The number one post on splalicensing.com is “Office 365 under SPLA” To date over 20,000 users have read it, several have commented on it, and many more are still asking – what am I missing and why can’t I offer “SPLA Office” in the same fashion as Office 365?
Microsoft recently announced mobility rights for Remote Desktop Services (RDS). I wrote about it here I think that’s a great move by Microsoft as it provides more flexibility for both service providers and consumers. In my opinion, we need Office mobility rights, and we needed it yesterday.
Think about your environment and the licensing restrictions around Office. To legally deploy Office for a customer that has Office 365, you as a service provider would need to have your customer purchase 1 volume licensing copy of Office, install it on your server, and for each user for Office 365, they must allocate one of the five licenses (Office 365 allows 5 installations of Office on 5 devices per user) to access Office remotely. The Office bits on Office 365 has issues with installing it on server. Thus, the reason for a volume license copy of Office. (at least that’s my experience in the past, maybe that’s changed now) Doesn’t sound too bad. Five devices is a lot anyways, and now with RDS mobility rights, the service provider can use the end customers RDS licenses (if they have software assurance). YES!!!!
Ahh…but what about Office? Does Office have mobility rights? The answer is….no. Although the service provider can have customer RDS mobility rights, since Office is installed, the entire environment has to be dedicated. Yes, that includes the hardware and the VM. That’s the issue I struggle with and I am sure many of you do too. Why offer RDS mobility rights but not Office? This would solve some of the issues between Office 365 and the service provider community. Office is expensive for SPLA’s, let’s allow end customers to leverage their existing volume licensing agreements to purchase it and allow service providers to host it in a shared hardware/ dedicated VM using mobility rights? Think of how many users would purchase Office under Office 365 if they did this? Or if they didn’t purchase Office 365, they would at least need to purchase Office with Software Assurance. Think of how many service providers would push volume licensing on behalf of Microsoft and the resellers if they allowed this? Either way Microsoft, service providers, and more importantly the end customer would win.
Thanks for reading,