September 2014 sees Microsoft introduce a new Volume Licensing exam for the first time in over 5 years. Exam 74-678 is aimed at licensing professionals who sell licensing solutions to large organisations, and replaces exam 70-672. The sister exam (70-671 – for SMB organisations) doesn’t look like it’s being refreshed at this point.
The official exam page is here: http://bit.ly/1vWByya but what can you expect from this brand new exam? As before, you need knowledge in four key areas so let’s take a look at those.
The first area is the products and their licensing which, we’re told, will account for between 30 and 35% of the questions in the exam. One of the discussion points in the past was actually what versions of the products you needed to know about. Here we see quite a comprehensive list of products with their specific versions. Hurrah! It seems bang up to date including, for example, Windows 8.1, and has all the products you’d expect (Windows Server and System Center 2012 R2, SQL Server 2014, Lync, Exchange and SharePoint 2013, Office 2013) – except perhaps Dynamics CRM 2013 which is tagged on the end of the list. There’s also a much higher emphasis on the Online Services products and you’re going to have to know about Office 365, Intune, CRM Online, as well as Microsoft Azure. There’s also a list of the documentation you need to know about – the PUR and the Product List for example.
Then there’s a section on the licensing programs – again 30 to 35% of questions – where you’ll need to recommend the right licensing program for a customer based on some criteria which are given. Select Plus and EAs are listed, as is the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). Interesting! It doesn’t specifically call out the Server and Cloud Enrolment but given that the wording before the lists throughout is “include but not limited to” I think we can assume it’s in, given its importance to Microsoft. As usual, you’re also going to need to know the specific benefits of Volume Licensing over OEM or FPP licences.
Next up is a section on Software Assurance benefits where we can expect 15 to 20% of questions to be focussed. There are some benefits called out – Licence Mobility for example – but again, I think you should assume that you need a knowledge of what each benefit is, and how it meets customer needs, as you did before.
Finally, a section that’s always included the things that I personally find least interesting like licence activation, and SA benefit activation, and you can expect 10 to 15% of questions to cover these areas.
Our website will soon go live with the resources that we’re producing to help you study for, and pass, this exam. Exciting times!