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The Cloud Insider News – Dynamics CRM

We read article after article, use rights after use rights, to provide you the best and accurate information.  Now it’s your turn.  The Cloud Insider News takes articles written by you to tell your story and help educate the community.  In this edition, we take a look at CRM.  Have a hot topic? Email info@splalicensing.com

The Register Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

XRMCRM Online FAQ

Omnivue.net (white paper) – Is Your Business Ready for ERP?

SaaSPlaza – What’s all the hype about Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Wealthmanagement.com/Tamarac – Five Ways a Client Portal Can Transform Your Practice

WatServ – Dynamics 365 Pricing Plans and Migration Discount Announced at Dynamics 365 Tech Conference.

Channele2eMicrosoft Preps Partners for Dynamics 365, LinkedIN Integration

Cisco – Cisco Unified CallConnector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Caltech Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition Customer Service

Tribridge Is it Time to Check the Vital Signs of Your Microsoft Dynamics CRM System?

Computer WorldAdobe continues to march to the cloud

IpipelineCustomer Centricity – Do you “CRM?”

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
 

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Worried about Windows 2016 Cores?

Yes, it’s the talk of the town.  “Windows 2016!  Oh my!  It’s moving to cores!!!”  That part is true.  What is NOT true is even when Windows 2016 is released, it doesn’t mean you have to license by core – you can still license by processor for all 2012 and earlier editions.  The catch?  Once your agreement expires and you sign a new SPLA after October 1st (when Windows 2016 is released) you must license by core regardless which version you are running.

So what does this mean to you?  If I was a service provider that reports over 2k in Windows and SQL licenses,  I might readjust when my SPLA expires to extend processor based licensing.   Wait…What?   You can readjust when my SPLA agreement expires?  Sure.  I’m SPLA Man.  Anything is possible with SPLA Man.

Thanks for reading,

Windows 2016 Man

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Windows 2016

 

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How to License Exchange

In my years of managing the SPLA program, I came to the conclusion that no one likes to babysit an Exchange server.  Organizations do not have the resources or the time to constantly monitor a server, and hosters (if that’s a word) feel the pressure of managing a mission critical application such as email.  If it goes down, not only can you lose a customer, but the customer might lose business as well!

For those hosters that feel up to the challenge, Exchange can be a very profitable opportunity.  Whenever there is complexity, along comes value…which every hoster needs to run a business. What’s the downside? As always, there’s a concern over licensing.

Exchange for SPLA partners (hosters) comes in five flavors: Exchange Basic, Standard, Standard Plus, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus. Each comes with different functionality as well as price. From experience, 90% of what is being reported is the Exchange Standard SKU. The breakdown of each SKU is as follows:

Exchange Basic – Think of OWA/POP Mail only
Exchange Standard – Features of Exchange Basic as well as shared calendaring and mobile device synchronization
Exchange Standard Plus – Features of Exchange Standard plus the full Outlook client
Exchange Enterprise – Includes all the features of Exchange Standard as well as unified messaging and anti virus/spam features
Exchange Enterprise Plus – All the features listed above plus the full Outlook client

The list above is just an overview, for a full feature list check out the SPUR (user section). The way you license Exchange is by user. Every user that HAS access to the software will need a license; not who does access. Think of your cable company, they will charge you regardless if you turn your TV on or not. User licenses works the same way.

In my opinion, the key to a successful Exchange launch is to offer a multi-tenant (shared) environment. If you license Windows by processor (Exchange runs on a Windows OS) and Exchange by user, the more users you have on that particular server the less expensive it is for the user. Eventually all you are charging is the cost of the Exchange license. That’s how large service providers are able to seemingly charge less. They have thousands of users accessing a limited number of servers in a shared environment.

If a customer wants a dedicated environment (one server hosting one client) the end customer can bring their licenses to you and you host it for them, or provide the licenses via SPLA, but the cost per user is going to be higher (unless it’s a large enterprise).

Once you offer Exchange, it makes it easier to offer other collaboration applications as well; such as SharePoint, CRM, and Lync. Who knows, you might become the next Amazon or Rackspace.

Thanks for reading!

SPLA Man

 
10 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2013 in Exchange

 

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What CAN I do with my SPLA Licenses?

When it comes to licensing, most of the time we discuss what you cannot do with the licenses.  Today I thought I would touch on what you CAN do with Microsoft licenses as it pertains to the SPLA program.   I came up with a list of ideas that you can take advantage of being a Microsoft hosting partner.

  • Use SPLA licenses internally.  There is a 50% rule with SPLA that states you can use 50% of what you are hosting for your internal employees.  Let’s say you are hosting 10 Exchange licenses externally, the terms of the agreement states you can use up to 5 licenses internally.  These licenses are not free, you would still need to report those 5 licenses on your monthly report (report a total of 15 licenses to your reseller).  One way of reducing your volume licensing count.
  • 60 Day Evaluation – This allows a service provider to host an application as a trial for up to 60 days per customer!  Trick is you cannot receive a fee during this period.
  • Customer Owned Licenses – Customers can bring their own licenses into your data center and you can host the software for them.  The issue: you must host it in a physical dedicated environment (nothing shared amongst other customers).
  • Install Servers on Customers Premise – As long as you own the hardware, you can locate the server at your customers location.
  • Receive the latest version. As new technology is released, you will have access. (check SPUR for availability)
  • Partner with another service providers to host the software.  This is especially important for customers looking to deploy a Dynamics solution but are not Dynamics authorized.

It’s refreshing to write about what you can do. Microsoft is not always the bad guy!

Thanks for reading!

SPLA Man

 
5 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Compliance

 

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SPLA Compliance Audit- How Not to be the Chosen One!

If you recently went through an audit or just nervous about being notified, I outlined ten steps that service providers can take to arm themselves more efficiently and be compliant.

  1. If you are running Microsoft software, you must license Windows.  All Microsoft software runs on a Windows OS.
  2. If you are licensing SharePoint- SharePoint requires SQL and Windows.
  3. Reporting SharePoint Enterprise you must license SharePoint Standard
  4. Installing Office on a server requires Remote Desktop (RDS) licenses.  Office and RDS licenses should match (cannot have more Office licenses than RDS licenses)
  5. If you have customers bringing licenses into your hosted environment you need to host it in a physical and dedicated environment.  (nothing shared among other customers)
  6. If you are reporting user licenses (SAL- Subscriber Access License) you need a license for each user that has access.  For example, if you have 10 totals users in the month of May and only 4 actually use or access that software, you must license all 10.  SPLA user licenses are similar to your cable bill; your cable provider is going to charge you regardless if you turn your TV on or not.
  7. If you have customer owned licenses in your environment, you must keep all relevant documentation.  This includes enrollment information, start date, end date, and who they bought the licenses from.
  8. Renting out a PC make sure the PC has an OEM license preinstalled.
  9. No virtualizing/streaming Windows desktop OS from a datacenter.
  10. You can install your server on a customer premise, but do not install SPLA software on your customer’s server!

This is not bulletproof by any means.  Use this as a guide when looking at your own environment.  Look at it from the auditors eyes.  What information would they need to verify that I am compliant? The SPUR (Service Provider Use Rights) is the best reference when it comes to Microsoft SPLA.  You can download a copy here.  If you have trouble sleeping at night; this is a must read.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Compliance

 

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Office 365 Under SPLA

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With the release of Office 365, the Microsoft hosting community has been asking “What’s in it for us?”   At a glance, I would agree, especially when it comes to Office.   Office can be installed on up to 5 devices with Office 365, under SPLA, you have to install it on a server and have remote access into the server.  This would require not only Office, but RDS and Windows Server!  Microsoft did recently (January, 2014) announce RDS mobility rights. More details found here. I also wrote why Office needs to have mobility rights or else the entire “Office 365” type experience (from a licensing perspective) won’t work. Check it out here
If I was in the hosting business, I would not try to compete against Office 365 from a licensing perspective; I would embrace it.  The most successful service providers offer Office 365 as part of their solution.  For example, if you host SharePoint, like it or not the end customer is going to look at Office 365.  They will want to compare your solution to Microsoft’s. What differentiates your offering to Microsoft’s?  There’s the obvious – you are regional or local, you can offer customization, you can also offer dedicated or multitenant environments; but more importantly you can offer services. Customers want to move to the cloud, the question is “how do they get there?”  This is what you do.  This is what you are great at.  This is where you can increase your margins. Back to my SharePoint example, if you say to your customer – “here’s Microsoft’s SharePoint and here’s ours.  We will help you facilitate to Office 365 if you choose (become the partner of record) but here is what you will be missing.”  You are promoting your brand and not shunning Microsoft’s.  I like what FP Web is doing.  They are the SharePoint experts and are wiling to compare their solution to Microsoft’s on their website.  Check it out for yourself http://www.fpweb.net/why-us/compare-o365-fpweb/

From a SPLA licensing perspective, the only bundled SKU is the productivity suite.  This includes Lync Enterprise, SharePoint Standard, and Exchange Standard.  It does not include Windows, SQL, or Office. Windows processor licenses allows unlimited number of users to access, the more users, the less expensive it is. Eventually all you will be quoting is the Exchange license.  (if you are an Exchange only provider) That is how large service providers are able to hold down their costs.

Other option to Office 365 is to offer License Mobility.  License Mobility allows your end customers to purchase licenses (with Software Assurance) and bring it into your environment.  The advantage for the customer is volume discounts, and the advantage for the service provider is the ability to offer this in a multitenant hardware infrastructure.  The virtual instance has to be dedicated, but the hardware it resides on can be multitenant.  This is only if the customer has Software Assurance and the service provider signs the license mobility addendum.  Windows is not included and would have to be reported under SPLA.  I will write another blog on license mobility.  Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,

SPLA Man

 
22 Comments

Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Office 365

 

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