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Tag Archives: CSP Indirect

New CSP Direct Requirements Coming January!


As if 2020 wasn’t hard enough for service providers and MSPs, Microsoft is making new eligibility requirements for CSP Direct partners starting January, 2021. This was announced to all partners earlier this week.

What are the new eligibility requirements?

New revenue target of 300K (USD) in CSP sales during the preceding twelve months is one of the major changes. CSP partners will need to meet this new requirement at the anniversary date of their support plan. In other words, if you have a support plan coming up for renewal soon and do not meet this requirement, you must put on your selling shoes and get to work or look at other alternatives. Active support plan (Premiere Support as an example) is also another requirement.

I think it is important to understand your options. If you don’t meet the requirements you must move to the CSP Indirect program. If you are close to hitting your 300k in sales, start looking at CSP perpetual licenses as a new revenue stream. Open licensing is going away, maybe perpetual licenses could be an option?

If you are CSP Direct authorized for the QMTH program only, this change will be significant. As part of QMTH, you must be CSP Direct authorized.

If you have questions on how this change will impact you, please email info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading,

CSP Man

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Can I use CSP for Windows Server and not SPLA?

No.  How about that for a short answer?

We have been asked multiple times on this topic. It is not impossible, but not really viable either. Let me explain.

If you are CSP Direct authorized (or CSP Reseller), you could resell your end customer Windows and/or SQL Server subscriptions through CSP and host it in a dedicated infrastructure. I do not think it is really worth the time and effort just to host Windows and SQL. The cost in licensing is not that substantial from SPLA. If Microsoft allowed a service provider to host it on shared infrastructure than that would be a different story. You cannot purchase Windows through CSP and host it. Remember, Server Subscriptions for on premise deployments follow the Product Terms, which of course prohibits hosting.
If you are an ISV and want to host your application from your own datacenter, I would consider CSP Servers. Under the current Product Terms, Microsoft will allow Self-Hosted rights. I think this reduces your compliance risk since SPLA is tricky to license to begin with.

Isn’t licensing fun? We provide consulting services around these offerings. If you have questions, feel free to email us at info@splalicensing.com

Thanks for reading.

SPLA Man

 

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Licensing CSP On Premise Products

Recently, Microsoft announced a new offering for CSP Indirect providers who are also Microsoft Authorized Distributors for the Open License program.  In January 2021 (If he world is still around)  Microsoft will extend this to both CSP Direct bill partners, indirect providers, and indirect resellers.

The breakdown:

  1. It’s a perpetual license. Unlike other solutions through CSP, this is not a subscription.  It requires a single, upfront payment.
  2. No volume discounts.  There’s no minimum requirement and to no one’s surprise, no maximum either.
  3. Software Assurance (SA) is not available.  One key element, no SA benefits are included either such a license mobility.   With SPLA as an example, SA was not included but part of the program benefit was pay as you go.  CSP for on-premise, there is no such benefit.
  4. The use rights are outlined in the Product Terms, not the SPUR or Online Services Terms.

Available Products

  • Windows Desktop and Servers
    • Windows 10 Pro
    • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC Upgrade
    • Windows STD and DC core licenses
    • Windows CALs and External Connector
    • RDS CALS and External Connector
    • RMS CALs and External Connector
  • SQL
    • Standard Server licenses and CALs
    • Standard and Enterprise Core licenses
  • Productivity Servers
    • Exchange Server and STD/Ent CALs
    • SharePoint Server and STD/Ent CALs
    • Skype for Business – Server and STD/ENT Plus CALs
    • Project Server 2019 Server and CALs
  • Office
    • Standard 2019 and Pro Plus 2019
    • Mac STD 2019
  • Project and Visio
    • Standard and Professional 2019
    • Visio Standard and Professional 2019

Deployment Options * See last paragraph for additional information

  • Physical or virtual environments
  • 90 days License reassignment

Upgrade Rights

  • No upgrade rights
  • Any prior version can be licensed.

Accessing Software Keys

Microsoft 365 Admin Center –  Like other CSP licenses, everything is deployed through the admin portal.  The current version and two previous versions are available.  If the customer has media from earlier versions, they can legally license it with their CSP on premise license.

If you are a SPLA Provider, you cannot license CSP on-premise and host.  The CSP for on-premise follows the Product Terms not the SPUR.   Secondly, you cannot have your end customers buy CSP for on-premise and host it on your shared infrastructure.  Last, because there’s no SA with these licenses, you cannot self-host (for ISVs) using this solution.   An alternative, would be to use Windows and SQL Server Subscriptions and host in Azure.

Confused yet?  Email info@splalicensing.com to learn more.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 

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Top 5 Licensing Questions….Answered

You have questions…We have answers.  Another month, and another list of licensing questions asked by the hosting community.

  1. I have a small hosting company that runs primarily Linux machines with a few Windows VM’s mixed in.  The only thing we do customer facing with Windows systems is a small number of users access our application via a published app over RDP Web.  Do I need SPLA?

Yes.  You have Windows running in your cloud environment.  It does not matter how small or large the environment is.  One thing you might want to check out is the Cloud Platform Suite.  You must run Hyper-V and System Center but it could lower your costs. 

  1. I get CSP from one reseller and SPLA from another.  Do I qualify for the new QMTH addendum or do I need to get it all from one source?  Totally confused.

In QMTH, you are the CSP partner, not someone else.  I am guessing you are using the CSP reseller to go indirect.  If that is the case, you must become CSP Direct authorized.  Purchasing CSP from a third-party does not qualify you for QMH.  That being said, your customer can purchase CSP from any organization and you can host it for them (if you are QMH authorized).

  1. The audit bug got me. I think it’s because my reseller refuses to submit my usage report even though I sent it to them several times.  Any advice?

Microsoft can audit any partner they choose.  There’s not one factor that triggers an audit.  More eyes will be watching if you are continually delinquent on your monthly report.  The biggest reason why a reseller does not submit a usage report is because the provider is delinquent on their payments. Are you up to date? All payments paid to the reseller?

  1. Can I rent a PC using the QMTH addendum? I know in the past I could rent a Windows desktop license in SPLA.  Can I do it now?

I think it makes sense to do so but unfortunately it is not part of the addendum.  I would love feedback here.  Section C of the QMTH addendum states” “This Amendment does not authorize Customer to resell, distribute, or otherwise provide End User or CSP Licensees direct access to Windows 10 Software” In order to lease a PC to a third-party you need to follow the Microsoft Leasing Agreement. 

  1. I report Office, Exchange, SharePoint and Skype. I heard rumors of a price increase coming in the pipeline from various resellers that I reached out to.  Any truth?

Let me put it to you this way – The products you just mentioned happen to be part of Office 365.  I don’t foresee Microsoft lowering pricing in SPLA for the same products offered by Microsoft.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

PS – What was the SPLA partner’s response to my answer for question 5?  “That’s BS Mate!”  My response?  “Don’t shoot the messenger.”  Have a question?  Email info@splalicensing.com

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2017 in Top 5 Licensing Questions

 

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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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