MSDN Dev/Test Offer

There’s a new offer for MSDN subscribers who want to run dev and test workloads in Azure.

Essentially you set up an MSDN Dev/Test Subscription in your EA or MPSA and then you get special rates on certain services (such as virtual machines) and the usual EA/MPSA rates on other ones. Even better, it’s all managed through the usual Azure Enterprise Portal.

Note that this is completely unrelated to the Azure credit that MSDN subscribers also get, and if a customer doesn’t have an EA/MPSA then there is a similar MSDN Dev/Test offer on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Find full details here: http://bit.ly/1VDYthQ.

March 2016 MPSA Licensing Manual

The major changes to this very useful document are the inclusion of the alternative ordering terms for both licences with Software Assurance and Online Services. How do these work? I’ve explained them below, but you can find the information on page 6 of the Manual if you’re interested in the official wording.

First of all, Software Assurance. We’re used to SA purchases aligning to the third Purchasing Account Anniversary and this has the benefit that all of your SA purchases in a single year will be due for renewal at the same time – which is nice and easy to manage of course. The alternative option now is to purchase a full 36 months of SA – which over time could potentially mean that you’ve got SA renewal payments to make every month. However, it’s an option if customers want it, and for both alternatives they can pay in full upfront, or upfront annually on the Purchasing Account Anniversary or the Order Anniversary.

And then there’s Online Services. In the beginning, these subscriptions were always aligned to the first Purchasing Account Anniversary and then renewals were for a full 12 months. Now this remains one option but you can also purchase a full 12 months at any time. If you buy more subscriptions for the same service within a Purchasing Account then it will align to the original order of the service.

But that’s not all because last year some of the Online Services were made available to be purchased for two or three years and these were always aligned to the second or third Purchasing Account Anniversaries. Again, this is still an option but you can also choose to purchase full 24 or 36 month subscriptions if that’s better for you. And the payment options? Well, it’s the same as the SA options – you can pay for the whole period upfront, or upfront annually on the Purchasing Account Anniversary or the Order Anniversary.

And that’s still not all! The other change to Online Services, which is documented in the Manual, is the introduction of short-term subscriptions. This is where you can buy anything from 1 to 11 months of a service with no alignment to a Purchasing Account Anniversary. With this option, subsequent orders of the same service DON’T have to align to the first order.

The other changes that the Manual contains are small in comparison: some customers will now be using the Microsoft Business Center (MBC) as their management portal rather than the Microsoft Volume Licensing Center (MVLC) and you’ll see that change on page 4. There are notes throughout that certain SA benefits (Planning Services, Training Vouchers, Problem Resolution Support, and Enhanced Hotfix Support) are not available for Academic Purchasing Accounts, and the final change is that the Office Multi-Language Pack is removed as an SA benefit since the rights to it are now included with the licence.

You can find this Manual in the Program Licensing Guides section in our Microsoft Licensing Guides emporium here: http://bit.ly/MSlicensingguides.

MPSA: short-term subscriptions

Microsoft announce the availability of short-term subscriptions in the MPSA from March 2016.

This new option is available for selected Online Services (E1 and EMS among them) and allows customers to subscribe for one to eleven months.

This means that they don’t have to commit to a minimum of 12 months or even align to their Purchasing Account Anniversaries, making it a good choice for short-term projects or to cover seasonal variations.

Read the full Microsoft blog post here where there’s also a complete list of the eligible Online Services: http://bit.ly/1Uq7bOt.

EA Minimum Requirements

Microsoft announce that the minimum requirements for both the subscription and perpetual flavours of the Enterprise Agreement will go from 250 users/devices to 500 from 1st July 2016.

The recommendation for smaller customers is to buy through the MPSA or CSP, but existing customers CAN renew their EA by extending it for an additional 36-month term if they want to – even after 1st July.

Read the full Microsoft blog post here: http://bit.ly/1Klwhfg

August 2015 MPSA Licensing Manual

The MPSA Licensing Manual is updated for some of the key changes that have happened recently.

This August 2015 document includes text on page 4 that confirms that there are no minimums when purchasing Azure consumption services through the MPSA, and there’s an extremely useful paragraph at the top of page 6 that details how the new multi-year duration options work.

Essentially, certain Online Services are available to order up to the second or third Purchasing Account Anniversary and subsequent orders of the same service need to align to the original multi-year order, but are eligible for best price protection too.

Get the document here: http://bit.ly/1QfuR3U.

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

MSDN Administrators’ Guide – MPSA

Organisations buying Visual Studio with MSDN through the MPSA will use a brand new portal to manage their MSDN subscriptions.

There’s a just-released Administrator’s Guide which has 24 pages of useful knowledge including admin for large teams and external contractors, how to add administrators to the portal, as well as all the day-to-day tasks of assigning subscriptions along with instructions for the Bulk Upload facilities.

Get the guide here: http://bit.ly/1fYNT2V but note that existing subscriptions are still managed through VLSC, so the VLSC Admin Guide is worth a look too: http://bit.ly/1ucJ3hm.

Latest MPSA Updates

Customers can now buy Azure consumption services through the MPSA paying for what they use quarterly in arrears, rather than making an upfront monetary commitment as EA customers do.

Later in the year, on 1st September, customers will also be able to buy the Enterprise Cloud Suite (currently only available through the EA) and to purchase certain Online Services subscriptions in one, two or three year durations – all with price protection.

Get the background in this Microsoft blog post: http://bit.ly/1V2eThL.