The Benefits of Voluntary SAM & Licensing Reporting

First of all, it has been an interesting journey during my SAM career to get to write this post…because I have spent so much time helping companies and organizations “clean up the house” and get compliant, manage their applications and protecting them in the way of being always ready for software audits. But like the best things in life the journey does not have an end and is the ride that makes it great.

In the SAM World the ultimate efficiency is to manage applications from the deployment of images to usage control with compliance in between. It is precisely on this SAM ultimate efficiency that allow us to be more proactive in order to not only be ready for software audits but also to advance the reporting to a vendor before reaches to audit… I know, I know, sounds sacrilegious.

Let us put together this scenario: one organization uses a SAM governance management for all applications, policies and procedures are well-defined, smooth and there is compliance control. To “cleaning up the house” is easy and give it a year to achieve the optimal position. It is now a matter of maintaining, adapting and advising. It is then that risks are fully controlled towards software audits. And the services are rendered by a certified and recognized independent SAM consulting firm, not by a reseller. Imagine then that the organization reports voluntarily their compliance that includes deployment information.

Benefits:

  • Vendor does not have to list the organization on the black list
  • The organization tracks reports delivered to provide “good faith” to auditors and avoid their time-consuming engagements
  • The organization is motivated and keeps SAM governance live, active and constant maintaining compliance to optimal levels
  • Vendors provide funding for voluntary reporting, services by the SAM consultant may be partially covered if not paid in full.
  • SAM consultants can focus on the upcoming projects, working with IT architects and other to prepare for changes and ensure healthy delivery and compliance as per the established road map.

What we need is an alignment between the vendors, the SAM consultants and the customers. It has to be driven by the Vendors primarily, creating clear programs of audit protection by voluntarily reporting, enabling independent SAM consultants to provide a level of trust and optimal reporting acceptance. And this is out of the scope of the True Ups and Renewal typical reporting,,, Cloud subscriptions actually fit well on this model as usage can be controlled by the access to the applications from the vendor, but more than ever, the reality of Hybrid Cloud could benefit this approach tremendously, increasing the trust between all parties involved.

Just a thought…

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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.”

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg702620

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:

INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS

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.

Big Announcement of merge VL or traditional Licensing with OnDemand or Cloud Licensing

Microsoft has listened to the partner community, just announced in the Microsoft Hosting Summit

Amazing announcement on licensing today

Effective July 1st

Servers VL now able to move to cloud with SA.: First step to merge the traditional licensing world with OnDemand or Cloud licensing based on SPLA program. This is a big step as will allow many clients with EAs to leverage the licensing investment. Long View as Hosted provider can use Lync, Sharepoint and other technologies for clients who already paid for the licensing in the traditional way. The key is that the client must have Sotware Assurance. More details to come.

Products include SQL server, Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Dynamics CRM

SALs for SA enhancement.

System Center Usage for Service Providers:

Single “pane of glass” via single console across SPLA & VL devices

Introduction of Core Infrastructure Suite for Service Providers

Removal of Outsourcing SKU for Win Server

Eliminating Scenario restrictions on “non-outsourcing”: SKU

Cover all scenarios, at a lower cost for windows server licenses

This first step is going to protect Microsoft EA from moving completely out to the Cloud and consequently not renewal however it may actually potentially move EA renewals to Cloud solutions. We will see how the CAL is developed but definitely is a shift on the licensing complexity to actually make it more simple (finally!!) kudos to the Microsoft Hosted team for pushing this change, specially Microsoft sponsors of the changes like Bob Kelly Corporate Vice President Server(who made the announcement)  and Tools Business and Marco Limena Worldwide Communications Sector.