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Licensing Options to Meet the ESU (End Security Update) Deadline.

Holidays are right around the corner, chill in the air, and a looming end of security update for Windows 7 and Windows 2008 is right around the corner.  What is a MSP going to do?  Luckily for you, there’s SPLA Man, or MSP Man, or CSP Man (whatever acronym Microsoft calls me these days), any of which can provide you options.  In this article, we’ll review these options and how each one can fit into your business.

Windows Server 2008

If you are hosting software under SPLA, the good news is you already have access to the latest version as part of your agreement.   If you are not licensing SPLA and want to provide Windows Servers to your clients, you have a couple options:

  1. Under the Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP) you can license Windows Servers through your indirect provider or through your own authorization.  This will allow you access to the latest version, pay annually for the subscription, and allow you to install the software on your customers datacenter or in Azure.  You will not be allowed to host Windows Server subscription licenses in CSP and host it from your datacenter.  Whenever you install CSP Server Subscriptions on premise, it follows the Product Terms (which prohibits hosting).  This also means you must buy CALs if installed on premise as well.  CALs are available through CSP or through the end customers volume licensing agreement.
  2.  You can have your end customers buy the new version of Windows Server licenses through their own volume licensing agreement.  Under this model, you (as a service provider) would need to isolate the hardware for that customer (dedicated hardware).  CALs would also be required.  You cannot have the end customer buy the licenses and host it in AWS or other “Listed Provider” as mentioned in the Product Terms.  Microsoft prohibits anything outside of license mobility to be installed on shared servers from a Listed Provider.
  3. You can have the end customer buy ESU through their own volume licensing agreement (I believe only the Enterprise Agreement qualifies).  This is a fairly expensive option.

Windows 7

Many organizations must upgrade their PCs and end devices running Windows 7 to a newer version.  Here are the 3 options available.

  1. Windows 10 through CSP.  You receive the latest version rights which will allow the end customer to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  Couple things to keep in mind: 1) Windows 7 Pro can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro included with the subscription.  2) Windows 7 Home can upgrade to Windows 10 Home (Home only).  CSP is a channel program that allows a service provider to buy licenses from an authorized CSP provider and resell it to their end users.  (Same process as SPLA in essence).
  2. Buy ESU.  Similar to servers, ESU is available through the Enterprise Agreement.  (Should be avaialble through CSP in December).  This is only a viable option if the end customer does not have plans to upgrade to a newer version.
  3. Buy Windows 10 through a Volume Licensing agreement.  There is a rental addendum through VL that allows an organization to rent PCs to end users.  More details can be found here

The good news is there are options.  The bad news is time is running out.  If you have any questions, please let us know info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2019 in DaaS, Uncategorized

 

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The “Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement Review”

Did you receive an email about an “internal self-assessment”?  Is this an audit?

I wouldn’t say this is an audit, but it is something you should seek advice.  Microsoft does have the right to verify usage reporting.  compliance, and enforce all underreported licenses are paid for (at a premium)  Sounds exciting, right?

Good news is this is a self-assessment.  You know what is being delivered, how it is being accessed, and when the servers and/or users were deployed.  This information is critical to understanding your datacenter environment and how you should be reporting.

Why I think you should seek advice is to be informed.  The last thing you want to happen is to have this self-assessment turn into a full audit.  Make sure to understand your reporting, your risks, and be comfortable with the data presented.   Assessments are not always bad, on one hand it can provide you with an overview of what is installed and how you should be properly billing your end users.  On the other, don’t let this lead to a full audit.

We do have a team that can assist with expertise in understanding SPLA environments, assessments, and audit processes.  Let’s eliminate risk before it becomes a risk.  Please email info@splalicensing.com to learn more.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

New Licensing Terms for Dedicated Hosts

Microsoft announced yesterday changes to their licensing terms for dedicated hosted cloud services.  You can read about the article here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/updated-licensing-rights-for-dedicated-cloud

In summary, starting October 1, 2019, licenses purchased with an on-premise agreement (Volume Licensing that did not include Software Assurance)  cannot be deployed with a dedicated host from a “Listed Provider”.  Listed Provider includes Microsoft, Alibaba, AWS, and Google.  Windows Server, (purchased with SA or not) does not have mobility rights.  Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is still available which is probably the main reason for this change.  A customer who purchased Windows Datacenter license without SA could have deployed an AWS dedicated host and still have unlimited virtualization rights.  Azure HUB did not provide the same benefit.  Fast forward to October 1, 2019 and an end customer cannot have the same benefit of running unlimited VMs on a dedicated host if deployed through a Listed Provider datacenter.   Also consider MSDN, Windows 10, and Office.  None of which has mobility rights.  This makes the QMTH addendum that much more important.

Here’s the good news, it does not apply to other providers (yet).  If you are a SPLA partner not included on this list, educate your customers on their different deployment options.  There is a FAQ guide posted on the above link.  If you have questions, please email info@splalicensing.com.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

New SPLA Updates

As we approach Microsoft Inspire, I thought I would share some information on what you can expect for the upcoming 2020 MS Fiscal Year.

QMTH – Nothing new to report here.  You still will need to be CSP Direct authorized to obtain this offering.   What is unclear is if Microsoft will ever allow QMTH for CSP Indirect Resellers.  I doubt it and if it ever is it won’t be any time soon.

SPLA Reporting

Microsoft and the reseller channel will be more strict in regard to on-time reporting.  As part of the SPLA agreement, you must report no later than the 10th of the month.  I expect more compliance eyes will be on those that continue to report late.

To learn more, visit our sister site www.mscloudlicensing.com

Thanks!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

SPLA Audit Support Services

SPLA audits are continuing to rise.  There are various reasons behind audits but ultimately it is part of your SPLA agreement.

If you are faced with an audit, it is important not to go through it alone.  Your plan should include ways to reduce your risk before it becomes a risk.  Our licensing experts have the ability to review your data, understand the risk, and put together a strategy to reduce exposure.

If you are going through an audit currently or want to reduce your SPLA reporting, please reach out to us to discuss our strategy.  You can email info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading!

SPLA Man

 

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

SPLA Audit Support

SPLA audits are continuing to rise.  There are various reasons behind audits but ultimately it is part of your SPLA agreement.

If you are faced with an audit, it is important not to go through it alone.  Your plan should include ways to reduce your risk before it becomes a risk.  Our licensing experts have the ability to review your data, understand the risk, and put together a strategy to reduce exposure.

Additionally, Microsoft recently announced SPLA price increases for January 2019.  This means you can report your SPLA usage reporting no later than the 10th of January and still receive 2018 pricing.  It is very important to do so to avoid a month of increases.  Secondly, there are ways to optimize what you are currently reporting to reduce costs.

If you are going through an audit currently or want to reduce your SPLA reporting, please reach out to us to discuss our strategy.  You can email info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading!

SPLA Man

 

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Maximize Your Microsoft Agreement

Our team is launching a new services solution to help hosting companies maximize their hosting agreements with Microsoft.  This new service includes ways to reduce licensing, be compliant, and understand your risks before or during an audit.  Specifically this workshop includes:

  • Detailed analysis of your Microsoft Agreement(s)
  • Audit Support – Understand your risks before it becomes a risk.  We will coach and educate you throughout the entire engagement (even if it is zero hour) to reduce settlement costs.
  • Understand SPLA pricing to ensure you are getting the most value from your agreement.  Microsoft recently announced a SPLA price increase in January.  We need to review optimization strategies and hidden agreement language that can help reduce reporting.
  • Microsoft cloud strategy – what are ways you can purchase and manage Office 365 and Azure or leverage other third-party providers such as AWS.

To learn more, please email info@splalicensing.com  Whether you are going through an audit, want to reduce your spend, or understand licensing, we can help.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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