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Category Archives: Office 365

Top 5 CSP Questions….Answered!

  1. Is the SCA addendum removed now that Microsoft announced the Qualified Multitenant Hoster addendum?  Yes.  SCA has been removed and replaced with the QMH addendum.
  2. If I have a CSP Indirect/Tier 1 authorization, can I resell Azure Stack but license Windows Server through SPLA?  Yes.  You will pay the base consumption rate because you A) Purchased the hardware through an authorized dealer and 2) paid for the Windows license through SPLA.
  3. If I am not authorized for CSP, can I still sell Office 365 to my end users?  Not in the general sense.  What you can do is resell CSP through a distributor or authorized CSP Indirect/Tier 2 partner. You can also partner with a CSP Direct partner to offer the solution.  They would resell the actual license but you can provide services on top of it.
  4. I am a SPLA partner who wants to resell Office to my end users.  What are my options?  You can sell Office through SPLA and include RDS and Windows.  You can become CSP Direct authorized and use the QMH addendum mentioned above.  You can also use end customer owned Office licenses and host it in a dedicated environment.
  5. Will Microsoft offer QMH for Indirect partners as well?  Not at this time.  You must be CSP Direct to qualify, not Indirect.

Lots more on this.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2017 in Office 365

 

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VDI Under SPLA? Maybe it’s possible after all – Multitenant Hosting Rights for Windows 10

Good news for those who have customers who want you to host Windows 10 in your shared cloud environment –  they might now have that as an option.  Microsoft recently announced “Multitenant Hosting Rights for Windows 10.  You can read the announcement here

What is it?

Allows customers who purchased qualified Windows 10 licenses the ability transfer those licenses over to a Qualified Multi-Tenant Hoster shared datacenter environment.

Why is this important?

For years SPLA partners have asked for VDI in SPLA.  Although this is not technically VDI in SPLA, is does provide an avenue to implement a virtual desktop session from your shared server environment.  At the end of the day, it gives your end customers deployment options.

Can I still license Windows Desktop in SPLA?

No.  Windows desktop licenses were removed last year.  You can read/download the lease agreement that outlines the details here

What are the requirements?

To no surprise, the SPLA partner must be CSP Tier 1 authorized.  They must also sign the Qualified Multitenant Hoster addendum and have an active SPLA with Microsoft.  To get the QMH (another Microsoft acronym) you can contact info@splalciensing.com or your Microsoft Reseller.

What happens if I offer dedicated environments?  Do I still need the addendum?

No.  If it is 100% dedicated (isolated hardware) you can always transfer end customer  licenses over to your datacenter environment.  Whenever it is shared – VM or hardware, you must consider SPLA or in this case the QMH addendum)

When is it available?

Program will be available August 1, 2017 for VL and September 6, 2017 to transact in CSP.

Can I bundle my customers Office solution they purchased as well as Windows 10 to offer a complete VDI experience?

Yes.  This is a great way to bundle different desktop applications.

Conclusion 

If you provide IaaS to your customers, this is definitely something you should consider.  Any time you can offer your customers the ability to leverage existing investments the better.  Azure is not going away.  In fact, you don’t have to be QMH authorized to leverage Azure as your datacenter provider.  Please review the announcement, there will be a lot more information on this in the coming days.  I will also write out several scenarios to make this more simple.  As always, you can email me at info@splalciensing.com

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Office 365

 

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CAL’s, SAL’s and Multiplexing. 101 Licensing for on premise and cloud environments

 

In this article, we will take a closer look at CAL’s and SAL’s…what they are and how to license them.  We will also look at the User Subscription License (USL) for Microsoft Online Services.

Client Access License 

A Client Access License (CAL) provides the right to access a server.  Depending on the environment and product licensed, a CAL can either be a user or a device.   Many resellers, consultants, and even Microsoft, make it a lot more complicated than it needs to be.  The biggest trick to CAL licensing is remembering it is just a “right” not a technical requirement to access the server.  In other words, you can spin up a server, users can access it (in most cases with or without a CAL) and away they go.  Sounds great, but it’s not compliant, and I would argue that is the #1 reason customer’s fall victim to compliance.

SQL is a great example of this.  When I go to my SharePoint site, I pull reports, store information, share information, and perform many other tasks.  What I don’t know is SQL is used in the background to provide access to this information.  Did I log into a SQL Server?  No.  Did I “use” SQL?  Yes.  This is where multiplexing come into play. Multiplexing uses hardware and/or software to pool connections.  The best way to know if a user needs a license (and I’ve said this before) is to ask yourself “If I remove this from my hosted solution would it still work the same as it did prior?” If you answer “no” you need a license.  If your SQL Server is licensed in the Server/CAL model, you’re required to have CALs for any User or Device that accesses that application directly or indirectly. Very few users in an organization have credentials to a SQL Server.  One way to eliminate some of the risk with SQL is to license by core.  Cores allow unlimited number of users to access the server.  If they use the server or not, they are covered.

SAL Licensing

Under SPLA there is a Subscriber Access License (SAL).  SAL’s are licensed by user only (there are very few exceptions such as desktop applications and System Center).  Like a client access license, a SAL license is not concurrent.  This is important, since other vendors are based on concurrent licensing.  SAL is like your cable bill, your provider is going to charge you regardless if you turn your TV on or not, SAL licensing works the same way.  I’ve written about this before but it’s worth repeating – SAL is for any person that HAS access not who does access.  Unlike CAL’s, there is no need to purchase a server license in SPLA.

Online Services

To add a bit more complexity, let’s review Microsoft Online Services.  If you license Exchange Online or an Office 365 Suite, you will purchase a User Subscription License (USL).  A USL provides a user access to the online solution.  Unlike a CAL and like a SAL (that’s a mouthful) you do not need a server license to access the solution if it’s online.  If you want to run anything on premise or in another third-party datacenter, you would require a server license.  In other words, if you have SharePoint Online, the USL license will provide on-premises rights (essentially CALs) in addition to their online rights. This allows for the ability to migrate over time and have hybrid environments without incurring additional cost.  Keep in mind, when you run hybrid, you do require a server license on premise.

Additionally, if you to purchase an online suite (Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Skype) you can run pieces of the suite on premise. For example, maybe you want to keep SharePoint on-premises but move Exchange to the cloud. An Office 365 Suite includes both online and on-premises rights for each product in the suite, which means you don’t have to pay for the E Suite and then buy Exchange CALs separately.   Just remember the server license!

Summary

It is very important to understand the licensing rules before purchasing any software.  There has and always will be a difference in the way in which technology can be deployed and the way it must be licensed.  Don’t waste money, time, and effort planning a cloud solution without considering the license impact.  I was on a call recently where a customer wanted to leverage their Windows Server with Software Assurance in a shared public cloud.  Unfortunately, Windows is not license mobility eligible.  They worked with a consultant or “expert” who told them one thing, but the rules state otherwise.  Yes, maybe they can take advantage of Windows HUB, but Azure unfortunately was not the right fit.  Pay attention to the license rules, it can save you.  Question?  Email info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2017 in Office 365, SPLA General

 

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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 info@splalicensing.com 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: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn782860(v=office.15).aspx

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.  info@splalicensing.com

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

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2016 in Office 365

 

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Is No News Bad News?

It’s the fall season here in the United States – the leaves are changing, weather is FINALLY getting cooler, and it’s time for our friends in Redmond, WA to make an update.  In this article, I will highlight some upcoming changes (or lack thereof) to SPLA.

Last week I was in San Francisco visiting with the resellers and Microsoft to discuss SPLA and other initiatives.  The good news? There are no major licensing changes.  Bad news?  There are no major licensing changes.

Why is that bad news?  Well, I was hoping Microsoft would announce Office mobility rights.  I really think this is a miss with Microsoft.  It would encourage your end customers to invest in Office with Software Assurance and offer a more complete desktop as a service solution.  Do you agree?

Here’s my take. I believe Microsoft will allow your end customers to invest in Office via Office 365.  Wow, there’s a surprise right?  But I do believe Microsoft will allow your end customer to take (1) of the (5) installs allowed under Office 365 and transfer it to your datacenter.  In doing so, you would be allowed to offer a shared infrastructure, dedicated VM (Similar to License Mobility).  This is my opinion, but something I think they would entertain.  I don’t think they will offer regular Office (outside of O365)to be transferred over in this capacity without dedicating the infrastructure.  Why?  To encourage Office 365 sales of course!  Again, just my opinion. And NO, you cannot do this today in a shared environment.

So what about Windows Desktop (Windows 10)?  Will this ever have mobility rights?  I am guessing not.  What about in Windows Azure?  Perhaps.  Going back to my point about Office, by allowing Windows 10 in Azure would encourage Azure sales.  Maybe this will happen sooner than later.  Check out this article by my friends at ZDNET  Get ready hoster’s, there might not be a licensing change, but change is definitely on the horizon.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2015 in Azure, License Mobility, Office 365

 

Office 365 and SPLA – It’s all about Office

The #1 post (by volume) on this blog site is “Office 365 Under SPLA.”  (It’s probably what brought you to this article in the first place). For those that read this blog regularly, can you guess #2?  Ok…you give up.  If you would’ve guessed  “Office Needs Mobility Rights” you would have been correct.  Can I conclude in my scientific analysis that Office is at the top of everyone’s mind in the hosting industry?

Who remember’s BPOS?  Remember that beauty?  I used to manage BPOS several years ago. BPOS consisted of Exchange Online, OCS (that’s right…OCS not Lync) and SharePoint online.  It was bundled as a package and sold to smaller companies (originally).  It was a big deal.  For “x” amount of dollars you would get a 5GB mailbox!  Google caught on, raised the bar to 10GB mailbox, than 20 and the cloud race still continues today.  Mailbox size and price was what everyone talked about.  I remember it well. Than Microsoft threw the cloud world a curve ball.  “What would happen if we offer Office as a subscription model and call it Office 365”  Things started to change pretty quickly.  Office as a subscription?  “But wait…let’s allow Office to be installed on not one device, but 5!  Now the cloud world is really spinning.”  What’s next?

Let’s don’t forget about our friend Azure.  Who could forget about him?  Azure is growing rapidly (talk about a generality but remember I am SPLA Man, not Gartner) and adding new features such as Linux VM’s, ability to purchase using your Enterprise Agreement, and the biggest news of all….ability to install a copy of Office from Office 365.  Wait! What?!!!

Let’s take a step back and look at what Office means for the SPLA community.  You want to host Office? Here’s what you need.  Windows + RDS+Office.  There you have it.

Here’s what you can’t do – Under no circumstance can you have your end customer purchase Office under Office 365 and install it in your shared cloud.  Don’t argue with me here…you can’t do it.  You are probably thinking…well, that’s ok, i will dedicate a VM.  Ahhhh….there we go again.  Dedicated a customer owned license on a VM.  What did I just describe?

Dedicate a VM +shared hardware = License Mobility.  What does not have license mobility rights?  Office.

Now back to Azure.  You might be thinking that Azure is a shared cloud. It is. How can they do it but I can’t?  Well, they developed Office and they developed Azure.  They can make up the rules to their own game.  Check out the online services terms page 22

What happens if you purchase your own Azure agreement to host your SaaS offering for your clients?  It doesn’t matter.  A hoster leveraging Azure for their offering would not be able to accept end-user Office 365 Office licenses.

So is it all doom and gloom?  Not by a long shot.  When there’s confusion, when your competitors spend more time worrying about what they can’t do instead of focusing on growing their business, consider that an opportunity. I’ve written 70+ articles on SPLA.  It’s not going away and neither are you.  I just think you (the service provider) need to get creative. Price is always an issue.  Office is an issue today, but it will be something else tomorrow.  Again, don’t focus on what you can’t do, it’s time to start thinking about what you can do.

I am going to write another article in which I provide a real world example on how I was able to save a service provider money  It’s not revolutionary, but it proves that if your not working with someone who looks at your usage report regularly and makes suggestions to reduce costs, you are missing out.  Sounds kind of like a salesman, but I think you will find the article helpful.  I can’t change the rules of SPLA, but I can make recommendations in the way you think about your business.  It’s time to reconsider our licensing strategy.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, here’s a cool glimpse into the future.

Future of Office 

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in Azure, Office 365

 

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Office…good, bad, ugly.

One of the biggest roadblocks hoster’s have is around Office.  Want to provide a integrated SharePoint solution?  Must include Office.  Have an application that reports back through Excel?  Must use Office.  Want to provide users the ability to create, edit, and view a Word document?  Must include Office.  In this article I focus on what’s happening around Office including the good, the bad, and possibly the ugly.

Let’s start with the ugly and bad.  I hate bad news, so let’s get this out of the way.  I think the ugly is Office under Office 365.  Surprise! We all know about installing on up to 5 devices and installing on RDS right/shared computer activation..right?  You can learn more about it here http://blogs.technet.com/b/uspartner_ts2team/archive/2014/09/03/office-365-shared-computer-activation.aspx

Pay attention to what is happening with Azure.  There’s a lot of changes in the way in which Office will be deployed in this environment.   More to come.

So there’s the ugly.  The bad is just the overall cost of deploying Office in a shared environment.  Office is expensive.  You not only have to report Office, but RDS and Windows as well and with currently no option for mobility, service providers have few options.  Remember, if you are providing Office remotely, your RDS licenses should match.  Last, if you think using Office Web apps is a good alternative you may have to think again.  To fully use Office Web Apps a copy of Office must also be licensed.

Here’s some good links around this topic including RDS, Azure and Office 365, as well as my own blog post “SPLA and Office 365”

Azure and RDS – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn782858(v=office.15).aspx

Overview of Azure/Office 365 from my friends at Code Magazine http://www.codemag.com/Article/1108021

SPLA and Office 365 https://splalicensing.com/category/office-365/

Now it’s time for the good.  Did you know you know you can report the Office components instead of the entire suite?  Did you know Office is a user based license which means if not all users need Office Pro, by all means do not report all users with Office Pro. SPLA Man needs Office Pro but SPLA Girl only needs the features of Office Standard, make sure to report us accordingly.  Here is a good link that compares the features within Office as well as the features of Office Pro and Office 365.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-001/buy/compare-microsoft-office-products-FX102898564.aspx

There’s a lot of information to digest in these links.  To summarize my point, you must get creative and you must pay attention to updates (especially Office 365)  Your customers will ask.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Office 365

 

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