SPLA Man took a vacation and the world turned upside down for SPLA partners! As most of you are aware, there’s been a lot of changes with hosting and more specifically how end customers deploy technology from your datacenter environment. In this post, let’s review these changes and discuss the challenges that accompany them. Have a question? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
In October, Microsoft announced a new strategy for end customers (not SPLA) to deploy workloads on shared infrastructure from a third-party datacenter environment. This includes software subscriptions, software assurance benefits, etc. There was also a change to how Listed Providers deploy workloads. The article can be found here in case you missed it. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/licensing/news/options-for-hosted-cloud
So what does all this mean? What’s the catch? There’s no catch. Microsoft made these changes in response to service providers long ago when QMTH came to fruition. Maybe there’s no catch, but there are specific things to consider.
For example, if you are an end customer, you can buy licenses from whoever you want (even Microsoft directly in some instances), but they can’t deploy it wherever they want. Your customer wants to deploy licenses they already purchased in AWS; well, they can’t for certain workloads. But guess what? They CAN in your datacenter! Think of Windows Server with Software Assurance. Your end customer wants to leverage their existing Windows licenses and not buy SPLA Windows licenses. They can deploy Windows Server with SA in your shared cloud environment but not in a Listed Provider. This is a GREAT time for service providers to help end customers with the options available. The challenge for service providers is that most are not educated on the different deployment options, nor do they know what software their customers own or how they bought them.
I think another challenge service providers face competition. Every service provider can offer the same solution as mentioned above. If you do not stay on top of your customers, someone else will. And finally, just because Microsoft allows something to happen doesn’t always mean you should license that way. Given the Windows Server example above, it might be cheaper for your customer to buy Windows Server from you rather than buy Windows Server with Software Assurance. You can offer a more affordable price for running Windows Datacenter than if they were to purchase it outright. Secondly, is it more profitable to have your end customers bring their licenses? As much as we sigh about SPLA, it is also a great revenue stream.
Maybe as this year comes to a close, we can plan for next year. If you have questions on any of this, or perhaps you want to get a good grasp on your licensing now, let’s have a discussion. Email email@example.com, and we can help.
Thanks for reading,