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: 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 ( 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 ( 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.

Windows Embedded SA now includes VDA Rights

There have been recent changes in the licensing of the Windows Embedded products which bring them much closer to the licensing of “regular” Windows. One of the changes is the increase in SA benefits and if you have SA on a device running Windows 8.1 Industry Enterprise then you now get VDA rights, which means that you no longer need to purchase VDA licences for those devices to access a VDI desktop. There’s an interesting Microsoft article if you want to read more:

Overview of the Changes to the February 2014 Volume Licensing Product List

Power BI for Office 365 USLs

  • Power BI makes its long-awaited debut and it’s now available as a co-terminous subscription through all the Volume Licensing programs except poor old Select Plus which doesn’t offer any Online Services. More interestingly perhaps, a Power BI USL also gives access to SQL Server 2012 Standard and Business Intelligence editions as an alternative to a SQL 2012 CAL – see pages 36/37 of the January 2014 PUR

Office 365 Add-on USLs through Open

  • The Open Value Offer has now morphed into the Office 365 Add-ons where customers who have made an enterprise-wide commitment can add Office 365 services at a reduced price. Pages 105/106 show a very useful table where you can see the qualifying agreements (Open Value Company Wide or OVS), the Qualifying Licences (Core CAL Suite/Enterprise CAL Suite/Office Professional Plus 2013), the available Add-ons (E1, E3, Midsize Business) and the combinations thereof that are allowed

Server and Cloud Enrolment

  • You may know that customers purchasing eligible products under ECI or EAP received double points towards Planning Services and it’s confirmed on page 67 that this does NOT apply to SCE, and products will receive exactly the same points allocations as other programs

System Center Advisor

  • As of January 2013 System Center Advisor became a free service where SA was no longer required for customers wanting to use it – this is the month that it’s removed from the SA section of the Product List. See the original announcement here:

CRM Online USLs for SA

  • The USLs available for CRM Online for customers who have CRM 2013 CALs with SA aren’t new, but there’s a good table added on page 153 showing the Qualifying CALs and what USLs for SA are available

Overview of the Changes to the January 2014 Volume Licensing Product Use Rights

It’s Online Services and SA benefits that share the headlines as the key changes in the PUR this quarter. For Online Services the big news is that ALL of the use rights for these products have been moved into the Online Services Use Rights document. This is known as the OLSUR (how DO you say that?) and we’ll focus on the useful information you can find there in a later blog post.

As far as SA benefits go, let’s start with the Extended Rights that have been added to the Remote Desktop Services CAL, detailed on page 69 onwards. These new rights apply to the User CAL only and essentially allow organisations with SA on an RDS CAL to access session-based desktops running on a third party’s shared servers – either through a “Licence Mobility through Software Assurance Partner” or making use of Windows Azure Platform Services. There’s confirmation that access is still allowed to an organisation’s own servers, and a very specific note that these rights do NOT allow access to VDI desktops running on the third party’s shared servers. Customers need to complete and submit a Licence Mobility Validation form to designate their third party of choice and there are instructions for this process too.

There’s a name change for another benefit – “Cold” Disaster Recovery Rights are now just Disaster Recovery Rights on page 70. Previous wording specified that the server must be turned off except for testing, patch management and disaster recovery. Now the emphasis is on when the Disaster Recovery server (or OSE) can run – DR testing for a week every 90 days, while the production server being recovered is down, and during the transfer to the DR server.

And the final change is around some wording in the Licence Mobility through Software Assurance section on page 70 onwards. There’s black and white clarification added that if you’re using System Center on your own servers to manage OSEs running in a third party’s shared servers or running System Center there to manage your own servers, then you absolutely need active SA on your Server Management Licences.

And, just for completeness, we say our final goodbyes to the GeoSynth and Vexcel products, as well as Expression Encoder Pro 4 and Groove Server 2010, and references to Team Foundation Service are updated to Visual Studio Online.

New Version Rights with Software Assurance Explained

A useful reference article on New Version Rights on the Microsoft Volume Licensing Blog – especially perhaps if SAM is your thing. Key takeaways:

  • Use the Product List’s “Date Available” column to confirm the date needed for active SA for rights to run a particular version of the software
  • Confirmation that the latest version does not have to be deployed when SA expires for customers to retain rights to deploy it later – with perpetual licences of course.

Find the full article here: