Q: (from Gail)
I have a customer who has Deployment Planning Services dollars for Windows desktop – what do I need to do to make sure I can take advantage of those dollars?
It has been a long time since this topic has been addressed on our blog (March 2010: Exchange Deployment Planning Services) but this is a benefit for both customers and partners when software is licensed with Software Assurance.
The official title of the program is Software Assurance Planning Services and is designed to support the successful deployment of licensed Microsoft software. This is accomplished by providing customers the ability to offset some of their deployment planning costs through a system of vouchers that can be used with qualified partners. There are several planning services categories including desktop, virtualization, SQL, and cloud; the full list can be found at the link above.
As a partner, you need to plan in advance to take advantage of the planning services. Eligibility requirements can be found at http://planningservices.partners.extranet.microsoft.com/en/pages/partnereligibilityrequirements.aspx
Other common questions I receive include:
Bottom line, Software Assurance Planning Services are a great way to get more value out of your current customer sales and engagements AND are a great way to get new customers. Either by partnering with other partners (Pinpoint) who can’t redeem planning services vouchers or new customers by being listed in the Planning Services Partner Directory.