Monthly Archives: January 2016

Office Under Office 365 and Shared Environments…Can we do it or not?

There’s a rumor that Microsoft will allow a service provider the ability to host Office licenses under Office 365 in a shared cloud environment.  Is the rumor true?  Yes, it’s true.  But with everything in the world of licensing there’s always a catch.

For those that have read my blog for a while know that this blog is not a news source, but an education source.  I don’t care about late breaking news, I just want you to get the licensing right, the information right, and be profitable.

So what does Office under Office 365 really mean?  Some time ago, Microsoft created a use right titled “Shared Computer Activation”  For those playing at home this is code for installing end user Office license from O365 in a shared cloud infrastructure similar to license mobility.  In the past, this was only available in Azure.  (imagine that).  Fast forward to today and Microsoft is opening it up to the service provider channel as well.  Good news for you, and even better news for Microsoft.  If you would like to use this use right (SCA) you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be authorized for  Cloud Solution Provider Program (CSP Tier 1).  Thats why it’s good news for Microsoft.
  2. You must be managed by a Microsoft hosting team member.
  3. You must be an authorized SCA partner.  (Licensing Addendum)

If you don’t know if you are managed, let me know – I can see if you are.  Typically this is for SPLA partners that report not only high SPLA revenue (although not necessarily), but are also strategic in marketing activities with Microsoft.  If you are international, let me know and we can look into getting US authorized as well.  You can email me at to learn more.  I also have a cool powerpoint.  (well, about as cool as powerpoint’s can go).  Although a bit out dated, here is a good overview as well on SCA:

Last, I sit on a licensing panel and would love to review the different use cases for this program.  Let me know how you may/may not benefit from Shared Computer Activation and we can voice our collective opinion to Microsoft.

There’s also a big change for rental PC’s.  Little teaser for an upcoming blog post.

Thanks for reading,










Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Office 365


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Breaking up is hard to do…

Here’s a little story about a SPLA Provider (the hoster) who emailed me several times complaining about his reseller.  He just received an audit notification, he’s concerned about inadequate licensing guidance, he over reported on licenses because no one he talked to could help him, and last but certainly not least, he’s scared because of the possibility of underreporting SQL.  This is based off the information his reseller provided to him. He found my blog helpful but when I asked, “why are you still with your reseller?”  He told me he likes to be invoiced from one source, he’s been with them for a long time, and he doesn’t want to complicate things.

Now I am not a math wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but if added everything he pays in Microsoft licensing alone, it would be well over one million US dollars.  When I did a quick analysis of his usage reporting, I found he was reporting Windows Standard by VM instead of by physical processor.  So he was under reporting  his Windows licenses.  He was also reporting his SQL environment by core (yay!) but he was reporting all physical cores and virtual cores in the environment with SQL Enterprise.  He was virtualized but wasn’t taking advantage of the use right called “license mobility within server farms.” Last, SQL Enterprise has unlimited virtualization rights as long as all physical cores are licensed.

In conclusion, his reseller told him he was under reporting SQL, when he was actually over reporting SQL.  So what did he do?  He paid his bill and continued with his reseller. It was too much of a hassle to move.  (it’s just a one page document).  He couldn’t utter the words “it’s not you…it’s me” and switch resellers.

Moral of the story?  Don’t report out of convenience, report what you owe but not a dime over.  It pays to work with someone who knows the program.

Thanks for reading



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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Uncategorized


Windows 2016 – What you need to know…NOW

Happy New Year!  I thought I would write about some upcoming changes to SPLA that could drastically effect your costs.  Get your readers on and be sure to bookmark this one!  In this post I will highlight the What – How – When – but also what you can do to proactively to benefit from this change.

Windows 2016

What?  Two versions – Windows Standard and Windows Datacenter.

How?  You mean how it’s licensed?  By core.   It’s licensed by physical core and requires a minimum of 8 cores (not 4 as with SQL) per processor.

When?  My guess will be August/September timeframe.

So now that we have that out of the way, let’s review what it means for you and your business.  Early indications say that 1 core would cost roughly 1/4 of the cost of a single processor license.  There is a minimum of 8 cores that must be licensed, so there is a bit of math involved. If you can calculate the number of cores per processor it would help me calculate what your total new SPLA report would look like.

Other factors in determining your costs would be virtualization.  As with older versions, Datacenter will allow for unlimited VMs.  Are you for certain going to be migrating to Windows 2016 in the near future or are you slowly migrating to newer versions?

If you are NOT going to migrate to Windows 2016 right away and/or not going to migrate ALL your servers at once to Windows 2016, please  contact me at  There’s a reason for this and I have a few tricks up my sleeve that could really help reduce your costs.

I love licensing.  What I do best is find loopholes.  And I certainly found one here.

Thanks for reading,



Posted by on January 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

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