Overview of the upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management –

On April 20th, Microsoft announced changes to the way updates in Office 365 ProPlus are managed.

These updates also apply to Visio Pro for Office 365 and the Project Online desktop client and will take effect in September 2017.

See the full announcement for further information on exact dates for the upcoming schedule of Office ProPlus releases.

Source: Overview of the upcoming changes to Office 365 ProPlus update management –

Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes

Microsoft announce that Visual Studio 2017 is available for download 

Note there has been a name change where “with MSDN” is replaced by “Subscription” – so Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN becomes Visual Studio Enterprise Subscription, for example.

The link provides more information about the latest release:

Source: Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes

Azure TCO Calculator | Microsoft

There’s a new Azure Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator from Microsoft available to help estimate potential cost savings if you migrate on-premises application workloads to Azure.

Simply specify the details of your existing infrastructure with various cost assumptions and you’re provided with a report that summaries on-premises v Azure costs.

Source: Azure TCO Calculator | Microsoft

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.