Office for multi-tenant Remote Desktop/VDI/DaaS has finally arrived!

In September 2014, Microsoft enabled Shared Computer Activation (SCA) mode in Microsoft Office 365 so that multiple Office 365 ProPlus users could share the same hardware in the following three scenarios:

  • Customer dedicated self-hosted (on-premises)
  • Dedicated third-party hosted
  • Windows Azure environment

In response to growing requests from service providers to deploy Office 365 ProPlus in third-party environments, Microsoft is excited to announce that multi-tenant third-party hosted scenarios are now permitted for SCA through partners who meet certain criteria.

Under the updated deployment scenario, hosting partners that are 1-Tier Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) are now able to deploy multi-tenant remote desktop workloads with Office 365 ProPlus and/or E3, E4, E5 SKUs on-premises, in addition to being able to deploy multi-tenant remote desktop hosted workloads with those same Office 365 SKUs in Azure. Previously, the terms of Office 365 Shared Computer Activation required that these workloads could only be run on-premises with dedicated hardware.

Partner Spotlight

One of the first Microsoft hosting and service provider partners in the U.S. to take advantage of this Office 365 SCA update is ExternalIT, based in New York City. ExternalIT is vertically focused, specifically addressing virtual desktops with their hosted solution for financial analysts, which includes Office 365 components in addition to vertical industry applications.

Prior to the introduction of the updated SCA scenario, it was difficult for ExternalIT to transact under CSP, and it would have been equally difficult for their solution to scale using dedicated hardware.

Now other partners who are offering or looking to offer vertical hosted desktop solutions will be able to take advantage of this deployment scenario.


We’d like all of our partners to be able to take advantage of the new, multi-tenant Office 365 ProPlus SCA deployment scenario like ExternalIT, but we do have some requirements:

  • To be eligible to participate in the SCA Program, a service provider must be a managed hosting partner, a valid and existing Direct (1-Tier) Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) and SPLA provider.
  • Partners can use Office 365 ProPlus and Office 365 E3, E4 and E5 SKUs only in multi-tenant deployment scenarios. These licenses can be obtained via CSP, or brought over from an existing customer.
  • There is a requirement to display a SCA landing page using supplied verbiage on your company’s website (see the example used by ExternalIT).
  • An amendment to your SPLA agreement is required in order to transact.

Click here for more information about Office365 ProPlus Shared Computer Activation. 

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