Tenant Level Services Licensing Guidance

Some Microsoft online services are tenant-level services which means that when they’re purchased for any user in a tenant they’re activated for all users in that tenant. This gives a bit of a licensing challenge because even though, as you’d expect, any user who needs to use the service needs to be licensed, some unlicensed users may technically be able to access the service without a licence. So, to help out, Microsoft have released some new documentation which covers all of the tenant-level services and for each of them details which users benefit from the service, how the users benefit from the service, how the service is provisioned, and how the service can be applied only to users in the tenant who are licensed for the service.

Find this very useful information here: http://bit.ly/30lGJN0.

CSP Subscription Billing Frequency Changes

If you’re a CSP partner then you might like to know that from 31 October, 2018 you can now change the billing frequency of a Subscription for the Online Services (Office 365 etc) from monthly to annual, and vice versa.

Find an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2T0izF0 and an updated billing article here: http://bit.ly/2FfyA77.

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.

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

August 2015 Online Services Terms document

August 2015 is the first month that the Online Services Terms document is released on a monthly schedule. There are few changes from the July 2015 document and page 3 of the document has a good summary of the amendments: Advanced Threat Protection is added, Power BI for Office 365 changes its name to Power BI Pro, and there are some slight changes to various terms, the most notable of which is the “Disclosure of Customer Data” section which describes Microsoft’s approach to third party requests for Customer Data. Get the updated document here: http://bit.ly/MSvlterms.

Online Services Suites

If you want to know what Online Services are included in which plans then this table on page 25 of the January 2015 Online Services Terms document is jolly useful.

You can see, for example, which plans include Yammer Enterprise (K1 but none of the Government offerings) or Parature Enterprise (CRM Online Enterprise). Get the document here: http://bit.ly/MSpur.