Microsoft introduce Microsoft Defender for Business – capabilities from the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint solution optimised for businesses with up to 300 employees.
It will be available through a preview soon, and thereafter sold via a CSP partner or Microsoft’s website. Licensing wise, it will be included in the Microsoft 365 Business Premium product, or available as a standalone offering costing $3 per user per month.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/31VYmZP.
There’s an updated (November 2021) Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide with three main changes.
Firstly, the initial capacity for a Customer Insights licence now includes 10,000 B2B Accounts, and there’s a new Add-on available for an additional 10,000 B2B Accounts.
Secondly, there’s a new app for the Customer Service module called Voice Channel which is licensed via a User SL for users already licensed with a Customer Service Enterprise licence – see our blog for more details: https://bit.ly/3HUKAra.
And finally, Basic and Standard Edge Scale Unit Add-in and Overage licences are available for Supply Chain Management; this is a good place to learn about SCM Scale Units: https://bit.ly/3r4TrjI.
Find this latest Licensing Guide here: https://bit.ly/3D0adnq.
There’s an updated (2021) Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare Pricing Guide.
There aren’t major changes – just some additions to the small print on the second page but, if you like to be all up-to-date, you can find this updated Pricing Guide here: https://bit.ly/3CEfXlZ.
Microsoft announce the preview of SQL Server 2022 for early adopters, with the public preview and general availability coming in the next year.
In terms of what’s new, there are the usual improvements to performance, security and availability that you’d expect, as well as greater integration with Azure.
The three main improvements feature Disaster Recovery in the cloud through Azure SQL Managed Instance, near real-time insights on on-premises data through Azure Synapse Link, and visibility across the entire data estate though integration with Azure Purview.
There’s a useful datasheet here: https://bit.ly/30j36Ig with links at the bottom to the announcement, an overview video, and where you can apply to join the Early Adoption Program.
Microsoft announce the general availability of the Visual Studio 2022 IDE.
There are the usual three editions available: Community is a free download, and Professional and Enterprise are the ones included in the Visual Studio Standard and Cloud subscriptions.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3DgP8W2.
Microsoft announce that Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit is generally available.
This is an add-on licence with a variety of qualifying licences required, dependent on which nonprofit scenarios are important to you in areas such as fundraising, and volunteer engagement and management.
It’s a tenant-wide licence available through the EA, CSP and Web Direct, and there’s a Basic plan which is free, and a Standard Plan 1 (for less than 250 employees) at $750 per month and a Plan 2 for more than 250 employees at $2,000.
The different qualifying licences and the scenarios they light up are detailed in a pricing datasheet which you can find here: https://bit.ly/30JcMMW, and the availability announcement with some useful links, including one to a webinar on 7 December, 2021 is here: https://bit.ly/30DRWOP.
Microsoft announce the general availability of the next on-premises version of SharePoint Server – the Subscription Edition.
Customers with active SA are entitled to use this edition and will need to maintain the SA to keep using it; if the SA lapses then the customer retains rights to SharePoint Server 2019.
There’s no change to the Server/CAL licensing model or pricing, or existing CAL equivalence rights, but note that there is no longer the option to purchase just a licence for this product.
Project Server Subscription Edition is a part of the SharePoint Server Subscription Edition installation and thus also available.
Find the announcement article here: https://bit.ly/3qCdRAo.
Microsoft announce the availability of Dynamics 365 Voice Channel, an additional app for the Customer Service module, helping organisations to offer a continuous, personalised customer experience across all communication channels.
AI plays a big part with AI-based routing of calls to the best skilled agent, automatic transcription and translation of calls for agents, as well as live customer sentiment analysis.
Power Virtual Agent also has a role as a chatbot, or as an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system allowing customers to select menu choices through the telephone keyboard or their voice response.
From a licensing perspective, it’s licensed via a User SL for users already licensed with a Customer Service Enterprise licence. Alternatively, customers also needing the Digital Messaging app can now buy a combined Digital Messaging and Voice Channel User SL. Voice Channel relies on Intelligent Voicebot Minutes and Call Intelligence Minutes and initial capacity is included in the Voice Channel licences, as well as being available as additional capacity.
Find the announcement here: https://bit.ly/3HGbGlN.
The Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server can be used with Azure resources such as SQL Databases or Managed Instances, or SQL Server running in a virtual machine. This means that customers can bring their own licences with SA (or Server Subscriptions acquired through CSP) to pay for the SQL Server part of the resources. Historically, the Azure Hybrid Benefit has always been activated at the resource level, but a new option means that customers can now manage it for a single Azure Subscription or for a whole Billing Account.
This new feature is enabled in the Azure Management Portal where you specify the number of eligible SQL Server licences you have which are then converted to Normalized Core Licenses (NCLs). Because SQL Server Enterprise and Standard Core licences can be combined in Azure in the ratio of 4:1, this NCL number calculates (in effect) the total number of Standard Core licences you have available. So, 8 Enterprise and 16 Standard Core licences = 8 x 4 + 16 = 48 NCLs. These NCLs are then automatically allocated to SQL resources running in the chosen scope, rather than the Azure Hybrid Benefit having to be manually activated by a human on each resource.
Scope-level management of the Azure Hybrid Benefit can be used with SQL Databases, SQL Managed Instances, SQL Elastic Pools or SQL Server running in an Azure VM, but only resource-level management is available for Azure Dedicated Hosts and Azure Data Factory SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS). Note too that it’s not an option currently available for Web Direct or CSP customers, only those buying through an Enterprise Agreement or direct from Microsoft via the Microsoft Customer Agreement.
Find tutorials, how-go guides and an FAQ at the docs site here: https://bit.ly/3n2IfAO.
There’s a change to the status of Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise when it’s purchased through an Enterprise Agreement. It’s now designated as an Enterprise Online Service which means that it doesn’t need to be purchased enterprise-wide and 500 licences can be acquired to start an Enterprise Online Services-only enrolment.
Find the relevant page of the Product Terms site here: https://bit.ly/3ABfP5K.