Microsoft retires the Volume Licensing and SAM Competencies

Well, this has given us all something to talk about here at Licensing Towers!

Microsoft have announced a series of changes to their partner program and, as part of this, they are retiring a number of competencies – including those for Volume Licensing and Software Asset Management (SAM).

If you’re a current partner, wondering what this means for you and your business, Microsoft have produced an FAQ document which has some very relevant questions and can be downloaded here (http://bit.ly/1NnZi67).

Although the competencies are being retired, there are two things that Microsoft make clear:

1)      Continued Volume Licensing certification will still be a requirement for Distributor and LSP partners

2)      SAM is still very much a focus for Microsoft and they will continue to work with partners on this

A question you will most likely hear around the business over the next few days will be:

“Are the competencies still worthwhile?”

and here at Licensing School, we feel there is still definite value to renewing/attaining these competencies, for a number of reasons.

Many customers understand the effort that goes into attaining a Microsoft competency and having MCP accredited staff members will still show them your dedication, focus and expertise. Additionally, the last date a partner can be active in one of these competencies is 30 January, 2018 so there are still almost two years until they are removed from the Partner Membership Center.

There are some deadlines to be aware of:

  • Current VL and SAM partners are able to renew these competencies by their next anniversary or 30 October, 2016 whichever comes first.
  • If you are currently working towards attaining one or both of these competencies, you need to sign up by 30 July, 2016.

If you’re now slightly concerned about how you, your team and/or your colleagues can learn the material and pass the exams in the next in the next couple of months – don’t worry, our range of exam prep materials will give you the best possible chance of attaining these certifications in the timeframe Microsoft have set!

For Volume Licensing, we have a range of resources and courses including our popular exam preparation guide “Lessons in Licensing – Microsoft 74-678: Exam Preparation Guide”, which can be found here (http://bit.ly/1NnZp1x).

For SAM, we are running a Licensing School Online 70-673 Exam Prep Course on 4 May, 2016. Register here http://bit.ly/1RzX7S9T using voucher code 70-673-35B and get the promo price of £65 + VAT.

To read more, and to see other impacted competencies, head over to the Microsoft MPN Evolution page here (http://bit.ly/1S6fLy1).

September 2015 MPSA Changes

Microsoft announce that there are two big updates for the MPSA from 1st September 2015, with the addition of:

  • Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS)
  • Multi-year subscriptions for Online Services

ECS was previously only available via the Enterprise Agreement (EA) and includes Office 365 E3, the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Windows per User, as well as a number of other services– see more info here http://bit.ly/13umyz1.

The second addition enables MPSA customers to order one, two, or three-year subscriptions for certain Online Services with price protection for all incremental orders.

The Microsoft WWLP blog post is here http://bit.ly/1F9uB61