Office 365 Midsize Business, issues

Imagine that you want to buy some midsize business (M) O365 licenses and combine them with your field workers Kiosk licenses. Or even some E3 for your executives


M license cannot be combined for the same domain customer with any other

Basically if you categorize yourself in the mid size business sku that is all you can subscribe

So before you take the decision maybe you want to analyze a combination of Kiosk, E3 (as E2 was killed recently) and other subscriptions

This is a blow against distribution too as M license is the only one offered through the channel that allows MSP to mark it up.., Microsoft should change this and remove it from the long list of punches to the MSP sector.


Allow Kiosk licenses to be purchased by other non enterprise clients.

To protect a specific medium market against all combinations does not seem like a good licensing strategy. Nor even a good sales strategy…

And another thing, Microsoft please stop changing subscription plans, keep them for a year to see what happens!..,just my opinion.

to understand more about O365 contact me @mslicensing


EA transition to Office 365… time to discuss

There are two ways to move your Enterprise Agreement (EA) to the Office 365 subscription

Obviously is an important topic these days as it is difficult to understand how you will be able to continue your EA investment and control costs during your way to the Cloud.

Every Office 365 plan as an equivalent on the CAL side to your EA, if your EA includes CALs. If you transition to an equivalent during the term then there is no increase of cost. However if you transition to an Office 365 option that includes more than your current EA you will incur into additional costs however highly discounted.

So basically there are two options for you

  • Move to Office 365 on equivalent subscription and continue annual payments until renewal
  • Increase licensing at a discounted price

True licensing experts could help you on the transition (ask me how @mslicensing or email me)

it is important to evaluate what can go Office 365 and which licenses will have to remain on the EA, specially if you create a hybrid model on your infrastructure.

All is possible…


Rethink IT Infographic / Licensing Consulting

Rethink IT

Audited!!!! the balanced role of the licensing professional

Audited!!!! the balanced role of the licensing professional.

As a non regulated profession you find many types of licensing professionals, read my previous blog Types of licensing Professionals

Time and time again I have been engaged to consult on an audit that is requested right after another licensing professional involvement, specially from a vendor. Audits made on the suspicion of non compliance are normal these days when more software vendors are fishing for dollars disrupting with inquiries even the smallest of the companies.

It may not be the licensed professional fault at all that a company gets audited, however certain good practices can be established upfront:

  • The clarity of commitment to represent a costumer or a vendor
  • The clarity before  the customer and vendor to find the right solution
  • The explanation of duality of representation when exists.

The reality is that a narrowed minded vision on a licensing professional can harm as the advice should not be bias to certain goals, and it is key to establish trust and reputation in order to succeed and provide the right solution and advice to an end user costumer as well as the vendor.

Vendors should also understand that independent licensing professionals also work in the partner ecosystem and the best solution for their customers is the ultimate goal.

Specially the duality of representation is common in licensing engagements. A clear understanding on dual representation should be upfront and explained to the customer. I was reading a dual representation document that could help on this kind of situations, taken from real estate example that i edited as if it was for a licensing exercise:

“With regard to client confidences, each of you (Vendor and customer) should realize that the licensing professional cannot keep
information confidential between you, since the licensing professional is serving both of you. Therefore, by
requesting dual representation, each of you is authorizing the licensing professional to reveal each of your
licensing information, contents of documents and other disclosures and information to
the other.
After considering these factors, each of you must decide whether the licensing professional will continue to
represent both of you in connection with your licensing exercise planning, renewal or audit and related matters. If in the future
either of you wishes to have the advice of a separate licensing professional, you can do so.”

I think we apply the old rule that the costumer is always right…, (plus presumption of innocence, ) and regardless of being in two sides of the coin a licensing professional can dedicate the talent to the client with a balance for the vendor if has the right approach for both.


User CAL – revenue engine and licensing problem

User CAL – revenue engine and  licensing problem

As Microsoft is going to increase User CALs on December 1st 2012 by 15% this adds tremendous complexity for licensing agreements upon the upcoming renewal.

So far the cost for device and user CAL was the same, allowing device CAL to be used on shared device scenario and user CAL in multiple devices per user scenarios.

In order to maximize revenue of BYOD (bring your own device) scenarios and probably to make a push for the Surface tablet necessary CALs negotiated under agreements (we will see), Microsoft increases the price and will keep CIO s busy next year making sure that a good ratio of user versus device CALs are on each agreement to control costs on the renewals.

Again makes me think that Office 365 use will simplify all these complexities, and this price increase adds to my list of the “signs of times” for a full Cloud service deliver that will end old licensing models

Get ready now, study your user and device licensing consumption.

contact if you have any question: @mslicensing



Types of Software Licensing professionals

Types of Software Licensing professionals

In a non regulated profession, there are a mix of individuals that claim to be professionals and they differ from each other.

Actually, diversity is fun, however in order to discern the real value on services is important to understand the right individual for the right job.

For Software licensing there are  those individuals that have a different view of what the definition of software licensing professional is, I will try to show some examples:

  • The Vendor type: working for a single software producer is very knowledgeable on contracts and compliance for a single type of strategy. Great to deal with if you happen to work with this particular vendor. Maybe not the best option for a broader look at strategy on multiple vendors.
  • The Reseller contract specialist: some are good at purchasing and have some knowledge of contracts self proclaim themselves as licensing experts. They can be talented but maybe not the best option for compliance and may deceive you on what you don’t know.
  • The licensing expert: the one that not only has a good understanding of purchasing, contracts and strategies but is also able to pick up an IT project and architect licensing.

There may be others but so far I find that this could correspond to the majority of people I know working with licensing.

As licensing evolve the less control on traditional assets companies have, new subscriptions come into place the ability for licensing professionals to make an earning depend more and more on consulting, more than the selling of the license itself. For this reason you may find a lot of people working on inside sales roles that claim the knowledge but may not be as qualified than those individuals that have taken the step to do consulting and other activities related for the progression of their careers.

On Software Asset Management great products are also coming that will make some of the licensing professional automatic, like Flexera software or 1E products. The one thing only a human brain can do right now is to strategize and look carefully at the T&Cs that relate to business goals beyond IT.

Ask yourself if you need:

  • a consultant to give you the right strategy
  • a consultant to provide you with the architecture of licenses around IT projects
  • a reseller to tell you just cost options
  • a consultant to take you to the Cloud
  • or a person that handles well renewals and contracts.

Make sure your interests are beyond other parties if you hire one to negotiate for you. In the reseller world the heavy burdens of revenue goals between partners is a real bias.

Good luck,

Let me know if you need more information. 



Office for Home & Student cannot be used in a Business

Office for Home cannot be used in a Business
the Terms and Conditions are clear, and with the upcoming release of Office 13 that will surely have a free upgrade path buying a PC in the next month or so some businesses may delay pc purchase
Volume Licensing with Software Assurance will grant the upgrade right for businesses.
I recommend a quick read to the following blog


Home and Business edition has no limit of users but cannot enjoy Volume Licensing rights for imaging for example.

Be careful with what you buy

Office 365 cannot be used as Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services)

Office Pro Plus for office 365 does not have RDS rights

Office 365 cannot be used as Remote Desktop Services(Terminal Services)

According to Microsoft Office 365 does not grant the right to use Office Pro Plus images on a server eliminating the possibility to use Remote Desktop Services.Contrary to the software licensed under desktop application licenses for Microsoft Office, Office Professional Plus for Office 365 may not be deployed on a server or desktop and accessed remotely from another desktop. Customers may only use Office Professional Plus for Office 365 locally. Remote Use Rights are not available under Office Professional Plus for Office 365 licenses. Examples of remote access technology used under desktop application licenses for Microsoft Office, but not supported for Office Professional Plus for Office 365 include Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).


It is a common practice to create virtual devices for different purposes, and is a practice use more often today however seems to contradict the sale of the subscription license through Office 365 as the RDS is not allowed with the subscription.

See official document


Office Pro Plus for office 365 does not allow you to use Volume License Keys

Office Pro Plus for office 365 does not allow you to use Volume License Keys

Office Pro Plus for office 365 does not allow you to use Volume License Keys

Office Pro Plus for office 365 does not allow you to use Volume License Keys

Office 365 offers 5 installations of Office Professional plus on the E3 and E4 options.

According to Office 365 site you cannot deploy a volume license image using a KMS or MAK key in the same device, because the Volume License copy cannot co-exist:

“Office Professional Plus for Office 365 cannot be used on the same computer as a volume licensed version of Office 2010. To verify that the user has Office Professional Plus for Office 365, open an Office application, click File and then click Help. Under the version information, you should see the text ““Part of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 Subscription” displayed. If the version information does not contain the word Subscription, you must install Office Professional Plus for Office 365.”

This means that while connectivity from on premise to the Cloud (Volume Licensing) can exist to Office 365, to enable the use of Volume License Keys KMS for multiple deployments at the same time, it cannot happen from the Cloud service to the on premise. It will not work.

This supposes a problem for those buying Office 365 instead of volume licensing and will have to go through each user account to deploy Office Pro Plus for Office 365 media and activate online instead of using one single order to deploy all images.

The reason may be because the Product Use rights changes the concept from device to user on the use of Office:


Each user to whom you assign an User SL may install and use one copy of the software per device on up to five devices at a time”

I imagine Microsoft is trying to still protect the advantages of Volume Licensing to sell more Office licenses besides provisioning them with Office 365. However it should change in order to make sure Office 365 is ready for the Enterprise world, if not this restriction of deployment looks more like a consumer product or retail.

So, if you own Office 365 for Software Assurance and you own Office Pro plus, deploy with your VLK not with Office 365 subscription if you need to dedicate your time to better things than going through all the devices you manage; if you are not license that way…patience.