Frequently asked questions about Microsoft license compliance verification

Interesting article from Microsoft, explains the difference between an ‘Audit’ and the Software Asset Management (SAM) program that The SAM Club can enrol our clients into.

Also see our Services page and the article on ‘Are you Microsoft Audit ready?

Contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help you.

Microsoft License Compliance

Azure and the MPSA from 1st February 2017

Microsoft announce that from 1 February 2017 new customers will not be able to buy Azure consumption services through the MPSA, but confirm that existing customers are unaffected. If you are unable to add Azure to your Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Server and Cloud Enrolment (SCE) then  consider Azure via a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) as an option on the pay-as-you-go model. At present there is no date for the Azure Plans or Monetary Commitment options to be available via the CSP. Read the blog post here:

Source: Connected, modern licensing made for digital transformation – Microsoft Volume Licensing Blog

Update from The SAM Club for 2016

2016 proved to be a great year for The SAM Club.

During this time, we grew our client base:

  • 3 New clients signed up for our managed SAM service
  • Project completed to review a 3000 user Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Renewal
  • Project completed to provide a full Microsoft analysis in preparation for discussions on a new Microsoft Enterprise Agreement
  • Project completed for a Not for Profit corporation in USA for new Head of IT to understand licenses owned and options available

For our existing managed service clients:

  • 5 Clients entered into the Microsoft SAM Program. This is a voluntary process to obtain a Microsoft’s certificate of compliance
  • 3 Clients contacted by Microsoft for a compliance (audit) check that we assisted through to completion
  • 2 Clients negotiated and signed new Microsoft Enterprise Agreements
  • 1 Client negotiated and signed with Snow Software to use their platform to manage their Software Assets

The SAM Club’s services and offerings continue to expand:

  • Became a Microsoft Software Asset Management (SAM) Partner – this enables our clients to obtain a compliance certification
  • Became a Snow Software Partner – we are not resellers but have passed the Snow certification to use the software
  • DH2i – We look for alternative options. We found DH2i who offer an interesting solution which helps reduce and manage the number of SQL Servers within a firm’s infrastructure. We have partnered with DH2i and have been working with them to promote their offering within the UK and find UK Resellers for their solution
  • Partnering with Discount Licensing to recover costs on redundant Microsoft software

System Center 2016 Client Management Suite

The System Center 2016 Client Management Suite has been removed from the January 2017 Product Terms document. Each of its four components are now licensed separately with CMLs per User or per OSE. The four components are Data Protection Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, and Service Manager. If you have active SA on a Client Management Suite licence as at 1 January 2017 then you are eligible for all four licences. See page 6 of the Product Terms for an overview.

Citrix Customer Success Services Select

Citrix have announced they will be changing their support offerings with effect from 1st January 2017. See the attached document for more information on the new “Customer Success Services Select” program.

Traditional Subscription Advantage entitles customers to software updates only. The new Customer Success Services program provides a more comprehensive offering with an obvious increase in the maintenance fee.

However, existing customers can still renew their Subscription Advantage before July 1st, 2017 with any multi-year renewals honoured through to their expiration date.

The SAM Club proactively monitors our client’s renewals and keeps our clients up to date on their options.

Citrix Customer Success Services Select

The SAM Club Partners with DH2i to Offer Clients Innovative Container Management Software for SQL /PR Newswire UK/

LONDON and FORT COLLINS, Colorado, Oct. 25, 2016 /PR Newswire UK/ — The SAM Club Partners with DH2i to Offer Clients Innovative Container Management Software for SQL Server–A Cost Savings, HA and Consolidation Play.

Source: The SAM Club Partners with DH2i to Offer Clients Innovative Container Management Software for SQL /PR Newswire UK/

August 2016 Newsletter

An update on The SAM Club and the type of work we have been completing over the past two months.

New Releases information:
More information on Windows Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 released 1st June 2016
SharePoint Server 2016 released 4th May 2016
Project Server 2016 released 5th May 2016

News you can use section with information on:
Citrix offering customers the ability to run Windows 10 in Azure
Skype for Business – FAQ on PSTN Calling
MPSA Enterprise Advantage and what this means for you
Information on the new Visual Studio MSDN Portal
Plus more…

Special Offers from Veritas, VMware and Autodesk
August 2016 Newsletter digital

Microsoft Increase Their Minimum Enterprise Agreement (EA) Seat Count

Microsoft announced that as of 1st July 2016 the minimum commitment to the Enterprise Agreement (EA) (including Enterprise Agreement Subscriptions) will be raised from 250 to 500 user/devices

If you have a current EA or sign up before the end of June 2016 then Microsoft is allowing current EA customers to have the ability to renew one time for an additional 36-month term.

Note: This change does not affect Government EAs

This announcement provides an opportunity to review your options which may prove to be a better fit for your business. Is an EA still the best fit for your organisation?

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) is one of two preferred agreements suggested by Microsoft for companies with less than 500 users/devices:
Non-expiring agreement offering customers the ability to purchase only what is needed, when it’s needed
​There is no standardization requirement of Enterprise Products on the MPSA. You choose what you need to license and what product best fits your needs. This could be a mix of user and device cals, Office Pro Plus / Standard / O365
Traditional on-premise software purchases with or without Software Assurance.  With Software Assurance you have the option to pay the total up front or annually over 36 months
Cloud Services subscriptions including O365 Enterprise plans to CRM, with the additional benefit of suite discounts for Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS)
Azure is available as a pay-as-you-go option, allowing you the flexibility to pay for usage only eliminating the guess work of an Annual Commitment
Multi-year subscriptions offering price protection when you to purchase one, two, or three year Cloud Service subscriptions with a price-lock

The second option suggested by Microsoft is the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) which is best suited for organisations who are fully committee to online services and looking to outsource service management.

Contact The SAM Club to discuss your options to determine which is best suited for your organisation.  We are independent, we are not a software reseller which means we have no hidden agenda. We work for our clients taking the time to understand what they currently own, providing valuable, objective and unbiased advice tailored to suit their requirements and ensuring informed decisions are made.