Azure Cost Management: February update

Azure Cost Management is a set of tools that helps customers and partners to feel in control of their spend on the Azure consumption services. Features are continually being added to this service and the February updates include new Power BI reports for EA customers, and greater visibility into the individual meter costs that make up the total cost for a resource. Find the update here: http://bit.ly/3aLFHPP.

Self-service purchase capability

14 January, 2020 is the day that Microsoft’s new self-service capability goes live for commercial customers in the US.

This functionality allows end-users to buy Power BI licences on their organisation’s tenant without going through the IT department. They pay with a credit card and get limited access to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center so that they can assign licences to other users as required. IT administrators can see any licences that have been purchased in this way through their view of the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, and can turn off users’ ability to self-serve using PowerShell if required. End users will be able to purchase licences for Power Apps and Power Automate soon, and the functionality will be available in other geographies through 2020. Find an FAQ here: http://bit.ly/2uNNQU3.

Visio Visual for Power BI available

Microsoft announce (July 2018) that Visio Visual for Power BI is generally available. This allows a user to use Visio Online and Power BI together to illustrate and compare data as both diagrams and visualisations in one place. From a licensing perspective, Office 365 subscribers can use five free trial instances of Visio Visual and after that, any user can view visuals, and users licensed with Visio Online Plan 1 or Plan 2 can edit a Visio Visual in Power BI.

Find the announcement here: http://bit.ly/2P9zTom.

Power BI Premium Generally Available

Microsoft confirm that Power BI Premium is generally available: http://bit.ly/2s9hhKN. Take a look at our earlier blog post for an overview of Power BI Premium: http://bit.ly/2qMOr4B.

Power BI Report Server is also generally available and page 32 of the June 2017 Product Terms confirms that customers with active SA on SQL Server Enterprise Core licences have rights to run Power BI Report Server.

Power BI Premium

Microsoft announce Power BI Premium, a new member of the Power BI family joining Power BI Desktop and Power BI Pro. So, what’s new? Well, today, Power BI Desktop is free and it’s aimed at personal use, while Power BI Pro costs $9.99 per user per month and enables collaboration. Under the current licensing, if an organisation has a few users who publish reports and many users who consume them, then everyone needs to be licensed with a Power BI Pro licence.

Power BI Premium will be generally available late in the second quarter of 2017 and will be licensed by capacity. This means that a Power BI Pro licence will still be required for users publishing reports, but consumers will no longer need to be licensed if their organisation is covered by Power BI Premium. And how does the capacity licensing work? Well, it’s by node and luckily there’s a calculator available to work out just how many nodes you’re likely to need based on your estimated number of Pro, frequent and occasional users. Find the calculator here: http://bit.ly/2qTdPlG.

But what’s a node?! A server? An end-user endpoint? No. Properly called capacity nodes, they’re just a way of purchasing a certain number of virtual cores, memory and bandwidth, dedicated to a customer, that will be sufficient to power the required BI system. At launch, there will be three sizes – inspiringly called P1, P2 and P3 which, for example, give access to 8, 16 and 32 virtual cores. There’s a Microsoft Power BI Premium Whitepaper which gives you some more information on this and you can find it in the “Other” section of the “Application Servers” area in our Licensing Guides emporium at: http://bit.ly/MSLicensingGuides.

But that’s not the end of the story. There’s also an option for customers who want a hybrid solution and that’s possible with the new Power BI Report Server. When you purchase Power BI Premium you can use the same number of cores that you’ve purchased in the cloud with Power BI Report Server on-premises.

Find the Power BI Premium announcement here: http://bit.ly/2pXo1wt.

Power BI Embedded Generally Available

Microsoft announce that Power BI Embedded is generally available. Be aware that this is a cousin rather than a brother of the Power BI service licensed with Power BI User Subscription Licences.

Power BI Embedded is an Azure consumption service (charged as users interact with reports) and intended for ISVs who embed dashboards in applications for third party use.

The Microsoft announcement is here: http://bit.ly/29QIRXi and this Azure pricing page has some useful FAQs: http://bit.ly/2ahlAyP.

Dynamics AX Licensing Updates

Changes to Dynamics AX licensing: the May 2016 Licensing Guide confirms that a Standard Acceptance Testing Instance is now provided for the life of the tenant, rather than just three months – see page 9.

There are also details of exactly what Power BI licences will be included with Platform Update 1: the Enterprise SL will include a Power BI Pro licence, and all SLs will include the Power BI Embedded licence which means that all users will be able to access the Power BI reports embedded within the Dynamics AX application – also page 9.

Find the updated guide here: http://bit.ly/1WSj4jt.

Additions to CRM Online Licences

Microsoft announce new ways for customers to acquire Office 365, Power BI and CRM Online.

Firstly, there will be a CRM Online Professional Add-on to Office 365 E3, E5 and Business Premium, which will cost $50 per user per month.

Then we can also expect to see a new, low-cost Employee Self-Service licence for CRM Online.

You can find the announcement, along with information on the new features of CRM 2016, here: http://bit.ly/1GTderi.

Power BI Generally Available

Power BI is generally available from 24 July 2015 with just two licences available – a light “Power BI” which is free, and “Power BI Pro” which is $9.99 per user per month and includes the full set of features.

Some useful links: the announcement (http://bit.ly/1SaTYu1), details on the plans (http://bit.ly/1tPRiGA), and a useful FAQ including licence transitions (http://bit.ly/16fXTQh).

CRM Pricing and Licensing Updates

Updates on CRM pricing and licensing: promotional pricing for buying CRM Online Professional, Office 365 E3 and PowerBI together is extended until the end of September 2015, after that CRM Online Professional will be available at a discount for Office 365 customers, and CRM Server 2015 is now certified for deployment on Azure if you have Software Assurance.

Read the full article here: bit.ly/1MlRntb.