Azure Monetary Commitment Changes

There are two changes to the way Azure Monetary Commitment works in an Enterprise Agreement from December 2017.

Historically, Monetary Commitment was an amount paid upfront annually for the Azure consumption services which was decremented as services were used, with any unused Monetary Commitment being forfeited at the end of the year. This remains as an “Annually Prepaid Option” but now there’s a “Fully Prepaid Option” too. Under this option a customer pays for 36 months of Monetary Commitment upfront but the funds are available for the whole of the Enrolment term. This means there are also some changes in the minimum amount of Monetary Commitment required: $3,600 under the Enterprise Enrolment and $36,000 under the Server and Cloud Enrolment.

The second change is the removal of the Consumption Allowance: previously customers with a Direct EA could pay for any Azure overage at anniversary if they remained within the Consumption Allowance (50% of the original Monetary Commitment). Now all new and renewing EA customers will pay for overage on a quarterly basis.

If you want the official wording on the new rules then it’s all on pages 50 and 51 of the December 2017 Product Terms document.

Updated Azure Calculator

Microsoft launched Azure Reserved Instances in November 2017 giving customers a more cost-effective way of buying Azure base instance virtual machines. The Azure Calculator has been updated to show relative pricing between the regular pay-as-you-go option for virtual machines and 1-year or 3-year Reserved Instances.

Find the Azure Calculator here:

Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator

The Azure Hybrid Benefit allows customers with Windows Server licences with SA to use those licences in Azure to license a base virtual machine for Windows Server. If you’re interested in knowing the potential savings this benefit can offer, then there’s an Azure Hybrid Benefit Savings Calculator here:

Note that it still works on Processor-based licences so if you’ve got Core licences then divide the number of licences by 16 when you input the number of existing licences with SA.

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Licensing Resources

Microsoft 365 Enterprise was renamed from Secure Productive Enterprise in August 2017. There are some helpful licensing resources: an at-a-glance document and overview/FAQ document, but most usefully a Licensing Brief where you’ll find an overview of the products in Microsoft 365 Enterprise, the types of User SL available, as well as licensing scenarios and FAQs.

Find all of these documents here:

Skype for Business Online

Some of the Skype for Business Online services are renamed: PSTN Calling is now Calling Plan, PSTN Conferencing is Audio Conferencing, Cloud PBX is Phone System, and PSTN Consumption is now Communication Credits.

This is a useful page to find out more about these services and their licensing:, and page 6 of the October 2017 Product Terms summarises the changes.

Microsoft 365 F1

Microsoft 365 is all about making it easy to license users for Windows 10, Office 365 and EMS with a single user subscription licence. There’s now a new member of the family – Microsoft 365 F1 which is aimed at “firstline” workers, the two billion people in roles that make them the first point of contact between a company and the world it serves. If these type of workers are new to you then this infographic might be interesting:

Microsoft 365 F1 gives access to Office 365 F1, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 and relevant security and management components of EMS. Find a comparison chart of Office 365 F1 and Microsoft 365 F1 at the bottom of the announcement page here:

There’s also an FAQ here: which has some useful licensing questions starting at question 17.

Office 365 ProPlus Update Channels

The new names for the Office 365 ProPlus update channels are live – with another slight change. From September 2017 these are the final names:

  • The “Current Channel” becomes the “Monthly Channel” with monthly feature updates
  • The “First Release for Deferred Channel” becomes the “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” with feature updates in March and September and each release supported for 18 months
  • The “Deferred Channel” becomes the “Semi-Annual Channel” with feature updates twice a year, 4 months after the Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) release in January and July, and each release supported for 14 months

There’s a useful blog post here: where you’ll also find recommended next steps and exact dates for the upcoming schedule of Office ProPlus releases.