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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.

Do you own any redundant Microsoft Licenses?

There may be a number of reasons why you no longer require your licence agreements (LA). You could be planning a new installation / upgrade to Microsoft’s latest versions of Office or Server products. You may have licences that your company no longer needs due to restructuring. Whatever the reason, the licence agreements that your company owns may be transferable and as such retain a residual value.

Is this Legal?

In accordance with the European Software Directive 2009, it is legal to transfer the ownership as well as the LA/PUR’s from either an insolvent or solvent company to another solvent business as long as the sales transaction adheres to the local governing laws. Documentation will be provided to prove legal ownership / transfer in the event of an Audit and Microsoft are also notified of every transfer.

Reasons why you may own redundant Microsoft Licenses or may need to purchase some?

  • ​Mergers / Acquisitions – You may need more or less licenses
  • License Compliance – Microsoft Audit identified a licensing gap
  • Upgrading to a new version of a Microsoft product
  • Licenses superseded by an Enterprise Agreement

Reasons to be a member of The SAM Club

The SAM Club with our unique SAM Workbook keeps a track of the license agreements our clients own. We can therefore proactively advise our clients on licenses agreements that may be transferable providing a residual value.

How we can help:

  • With the records we hold from The SAM Club members, we may be able to broker a deal between a member who has license agreements to transfer with another member that requires the same version
  • With our partner that specialises in transferring Microsoft Licenses between organisations

April 2016 Newsletter

Announcement about The SAM Club becoming a Microsoft Silver Partner for Software Asset Management and what this means

Licensing News:
Microsoft announce subscriptions for online services for short term requirements i.e. additional staff for projects, seasonal etc
Roaming Rights Retirement for Windows Enterprise and Windows VDA and the introduction of Windows SA per User Add-on USL as a replacement
Microsoft extended support dates for Windows 7 & 8.1 for Intel Skylake processor architecture devices

Special Offers for Citrix Workspace Suite

Veritas Portal: The issues The SAM Club have seen and what we have been doing to validate our clients Veritas portal since the split with Symantec

April 2016 Newsletter digital

The SAM Club vs Software Installation Discovery Tools

A SAM Discovery Tool is a software product designed to collect software installation data from your network and to create compliance reports. There are many Discovery Tools on the market. Some are expensive whilst others are free of charge.

Discovery is just one element of Software Asset Management – it is NOT a credible SAM strategy in itself. To manage software assets you need to know the licenses you own, understand your license entitlements and how these can be applied to your current installs, management of the process of requesting and approving new software installations, and management of the procurement process.

Discovery is a critical component of SAM, but only when you include license and ownership, approvals management and deployment. Do you have a credible SAM solution with just a SAM Tool?

Compliance reports are great, and if understood can save your company on licensing costs while helping to avoid legal costs related to software licensing violations. However, understanding the complexity around licensing isn’t straight forward. It requires someone with a full understanding and one who keeps up to date with Vendors changing licensing models & product use rights (PURs).

This is where The SAM Club comes in. We do not promote any particular Discovery Tools. Our service is to work with you and provide assistance and guidance where you use a SAM Tool to ensure the information provided is understood and used in the correct way in conjunction with our unique SAM Workbook.

If you do not use a Discovery Tool, The SAM Club can still assist with our unique SAM Workbook. The SAM Workbook contains data on what licenses you own, your entitlements and how these licenses are deployed. From here, with access to your Vendor licensing portals, we can provide the information and advice you need around licensing and compliance, together with inputs to budgets and technology road maps.

SQL Server 2005 : End of Support 12 APRIL 2016

As the end of support for SQL Server 2005 draws close, The SAM Club highlights the 2 types of support Microsoft offers during a product lifecycle: Mainstream Support and Extended Support.

Mainstream Support is typically available for 4 to 5 years after product release. In the case of SQL Server 2005, Mainstream support ended April 2011 and included:

  • Paid incident support
  • Security updates
  • No-charge incident support
  • Non-security hotfix support
  • Design changes/feature requests

Warranty claims Currently Microsoft offers Extended Support which includes only a few of the Mainstream Support options. SQL 2005 Extended Support which ends on 12th April 2016 includes:

  • Security updates
  • Paid-per incident support
  • Ongoing use of Microsoft Knowledge base

Thereafter Microsoft will offer custom support contracts but there are high priced.

Click here for further information on Microsoft Product Lifecycle dates.

How can The SAM Club help?

  • Work with us to get your Server Summary spreadsheet up to date within your SAM Workbook. Within this we complete a SQL Server license reconciliation which either confirms you are compliant or identifies any additional SQL Server licenses required.
  • We can provide budgetary figures for new licensing and obtain competitive licensing quotes to upgrade your SQL Servers. We will make sure you only purchase what you actually need to be compliant.
  • We can help with cash flow by ensuring your orders are only placed when the licenses are required.
  • We can provide cost comparisons between the server & CAL licensing model compared to the SQL 4 Core model to determine the better option for your organisation
  • We can advise if you need software assurance cover for license mobility

New Licensing Rules for Windows Server & System Center 2016

In December 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2016 (& System Center 2016) will be licensed with a core & CAL model.  What does this mean to you and your existing licenses covered by Software Assurance?

The new licensing rules state that all the physical cores for Windows Server 2016 Standard & Datacenter Editions will need to be licensed as follows:

  • Minimum of 8 core licenses required for each processor
  • Minimum of 16 core licenses required for each server
  • Core licenses will be sold in packs of two

Note:  The two core pack for each edition is 1/8th the price of a two processor license for the corresponding 2012 R2 Edition.

Windows Server Standard & Datacenter Edition 2 processor licenses with Software Assurance will be exchanged for a  minimum of 8 two-core pack licenses (16 core licenses) or the actual number of physical cores in use.

Some additional Windows Server 2016 licensing information:

  • Hyper-threading doesn’t change the number of core licenses required
  • Disabled processors do not need to be licensed
  • Nested virtualisation (running a VM in a VM) is licensed as two virtual machines
  • There will be an External Connector licence
  • The Nano Server deployment option requires no additional licensing

    If you are in an existing licensing agreement with Microsoft, such as an Enterprise Agreement or Server and Cloud Enrolment, you will be able to continue to purchase processor licenses through to the end of the agreement term.The SAM Club will assist its clients at the end of an agreement to perform a self-inventory to document the number of physical cores in each processor that are licensed with Windows Server processor licenses with SA.  This will ensure our clients receive the appropriate number of core licenses for their deployments.

    We have updated the Windows Server Summary sheets in clients’ SAM Workbooks to accommodate this.

January 2016 Newsletter

Includes news on The SAM Club, licensing news on Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

Articles on The SAM Club partnership with Snow Software and the new licensing rules for Windows 2016

Tips & Tricks: Did you know that the MPSA Licensing Manual contains the following on copies for training/evaluation and backup?

Breaking News:  Microsoft have announced they are changing their minimum Enterprise Agreement (EA) seat count from 250 to 500 effective 1st July 2016.

Jan 2016 Newsletter digital