Software Assurance benefit changes

Microsoft announce upcoming changes to three Software Assurance benefits. Here’s the summary and key dates:

Planning Services

  • 1 February 2020: cloud services offerings will be retired
  • 1 January 2022: last day to redeem Planning Services vouchers for all offerings

Training Vouchers

  • 1 February 2020: Azure training courses will be retired
  • 1 January 2022: last day to redeem Training Vouchers for all courses

24 x 7 Problem Resolution Support

  • 1 February 2021: incident-based support will be replaced with as-needed support and credit towards Unified Support

And the reason for these changes? There’s a useful “Software Assurance changes overview” document which you can find in the “Volume Licensing Programs” section of our Licensing Guides emporium here:

In this document you’ll find that customers are encouraged to move to FastTrack for deployment services, that Microsoft Learn provides some excellent Azure training courses – although new training and certification offerings are in development, and that Microsoft’s future overall support strategy focuses on the Unified Support model.

The Software Assurance website is also updated with this news here:

New SA Benefit: Access to Exchange Online Voice Mail Service

Microsoft add a new Software Assurance benefit to the November 2018 Product Terms. Customers with active SA for Exchange Server Standard/Enterprise 2019 may use the Exchange Online Voice Mail Service to access voice messages from Outlook.

The details are on page 25, and you can download the Product Terms every month here:

Retirement of System Center Global Service Monitor

Microsoft announce the retirement of System Center Global Service Monitor. Currently an SA benefit for System Center customers, this service will retire on 7 November, 2018 and customers are recommended to move to web application monitoring capabilities powered by Azure Application Insights. Current GSM customers will be notified of the retirement, and may migrate tests and alert rules to Azure Application Insights at no cost.

Find the announcement and some FAQs here:

June 2016 EA Program Guide

There’s an updated (June 2016) Enterprise Agreement Program Guide. The major amendment is for the change in the minimum number of users/devices from 250 to 500 which came into effect on 1 July 2016. There are also other additions for some new SA benefits such as the Hybrid Use Benefit.

As usual, you can find this guide in our Licensing Guides store here:

Microsoft Hosting and CSP Newsletter

The December 2015 Hosting and Cloud Service Provider newsletter is out.

It’s got links to recent topics of interest in the hosting world: the launch of E5, licensing changes for Windows Server and System Center 2016, and the changes to Licence Mobility for SA rights which allow customers to fail-over to shared hardware.

There are also links to useful CSP resources and the next quarterly licensing webcast on 20 January, 2016.

Sign up for this free newsletter here:

Authorised Mobility Partners

Customers with Software Assurance on their server licences can opt to deploy server workloads to a third party’s shared hardware through the Licence Mobility through Software Assurance benefit. These third parties have a special name – Authorised Mobility Partners – and there’s an official list of them which you can find here, updated for January 2015: If you’re interested, the document now runs to 60 pages (with about 35 partners per page) – up from 49 pages last year.

Updates to SA Planning Services

A new SA benefit – Microsoft Dynamics Deployment Planning Services (DYDPS) – will be available from 8 December 2014.

Read the announcement here ( and get some resources if you’re a partner, or check out pages 68/69 of the December 2014 Product List for details of what’s included in this new category.

The Product List also lists many new engagements in existing categories – planning for migration to Hyper-V from VMware, or planning for an Enterprise Mobility implementation, for example.

SA Benefits: CustomerSource

CustomerSource is confirmed as an SA benefit for Dynamics customers with either active SA or an Online Subscription. And what is CustomerSource? In the words of the UK Dynamics site: “CustomerSource is a secure site that allows you to access job-tailored productivity tools including unlimited training courses and self-support resources like the knowledge base.”

That’ll be useful stuff to do with Dynamics products then. See page 76 of the November 2014 Product List.