Major Changes to Software Assurance

Friday 20th September 2019

Software Assurance is a comprehensive Volume Licensing program that includes an extensive set of technologies, services, rights, and benefits to help you get the most out of your Microsoft investments.  Software Assurance spans a broad range of Microsoft software and services, including Windows, Office, Exchange, Dynamics, System Center, SQL Server, and many others. Software Assurance provides key benefits and will continue to do so in the future.

• Reduce software and services costs with rights to new software releases and cost-efficient upgrades.
• Improve operational efficiency through access to unique technologies and licensing rights.
• Maintain an available and responsive IT infrastructure with around-the-clock support.

With Microsoft’s Cloud First strategy they are making changes to deployment training resources; moving the investment in on-premises benefits to cloud:

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Benefit Transition timeframe
Microsoft are retiring the Planning services and Training Vouchers benefits and updating support over two years to give customers adequate time to plan for changes and use their existing benefits.

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What’s new?
Microsoft is investing in new ways to help organizations deploy, train, and get support for the products and services they buy from us. Because those new ways overlap with some dated and underused SABs, we’re retiring those benefits. Below is a summary of the changes for each benefit:

For DPS:
Microsoft is committed to your success in deploying your Microsoft workloads. We’re focusing on supporting cloud deployments through the Microsoft FastTrack program, and DPS will be retired over time. Eligible customers can leverage FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 engagements. FastTrack with Bytes Service helps organisations accelerate deployment and gain end-user adoption of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10. For more information on the Bytes FastTrack program please download our datasheet

For training vouchers:
Microsoft is fully invested in ensuring that we provide the right level of training to make you successful. We’re making significant investments to increase the alignment and quality of our training offerings and certifications. Furthermore, we’re working with partners to develop training offers from which customers can benefit. Training vouchers will be retired from SABs, with new investments introduced into the learning offerings over time. Speak to the Bytes Learning Services team for details on available courses and to redeem your vouchers.

For support:
Microsoft is adjusting 24x7 support eligibility criteria and changing support incident allocations. Customers will no longer earn a limited number of support incidents based on spend, agreement type, and product(s). Instead, customers with a $250,000 USD annual Software Assurance spend will get as-needed support and credits if you choose to upgrade to Microsoft Unified Support. For elevated support options please speak to your Bytes Account Manager.

For more information please see the full deck on the intranet along with an FAQ.

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