Extended Security Updates

Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012 are now out of support but it’s possible to purchase Extended Security Updates licences to receive security updates for a further three years for these products. The idea of ESUs isn’t new, but what IS new is that 1-year ESUs are now available through CSP (rather than just an EA/EES) and there’s a new PAYG option for ESUs through Azure Arc. This is a great page to learn more: https://bit.ly/3QBfgnn, and to get links to further information.

Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (October 2023) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide. The main change is the removal of the Customer Voice standalone licence, although the allowance of Customer Voice responses remains for certain licences such as a Sales Enterprise User SL.

Find this updated guide here: https://bit.ly/46zq0b5.

Power Platform Licensing Guide

There’s an updated (October 2023) Power Platform Licensing Guide. The main change is clarification that a Power Automate bot is only licensed to be used in a single environment – if the same bot or process is deployed in a different environment, then an additional licence is required.

Find this updated guide here: https://bit.ly/3LMGGUH.

Grace period for Azure Reservation exchanges

Microsoft announced in October 2022 that Azure compute Reservations purchased on or after 1 January, 2024 would no longer be able to be exchanged. There is now a grace period meaning that customers have at least until 1 July, 2024 to exchange their Reservations for Azure Dedicated Host, Azure App Services, and Reserved Instances. This is a useful article with some example scenarios: https://bit.ly/3MdGC0m.

Azure Container Apps now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts

Microsoft announce that Azure Container Apps are now eligible for Azure Savings Plan discounts. Customers able to commit to a 1-year plan can expect savings of 15%, and 17% for a 3-year plan, compared to Pay-As-You-Go costs. You can find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/40oG9P3, and a reminder of how Azure Savings Plans work on our blog here: https://bit.ly/3tQVCe9.

Microsoft Viva updates

There are more changes to the Viva family. A couple of mini-suites were added to the October Product Terms – the (snazzily named) Viva Employee Communications and Communities User SL and the Viva Workplace Analytics and Employee Feedback User SL. Prices are $2 and $6 per user per month respectively, and you can see what’s included in which suite using the updated (September 2023) Viva comparison document which you can find here: https://bit.ly/493U5BM. In other news, Viva Amplify is now available worldwide (https://bit.ly/3s4YFiw), Copilot in Viva Goals is available in private preview (https://bit.ly/408VgMc), and Skills in Viva will enter into private preview by the end of 2023 and will be included in the Microsoft Viva Suite licence (https://bit.ly/49jT4Wz).

Office/Microsoft 365 EEA offerings

Late in August 2023, Microsoft announced that there would be changes to the offerings available in the European Economic Area and Switzerland to address European competition concerns – you can read that article here: https://bit.ly/3Pfx0Ty. These offerings are now live in the October 2023 Product Terms, so here’s the summary…

A customer in these regions who has not purchased Office 365 E1/E3/E5 or Microsoft 365 E3/E5 before 1 October, 2023 must now buy “EEA (no Teams)” SKUs – which, as the names suggest, don’t include Teams. If the customer does want Teams, then they need to purchase a separate Teams EEA User SL for their users. If they have purchased any of these licences before 1 October then they can add more licences and renew existing Subscriptions.

For Microsoft 365 Business Basic/Standard/Premium, customers in the affected regions will be able to choose the original offerings or new EEA flavours without Teams. The same goes for Microsoft 365 F1/F3 and Office 365 F3.

This site, aimed at partners, has information about pricing, and a useful FAQ document: https://bit.ly/3EDGHX4.

Dynamics 365 minimum purchase requirements

Microsoft adjust the Product Terms removing the option to combine Finance, Supply Chain Management, Commerce, and Project Operations licences to meet the 20 licence minimum, requiring all customers to now meet the minimum with a single product.

Check out the Product Terms here: https://bit.ly/3aAQVsy.

Auto-claiming a Power Apps licence

Microsoft announce the public preview of auto-claim for Power Apps licences. This feature enables IT administrators to set up policies that automatically assign Power Apps Premium licences to users when they launch an app that needs them.

Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3EEfjs8.