On Wednesday, May 18th the Microsoft Volume Licensing team hosted an interactive session for TechEd North America attendees. This is a departure from the classic technical sessions that make up the majority of sessions at TechEd.  

The session was included in response to attendees requesting volume licensing information to help them with planning, deployment and support of their technology investments.  This year, the primary topic was focused on how to leverage their existing Enterprise Agreement (EA) and take advantage of new public and private cloud solution scenarios.

Microsoft Volume Licensing is transforming its programs to support customers both on premises and in the cloud. More than ever, staying current on the “what’s new with licensing” is front of mind for IT Pros.   One of the many positive audience comments stated that:

“As the IT lead for my company, licensing is very important to my planning; this session has made me feel better about how and when to move to the cloud. This was the most helpful session I have attended to- date.  You did a great job clarifying some of my questions. Thanks!”

     

Some of the topics we covered were:

  • The EA is cloud ready – what’s new in the EA that enables customers to flexibly mix & match on-premises software with the new public cloud services, such as Office 365
  • Software Assurance support for the Cloud – Later this year SA includes four new benefits that address cloud and virtualization scenarios
  • License Mobility – one of the new SA benefits, which allows application server workloads to be moved to a hosted cloud environment.

We had lively discussions on several topics and this is one of the great things about face to face meetings – hearing feedback and debating issues “in the round”.  The interactive format enabled attendees to engage throughout the session and remain afterwards to get their very specific questions answered. 

One of the main points that came up was how Office 365 works within the EA. Here are some cliff notes on that topic:

  • All Office 365 offerings can be added in any quantity or combination the EA
  • These are all user based, subscription licenses
  • They can be added at any point over the life of a three year EA – this process is called reservation
  • You pay for the subscriptions at the anniversary under a reconciliation process (formally known as  EA term True-up)
  • What you pay and how this affects your overall EA commitment varies on two major factors:
    • If the offering is an alternative for an existing on-premise Office license – which is possible with certain featured Office 365 offerings. Users in this scenario are regarded as transitioning.
    • Or, with some other offering, it will be a new subscription – not a transition, and the subscription will be added onto the EA.

For more information on Office 365 licensing, click here.

While these new subscription services introduce some new licensing scenarios that need to be understood, the upside is tremendous flexibility.

Again, we were delighted to have the opportunity to dialogue with the audience. Many thanks to all of you who came to the session and participated at TechEd. 

We want to continue the conversation and hear your comments below. Or you can ping us via Twitter @Msft_VL