Since launching the Microsoft Volume Licensing blog in May, we have enjoyed sharing our news and highlights with our readers and are looking forward to more great things to come in 2012. It’s been a busy year for the Microsoft Volume Licensing team and we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of our top highlights from 2011.
Ensuring licensing provides ample flexibility to embrace the cloud on your terms has been a focus for us this past year and we know it is top-of-mind for many customers and partners. Throughout the year, we’ve made many tools and resources available to help our customers make a smooth transition incorporating the power of cloud computing:
Microsoft License Mobility Updates
- In March, we introduced Microsoft License Mobility through Software Assurance, offering customers the flexibility to deploy application servers on-premises or hosted by service providers in the cloud. License Mobility covers Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Lync Server, Microsoft System Center servers, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. For more information, visit the Microsoft License Mobility web site.
Enterprise Agreement (EA) Updates to Enable the Cloud:
- In July, we announced important updates to the EA, by expanding its portfolio of cloud services offerings available through Volume Licensing to include Microsoft Office 365, Windows Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
- Also around mid-year, the team shared that the EA had become cloud ready, with a guest blog post from Jason Kap, General Manager, Worldwide Licensing and Pricing.
- Most recently the team announced the EA refresh. Two key areas to note are Microsoft’s efforts to programmatically enable Online Services and the ongoing focus on creating greater clarity of documentation through both simplified language and shortening the overall length of documentation for the Open License Agreement from 11 to 5½ pages.
Software Assurance (SA) Updates and Resources Ease Cloud Migration:
- In May during TechEd North America in sunny Orlando, Fla., we announced new SA benefits to help enable customers deploy products on-premises, in virtual environments or in the cloud.
- Deployment Planning Services expanded to include cloud deployment planning as well as on-premises planning, recognizing customers’ need for practical, low-risk cloud transition plans through expert advice and proven methodologies, including planning for productivity scenarios including Office 365 and its on-premises counterparts, Office, Exchange and SharePoint.
- Windows Thin PC provides SA customers with significant cost savings for their thin computing model by supporting the repurposing of older PCs to thin clients without the need to purchase Windows VDA licensing.
- System Center Advisor cloud service enables IT pros to assess their Microsoft server configuration and proactively avoid problems, while helping support staff to resolve issues faster by accessing current and historical configuration data, with the security features that meet their needs. It reduces downtime by providing suggestions for improvement and notifying customers of key updates specific to their configuration.
- In October, we released a factsheet to help users move to Office 365 by leveraging their SA benefits.
- A useful resource to see an overview of all SA benefits together in one spot is downloadable from the SA page.
Series of MAP Toolkit updates:
- The latest iteration of the MAP Toolkit, version 6.5, arrived earlier this month, enabling secure assessment of IT environments for various platform migrations. This updated version delivers actionable recommendations for faster infrastructure planning, and more detail on the current environment.
In addition to the cloud related updates and resources listed above, we’ve also made a number of enhancements to additional offerings and resources:
- In August, we announced the first change to the Core CAL Suite in nearly 10 years. The update included Lync Server Standard CAL and Forefront Endpoint Protection. Learn more.
- New Software Asset Management (SAM) Services were announced at Gartner’s ITAM Summit in September. Learn more.
- This past year we have revamped both the Product Use Rights (PUR) document and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). These changes were made to ease navigation and help customers more easily find the information they are looking for.
We are always interested in hearing about the resources and blog posts you have found most helpful, and the topics you’d like to see more about on the Microsoft Volume Licensing blog.
Please feel free to comment and let us know. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Msft_VL for real-time updates!