I love it when I have good news to convey. I spend a lot of my time supporting distribution and the sale of Microsoft products through our Open License program. As of Today we have instituted a new process for new and existing customers of Office 365 Open Programs (Office 365 licensed through Open License, Open Value, and Open Value Subscription). This process simplifies the activation of Office 365 in a number of ways.
From the Global Operations Readiness Guidance document the following changes and updates were made to the process:
Removing the dual redemption UI experience and all Partner/Customer handling of Product Keys.
Decreasing the number of steps needed to redeem the service
Key handling will be eliminated for all customers, and Office 365-only customers will no longer need to copy and paste OSA keys form the VLSC [volume license service center]
Renewal customers also benefit from the streamlined process, which eliminates keys and consolidates the interface for adding and renewing seats [in Office 365]
It goes without saying that this is a huge improvement to the experience and long overdue. With the elimination of the cutting and pasting of keys and the propensity for error goes down markedly, and I would imagine the time necessary to redeem keys does all well. This is all good for partners.
We have seen a substantial amount of instances where a partner or customer incorrectly redeemed keys against the wrong customer (in the case of the partner) or the wrong tenant (in cases where customers have multiple subscriptions. This usually happened due to cached credentials in the browser when someone was inadvertently logged in under the ring Microsoft Account (Org Account), etc.
Here is a flow chart of the Online Activation process for net new customers:
Here is a flow chart of the Online Activation process for renewing customers:
Any way you slice it this is a good thing. As I get more information and I hear feedback on the new process I will update this post. I will look out for screenshots of the new process step by step which have heretofore eluded me as of the writing of this blog.
I welcome any feedback or insight you might have on the matter!
The bottom line is the elimination of support calls, escalations through our distribution partners, and the reduction of negative customer services situations helps us all collectively. We end up having happier customers, happier partners, and more time to spend on more important matters.
Thanks for listening!