One of the most compelling aspects of the Enterprise Agreement (EA) has been the support benefits provided to help customers plan, deploy and use Microsoft technologies through the Software Assurance (SA) program. As WWLP, Corporate Vice President Joe Matz mentions in this video, Microsoft has almost doubled the value delivered to customers through SA making it much more than a maintenance program.

Since 2001, Software Assurance has expanded greatly to help customers boost organizational productivity, streamline deployments and get the most from their Microsoft purchases.  With the customers’ IT landscape changing, SA has evolved to better support customers’ use of Microsoft technologies whether deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments.

As customers consider moving to the cloud, SA delivers even more value by helping them plan for their migrations and manage their on-premises and hybrid environments. Recent changes worth noting are:

  • License Mobility through Software Assurance: An exclusive benefit for SA customers,  License Mobility through Software Assurance lets customers deploy certain server application licenses on-premises or in the cloud in a shared hardware environment with the ability to assign existing licenses to an authorized Service Provider.  This gives customers a deployment choice between on-premises and any authorized Service Provider’s shared datacenter to help lower cloud infrastructure costs by letting the Service Provider use SA customers’ existing licenses. 
  • New Software Assurance Planning Services for Microsoft server and tools solutions give you greater flexibility to plan on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid software deployments for your customers. 

    • The new Software Assurance Planning Services are designed to help you plan your customers’ deployment of Microsoft System Center, Windows Server, Windows Azure Platform, SQL Server, and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server and Test Tools. The new Planning Services include:
      • Private Cloud, Management and Virtualization Deployment Planning Services (PVDPS)
      • Public Cloud, Azure Deployment Planning Services (AZDPS)
      • SQL Server Deployment Planning Services (SSDPS)
      • Developer Tools Deployment Planning Services (DTDPS)

These new offerings provide Microsoft partners an opportunity to extend and deepen the relationship with existing and new customers to support server solutions by providing an opportunity to engage in strategic conversations with them about the value of the Microsoft technology, whether on premise or in the cloud to their business.  Transform your relationship with your customers and become a trusted advisor.

In addition, Desktop (Office and Windows), SharePoint, and Lync and Exchange Deployment Planning Services can now provide migration guidance for Office 365 E-series SKUs.  Engagements may involve migration planning for a specific product, such as Exchange Online, or explore the full capability of the Office 365 service. Learn what this means to you, how you can extend your engagement to Office 365, and access migration guidance materials on the newly launched Planning Services Partner Portal.

For more information about Software Assurance, check out the following resources: