“Using the Windows Server Azure Hybrid Benefit”

Customers who have Windows Server licences with active Software Assurance can take advantage of the Azure Hybrid Benefit which allows them to assign these licences to Azure. This means that they can run Windows Server virtual machines at a reduced cost, paying just the base compute charges in Azure. It’s possible to deploy a new VM using the Azure Hybrid Benefit or to update an existing running VM to use this benefit. This is a useful article if you want to see how this is done and to get a view of which deployed VMs are using the Azure Hybrid Benefit: http://bit.ly/2tgbUdC.

Microsoft Calling Plans

Microsoft Calling Plans let users make and receive phone calls. From a licensing perspective there are Domestic and Domestic and International Plans available as User Subscription Licences and all users need to be licensed with a Phone System User SL too. The most recent availability of Calling Plans is in Canada (http://bit.ly/2IJ2MZM) from 1st May 2018, where calls to the US (and vice versa) are considered to be domestic .If you’re interested in a spreadsheet which shows availability throughout the world and how many minutes are included in the different regions, then this is download-must: http://bit.ly/2JbycHs.

Azure Monetary Commitment Overage Payments

Microsoft make changes to when customers are invoiced for overage on their Azure Monetary Commitment. Historically, this has been quarterly or annually, dependent on agreement type, which was changed to quarterly for all customer and agreement types in December 2017. Now all overage will be charged at the end of each month.

See page 50 of the May 2018 Product Terms for the official wording.

Azure Reserved Instances and Server Subscriptions

Microsoft announce that Reserved Instances are immediately available through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and that Server Subscriptions will be available in the near future. These two offerings will be perfect partners since they will allow customers to enjoy the very best prices for virtual machines running in Azure.

Reserved Instances are a way for customers to pay for the compute part of a virtual machine and Server Subscriptions for Windows Server and SQL Server will enable customers to acquire a subscription for the software to run in their virtual machines. Both offerings are paid for upfront for a 1 or 3-year term, and used together may enable customers to save up to 80% compared to the price of an equivalent virtual machine paid for on a consumption basis.

There are plenty of resources available if you want to find out more and this page (http://bit.ly/2jYx23P) includes links to an FAQ, an overview presentation, a webinar and a sales sheet. It’s definitely worth a look!

Understanding Reserved Instance Pre-Payment

If you’re running full-time virtual machines in Azure then pre-paying for the compute power via an Azure Reserved Instance is a good way of saving money. The pre-paid amount is automatically applied to your running virtual machines and if you want to find out more about how this (apparently magic) process works, then this article is worth a read: http://bit.ly/2HKvLsA.

Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing Guide

There’s a brand new (March 2018) Dynamics 365 Business Central Licensing Guide covering the licensing of this new ERP solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Use it to find out about the different licence types (Essential, Premium and Team Members), licensing external users (included in the internal users’ licence rights), and whether users are allowed access to on-premises servers (they’re not). Find the guide at the bottom of the Dynamics 365 section in our Licensing Guides emporium: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.