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Category Archives: Office 365

Licensing Office Online for External Users

What happens if you have end customers who want to use Office Online for external users (non-employees of your organization).  Is that SPLA?  In this article, we will break down Office Online through three programs – SPLA, Volume Licensing, and CSP.

SPLA

If you are hosting Office for another organization SPLA definitely fits.  As an example, if you provide DaaS to your customers who are also licensed for Office, they can access Office Online.  In this model, you license SharePoint (requirement for Office Online) Office by user, RDS per user, and Windows + SQL Server.   Very expensive to simply offer a customer the ability to view and edit documents online.

Volume Licensing and Office 365

Office Online was added as a Software Assurance benefit for Office in 2016.  End customer’s who simply want to view documents can download it directly from the Volume Licensing Services Center (VLSC).  End customers that require document creation, edit/save functionality will be required to have an on-premises Office license with Software Assurance or an Office 365 ProPlus subscription. Any customer that purchased an Office 2016 suite through Volume Licensing before August 1, 2016 will not require SA through August 1, 2019.   After August 1, 2019 they must buy SA for any on-premise Office licenses.

According to the Product Terms (May 2016) “If Customer has a License for Office 365 Pro Plus, then Customer may use Office Online services.  Each of Customer’s Licensed Users of Office 365 Pro Plus may access Office Online services for viewing and editing documents, as long as they are also licensed for SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business.”  It’s the last sentence that stings.  In other words, you want Office Online?  Better buy Office 365 E3.

Office Online for CSP

The same rules apply.  In this scenario, the hosting company could sell Office 365 E3 through CSP program to their end users.  In CSP, the end customer is paying month – month and paying for support.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Office 365

 

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Details of the Qualified Multitenant Addendum

There’s been a lot of talk as of late about the new QMTH addendum.  I’ve written a couple of articles on the topic here  In this article, we will summarize what is written in the addendum so there’s no surprises.  I listed some (not all) of terms and conditions to ensure you are up to speed on the latest developments.

  • CSP Membership – You (or affiliates) must be a Direct CSP partner.  This means you cannot leverage an Indirect CSP partner for this program.  In other words, if you receive CSP licensing from Ingram Micro or SherWeb (as an example) your partnership with those distributors/partner does not qualify for QMTH.  Your organization must be CSP Direct authorized, not your partner.
  • Must meet the system requirements – System Requirements can be found here
  • Have an active SPLA agreement.
  • Reporting Requirements – You will always need to report underlying licenses in SPLA.  Those underlying licenses could be any software to deploy a VDI solution – (Windows Server and RDS).   In addition, you must report (by the last calendar day of each month) the Windows 10/O365 licenses deployed.  This is manual, meaning you will send an email to the QMTH alias for submission.  Once automated reporting is available, you must enable Microsoft’s automated reporting tool.  Microsoft will use the tool to collect your customer’s organization ID and tenant ID as well as the total number of users accessing the software.
  • As the provider, you must report to your SPLA Reseller the program administrative fee.  If you are currently in the SCA program, you will be familiar with this SKU.
  • As the provider, you must make all education materials publicly available.  You cannot just sign up for CSP, the education material should be like what’s on the QMH website.
  • For each per user subscription to Windows 10 Enterprise, the end-user can only access up to four (4) instances of Windows 10 either on Azure or you, the QMTH hoster.  This is like the SCA program in which the end user has five (5) instances of Office Pro Plus, Windows 10 works the same way.

Listed above is a summary.  I encourage you to reach out to your Microsoft rep for additional information.  I am happy to review it further, it’s a new program with pluses and minuses.  Be sure to understand the minuses first 🙂

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Office 365

 

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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 

We also created a new website called MSCloudlicensing to help SPLA and CSP partners understand the different program options and use rights available to them. The new website is www.mscloudlicensing.com it’s designed to be a collaborative platform that includes a forum to ask and answer licensing questions, document library, and licensing articles.  Check it out, it’s free.

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@splalicensing.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 QMTH 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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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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