Software Assurance: August 2016 Product Terms

The Software Assurance section in the August 2016 Product Terms document is updated.

The main change is that the rules governing SA benefits for the MPSA have been moved into the Product Terms from the MPSA Licensing Manual.

Previously, Training Vouchers could not be converted to Planning Services Days within the MPSA but that restriction is now lifted (page 74), although it’s still not possible to convert 24×7 Problem Resolution Support Incidents to Premier Problem Resolution Support hours in this agreement (page 78).

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.

SA Roaming Rights

End of life for Roaming Rights!

The February 2016 Product Terms confirms that Roaming Rights are to be retired. These rights are often used to allow the primary user of a device licensed for Windows with SA to access a VDI desktop on a third party-owned device used off the customer’s premises. Page 43 confirms that customers with active SA for Windows Enterprise or VDA retain Roaming Rights until the end of their agreement or 31 January 2017 – whichever one comes later.

Mrs Lime (for those of you who know and love her) will be finding out costs for a Windows SA per User Add-on USL.

Reattaching Software Assurance in an EA

There’s new wording added to the February 2016 Product Terms that allows EA customers to reattach SA to licenses. Yes, really!

If the customer transitioned to an Online Service or purchased a From SA USL instead of renewing their SA, then they can reattach SA to a license at anniversary or renewal without purchasing a new license. They need to order SA for the remainder of the enrolment term, and of course they can’t buy SA for more licenses than they had originally.

Read the full terms on page 72 of the February 2016 Product Terms.

Windows 10 Branches and SA

What Windows Branch are you entitled to if you don’t renew the Software Assurance on Windows 10?

Page 42 of the December 2015 Product Terms confirms that customers must uninstall Windows 10 Enterprise Current Branch, but if they have perpetual rights to Windows Enterprise then they may install the Long Term Servicing Branch version that was current at the time the SA ended.

Changes to Fail-over Rights

These rights are an SA benefit for Dynamics AX Server and SQL Server allowing customers to run passive fail-over instances of the product without additional licences.

Previously, the fail-over instances had to be on a separate OSE on the licensed server or on a different server dedicated to the customer’s use.

New wording added to the December 2015 Product Terms on page 82 confirms that this right is now extended to qualifying shared servers as part of the Licence Mobility through Software Assurance benefit.

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: http://bit.ly/1fXtA1m. If you’re interested, the document now runs to 60 pages (with about 35 partners per page) – up from 49 pages last year.

Enterprise Cloud Suite FAQ

There’s a new (December 2014) Enterprise Cloud Suite FAQ document if you have access to the Partner Learning Center.

This link (http://bit.ly/1rZZovg) takes you to what appears to be recordings of the L100 to L300 training sessions but the FAQ document is there too. It’s 12 pages of licensing deliciousness and includes sections on Windows SA per User, Licensing for Enterprise Voice and Software Assurance in the context of the new Enterprise Cloud Suite.

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 (http://bit.ly/1vawjNz) 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.

Licence Mobility Verification Guide for Customers

If you’re a customer with Software Assurance and you want to assign licences to a Service Provider’s shared hardware then it’s not just a matter of making a note in your SAM database – there’s a whole process to go through. This is centred around completing the “License Verification Form” and there’s a guide for customers that explains all. This guide is recently updated – while there are no significant changes to the content you’ll know you’ve got the updated one if it’s got a (new) purple cover. http://bit.ly/1o9hNAQ.