The Microsoft WPC 2013 is all over Office 365, Azure, Intune and Dynamics.
Cloud is clearly not to be sold but sold already and partners are trying to decipher the way to create the services and value.
Office 365 changes are coming soon. For example Microsoft partners will be able to sell more than the Midsize business sku to their customers through distribution and soon they will offer E programs and Exchange online for example. This is a significant change for Managed services providers that now can offer O365 to their clients without having them to register on their own to the Cloud solution.
Midsize business in Office 365 will also see the change to be able to accept other subscription registrations under the same company domain, like combining it with Kiosk. No ETA for the change but Microsoft said MSLI (the all-powerful licensing department) is looking into the changes to the terms and conditions.
Microsoft listened, I sense a more humble approach to concerns and realization that they can win the productivity Cloud war right now to gain momentum as in the past beyond the competitors.
The windows device ecosystem with Windows 8, and soon 8.1 is focused on user experience and that shift also will help Microsoft to gain tradition on the consumer market and the mobile phone market.
It is going to be a hard choice n the device for users however on productivity tools, integrated systems Microsoft has position itself very well.
Office 365 is offered to Microsoft customers with an Enterprise Agreement (EA) as a subscription add-on, now offering the ability to use a “bridge CAL” to transition the use of Microsoft Cloud.
The complexities of changes on the licensing Customer Price Sheet, amendments and exceptions is going to be a very significant subject for existing EAs. Customers need to carefully understand the service delivery of Cloud, security liability and data recovery protection, to build the terms and conditions appropriately.
One example could be the initiative to license Office Pro Plus for Office 365 on an EA. Today there is no information to validate the use of VLKs (Volume Licensing Keys) for product activation on Citrix or Remote Desktop Services environments. The rights of use are there but not how to deliver it.
Another careful consideration to add to terms and conditions is the Kiosk License, to also include shared mailbox features, to allow continuing practices by users while re-educating them to use SharePoint if necessary.
For the Enterprise it is necessary a careful consideration of terms, definition and delivery practices. It may be a good moment to adventure yourself into discussions with Microsoft to accommodate your EA needs to your use of the Cloud and build with Microsoft the necessary processes to effectively go Cloud.
Ultimately I am hoping Microsoft licensing will understand and accommodate real technical delivery soon in the Office 365 service delivery details to mitigate concerns.
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.
With the introduction of Surface a very interesting war has started for the conquer of the Enterprise World on the tablet space. After a horrible result for PlayBooks ( I bought one believe me it was painful) the organizations looking for the best way to deliver applications and integration of their productivity software to their people is going to be a battleground that will put the industry in motion. Is not as simple as the hardware but what it can contain.
In one hand we can have Apple Ipad running Salesforce, SAP clients and interacting with any mail system, including the apps competitors offer
Microsfoft surface will play the Microsoft stack protective strategy, good integration but all Microsoft
Apple seems to have the momentum and if they play their cards as it seems to allow people with innovation integrate systems and sale on their own the ecosystem of developers will continue to increase. Apple will keep being the number one tablet provider and may conquer the Enterprise world for a few years ahead.
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.
Twitter users can be deceiving, is a global conversation anyways so you get every kind of opinion and that is the beauty of it.
Now, if we are rational about Windows 8 release what kind of things we can expect from Microsoft windows 8 release?
That is not Vista: so there will be no push for getting out of Windows 7 as soon as possible, like Vista tried with XP
That is multi device, built for the new OS demand, tablet/phone/pc
That is made to gain the hearts and minds of consumers more than IT professionals: because the home use is dictating and will dictate IT needs in organizations with the millennial generation
So with this things in mind better or worse than Android or iOS one things is certain, windows 8 brings the modernization of Microsoft to copy best practices from competitors such as Apple and the ipad device, as Microsoft is releasing their first tablet the “Surface”.
Where the power relies is on the integration of applications that are made for windows by Microsoft itself. It is the great integration of applications that will make windows8 successful towards others, and it will gain momentum in the corporate world first.
Yes the tile format offers a different approach to the user and may be likeable or not, I have no doubt it will be criticize however I think that is for Microsoft a step in the right direction
I would like to notice that the license is available in the usual channels and also in the Intune subscription, this interesting move makes me wonder how “device free” this is becoming, is a shift on licensing mentality that I welcome as will bring more possibilities to the market
Well, first of all we can expect the typical diversification of Windows OEM, Home, Pro and Enterprise. It is predicted that Windows Enterprise will be available only with Software Assurance, and Microsoft is expected to add Windows to Go as a benefit for the users of those organizations with SA.
We will see how this transforms in SPLA, probably by extending the same feature to its Windows 8 future sku, it would be a big miss not to allow Service Providers to offer Windows to Go as part of their VDI offerings. Specially now that many SIs and MSPs are on the game.
I am confident Windows 8 will gain marketshare but the best should be to make it so multiplatform that can run also on an Ipad, maybe too much to ask at the moment.
Release is set for early 2012 according to MS.
Win8 is being built to meet demands driven by the tablet evolution, with a look and feel like
Windows Phone 7 or other popular portable tablet touch screen interfaces.
It has “Tailored Apps” designed specifically work in a WEB environment – written in HTML5, Java Script and CSS. These apps work on current PC HW as well, making the OS and its apps capable of switching HW platforms or interacting with different platforms. The PC can still run Win8 using the “tablet” view, without having a touch screen. The user would simply use the page up/down commands to simulate a “swipe”
A major innovation for this OS is that it is a true multi-tasking platform, you can watch a video, and bring up an excel spreadsheet or email to work on at the same time. This is in part due to new innovation with HW manufacturers that off-load hi-capacity tasks from processors to embedded workload specific HW components.
Win8 is also upposed to introduce Internet Explorer 10 too! IE 10 is designed specifically f0r touch screens and tablets and of course, runs FLASH unlike a major competitor.
Note that users will be able to easily switch between the “touch /tablet” view to the standard traditional PC view at any time or mix the views on demand.
Win8 keeps the same system requirements as needed for Win7 or lower – so most recent PC/Laptop investments should have no issues with Win8 transition.
This as a major event for corporations who have or are in the process of upgrading to Win7. As mentioned at the start, Win8 appears to be bringing the OS up to users expectations for the tablet market. Win8 systems should be compatible with Win7 for most corporate requirements.