Comprehensive software reviews to make better IT decisions
Microsoft Is Reducing Software Assurance Benefits Again
Microsoft is retiring some of the key and most valuable benefits of its Software Assurance Benefit (SAB) program. These soon-to-be-retired benefits will include Deployment Planning Services, Training Vouchers, and 24x7 Problem Resolution Support.
These often-used benefits have measurable value when considering the extra cost of adding Software Assurance (SA) to a license; particularly for Enterprise Agreements where it’s included in the program and positioned by Microsoft as value towards ROI.
Deployment Planning Services are vouchers valued at about US$1,000 and redeemed towards partner consulting and planning services for many products. These will be transitioned to the Fast Track Program. Training Vouchers also valued at US$300 could be redeemed for Instructor Lead or Online infrastructure Training Courses for IT Professionals. 24x7 Problem Resolution Support incidents are valuable to IT departments for resolving critical issues instead of using a credit card and paying for periodic support.
Source: ROI Calculator for SAB, Blueprint Published FY2017
Deployment Planning Services
- February 1, 2020, cloud services offerings will be retired.
- January 1, 2022, last day to redeem Planning Services vouchers for all offerings.
- February 1, 2020, Azure training courses will be retired.
- January 1, 2022, last day to redeem Training Vouchers for all courses.
24x7 Problem Resolution Support
- February 1, 2021, incident-based support will be replaced with as-needed support and credit towards Unified Support.
- Make sure you review your SAB entitlements with Microsoft or request a SAB Report from your licensing provider.
- Learn how to create, assign and redeem Vouchers in the VLSC portal.
- Make sure all SAB vouchers are created and redeemed prior to retirement dates.
- Review your Technical Support history and future requirements, to plan for transition to the new Unified Support program.
With these announced changes, Microsoft continues to erode the value of Software Assurance and the value contained within the enterprise licensing programs. This started with the cloud transitions to O365 where no SA is provided, as was traditional with Office Pro, and will likely continue into the future as Microsoft looks to reduce the value of on-premises deployments and migrate more users to the cloud. Take a hard look at the value of an EA when purchasing Online Services and the declining value-add services that were known as Software Assurance Benefits.
Want to Know More?
Complete details of the changes at Microsoft Software Assurance by Benefit
COVID-19 has forced software companies and their suppliers to refocus efforts around prioritizing systems and workflows that are nearly 100% digital in nature. As a result, Info-Tech has observed the quick emergence of six market themes that are highly relevant after COVID-19. This note series will profile key vendors and how they fit into the post-COVID-19 world.
Oracle has announced the general availability of Exadata Cloud@Customer, a managed service that enables enterprises to unlock the previously cloud-first features of Oracle's Autonomous Database for on-premises data centers. This offering is ideal for enterprises that must conform with regulatory and/or technical challenges that force on-premises database residency.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.