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Microsoft’s own “Lady Licensing,” Emma Healey, posted a blog entry today about System Center 2012 (SC 2012) simplifing its multi-SKU lineup to two editions (datacenter and standard) to provide an integrated solution to manage applications across private, public and hybrid cloud scenarios. She discusses how the updated licensing changes better align users with a hybrid cloud management design, which Microsoft continues to see as a prevalent trend in customer scenarios.
Together with Windows Server, System Center 2012 anchors Microsoft’s private cloud environment, helping make it possible for customers to build and manage the world of hybrid IT. We believe fewer SKUs and a simpler licensing construct make it easier for customers to choose Microsoft’s integrated private cloud solution leveraging the Windows Server platform and systems management solutions. It also creates a real opportunity to leverage the Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) offerings.
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.
Today Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced a three-year Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreement (JELA) for Microsoft enterprise licensing and Software Assurance. According to the press release, the agreement will “modernize technology infrastructure, reduce costs and foster new levels of cross-agency collaboration” within the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
The JELA is one of the most comprehensive Enterprise licensing agreements (ELAs) that Microsoft has ever created for the DoD, covering nearly 75 percent of all DoD personnel. Spanning the Army, Air Force, and DISA, it provides significant potential cost savings through economies of scale, whiledelivering access to the latest Microsoft technology. The ability to standardize on the newest Microsoft products, such as Office 2013, SharePoint 2013 and Windows 8 has the potential to unlock new levels of cross-agency collaboration.
With so much interest in the Cloud we continue to receive questions about how one can best leverage the benefits of the Software Assurance (SA) program as it relates to Office 365. So we wanted to share with you the essentials for maximizing the value of SA as it pertains to helping you move to Office 365 and explain what happens to your SA benefits after you move to Office 365. In a future post, we’ll share other aspects of SA which are important to evaluate to derive even greater value through this program from your technology investments.
There are several SA benefits you can use to help you assess Office 365 and plan for your migration. This new factsheet, Move to Office 365 with Software Assurance, provides a quick reference on benefits that can help you evaluate, plan, and prepare for Office 365.
Across the company, we are working to better organize and simplify complex documents, many of these changes having benefited Volume Licensing customers - such as the Enterprise Agreement that was simplified last year and updated to include online services, the recently refreshed PUR that emphasizes plain English, and recent changes to Windows 8 licensing under Software Assurance.
In this vein, we’re also updating the “Microsoft Services Agreement.” This agreement applies to many of our consumer online services such as Outlook, SkyDrive, Messenger, Hotmail, Bing and more. You can see the updated agreement here.