Microsoft Software Assurance Changes

Thursday 12th September 2019

Today, Microsoft have announced changes to their Software Assurance benefits. We’ve detailed the changes and explained what’s coming down the line with key dates and most importantly, how Bytes can help you transition to take advantage of the Microsoft Cloud with our dedicated training and cloud services.  

What is Software Assurance?

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

What is changing?

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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Key Dates - 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 organisations deploy, train and get support for the products and services they buy. Here is a summary of the changes for each benefit:

FastTrack will replace DPS

Microsoft is committed to your success in deploying your Microsoft workloads. They are focusing on supporting cloud deployments through the Microsoft FastTrack program and DPS will therefore be retired over time. Eligible customers can leverage FastTrack for Azure, Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 engagements.

Investments in training and certifications will replace 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.

Unified Support will replace incident-based 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.

Bytes can help with tailored services and resources

With a dedicated in-house training support team and being one of a select group of partners authorised to deliver FastTrack, we are perfectly positioned to support your Microsoft cloud strategy:

  1. Let’s discuss your training plans and redeem any SA training vouchers you currently have. We also offer a full range of training delivery from classroom to virtual and varying paces to suit your requirements at very competitive rates, starting from £195 per day. Download our Learning Services Guide.
  2. Our FastTrack service helps organisations accelerate deployment and gain end-user adoption of Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security and Windows 10. Download our FastTrack Guide.
  3. Bytes Cloud Support gives you peace of mind when you buy Microsoft Online Services – providing on-boarding and a UK based technical, break-fix and support escalation team. Download our Microsoft Support Guide.


As Microsoft’s leading partner with a range of cloud services, let us help you maximise the benefits you get from your current and future Microsoft investments. Speak to your account manager or contact our team on 01372 418500.

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