2017 –

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update August 2017

Some principle recent Microsoft updates, for August 2017

  • Secure Productive Enterprise (SPE) is re-launched as Microsoft365 E3 and E5 https://goo.gl/Zs2hY5
  • Microsoft365 customers up 6,000 to 52,000 with an licensed user base of 50M. Nortably, revenue up >100% for 13th consecutive quarter.
  • Microsoft are rebranding Office365 Plan K1 to F1 https://goo.gl/crr2Xw
  • F1 features include – Video (view only), Skype (multi-party Attend only), Flow (consume, 750 runs), PowerApps (consume)
  • Staffhub available acros Office365 F1, E1, E3 and E5 Plans enables staff schedules https://goo.gl/pEHyrx
  • In 2020, Microsoft to mandate Office ProPlus C2R, or mainstream supported Office MSI Clients for Office365 Services  https://goo.gl/xsuQ1R
  • Notably, Office 2016 MSI will be out of “mainstream support” in October 2020.
  • Microsoft announce that virtualisation use rights available for Windows 10 Enterprise licences in CSP on 6th Sep 2017: .
  • Microsoft Stream for Office365 available in all commercial plans  https://goo.gl/hMnQTn
  • An excellent article on restriction of user access to Office365 services https://goo.gl/uzddac
  • Azure AD group based license management https://goo.gl/uwo7SJ
  • Managing Microsoft Office 365 Licenses – Using Groups https://goo.gl/oXc3pv
  • Groups drives Azure ADP w. Data Classification, Usage Guidelines, Group AD Writeback, Dynamic Groups, Expiry Policy – See the Azure AD Premium feature list for Office365 Groups
  • Advantages of Office365 Groups over Site Mailboxes https://goo.gl/icfY3H
  • Effective July 1st the following Microsoft Dynamics 365, Enterprise edition offerings are being renamed:
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Plan
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 1 => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan
    • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan 2 => Microsoft Dynamics 365 Plan
  • An updated Microsoft Dynamics pricing page https://goo.gl/ZHfW8V
  • Intune native support for deployment of Office365 ProPlus https://goo.gl/bHPD6x
  • SharePoint “Communication Sites” for Office365 begins rolling out https://goo.gl/ERZd6d
  • Restricted SharePoint sites now  termed “Isolated” https://goo.gl/fjQ5DJ
  • SQL Server 2017 first release candidate on Windows, Linux and Docker
  • Windows 10 service model updates, alligned with Office365 ProPlus https://goo.gl/uc39SA
  • Windows 10 release a plethora of training resources https://goo.gl/xijmcp
  • Microsoft continue to push Windows 10 Enterprise and service ecosystem security features to drive subscription licensing https://goo.gl/euSQwG
  • Azure Stack becomes generally available, effective August 2017, pricing information https://goo.gl/fudphJ
  • Microsoft release a file security whitepaper fo SharePoint and OneDrive https://t.co/HNzjsnHwV4
  • Microsoft365 Business aimed as SMBs offers relevant services like email marketing, invoicing, mileage tracking https://goo.gl/Zs2hY5
  • Microsoft Cloud benefits from GDPR support
  • Microsoft advocate how EMS can support GDPR https://goo.gl/uR7iU5
  • EMS Suite is bolstered by Skycure acquisition – offers mobile anomaly detection, enables conditional access https://goo.gl/8bvwk5
  • A new Office 365 PowerBI pack answers if we are using what we have bought. With expanding suites, that’s a good question
  • Office365 use metering data is also available from Office Graph using PowerShell https://goo.gl/4YGeYd
  • Enterprise Agreement customers will soon be able to view their Azure subscription cost reports https://goo.gl/pysx9i
  • Visio Online ‘view’ is available to all Office365 commercial subscription plans that include Office Online https://goo.gl/Xv5kvv
  • Visio enables new charting capability in PowerBI. Notably, Create and Edit requires a Visio license. ‘View’ doesn’t.  https://goo.gl/m6xGxo
  • A new Visual Studio 2017 Edition comparison table https://www.visualstudio.com/vs/pricing/
  • Microsoft launched new ’16 Core’ license packs, in addition to the ‘2 Core’ packs for Windows Server and System Center in May 2017. The Product Terms were updated from May 2017 https://goo.gl/UEVWGL

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

The Increasing Cost of Cloud Productivity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update February 2017

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update January 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks All


About

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

Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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


Disclaimer

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

Microsoft Licensing and Services Update November 2016

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

Thanks All


About

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Tony Mackelworth is Head of Microsoft Advisory Services at SoftwareONE

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