All posts by Christine Plein

Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) extension to Deployment Planning and Training Vouchers

COVID-19 has led Microsoft to update the policy for how Software Assurance (SA) Deployment Planning Services and Training Vouchers can be used:

  • While Deployment Planning Services and Software Assurance Training Vouchers are typically valid for 180 days after date of creation, for vouchers created before April 1, 2020, Microsoft extends active vouchers for an additional 90 days.
    • This applies to all active Deployment Planning Services vouchers for cloud and on-premises engagements.
    • This applies to all active vouchers for Software Assurance training courses including Azure courses that were recently removed from the catalog.
    • No action is required from your side. Microsoft will adjust its records and systems to reflect this 90-day extension.
  • There are no changes to SA support benefits or to the schedule for retiring Deployment Planning Services and Software Assurance Training Vouchers in 2022.

Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines available

Effective April 2, 2020 Microsoft Azure Spot virtual machines are generally available. Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines let you access unused Azure compute capacity at large discounts compared to pay-as-you-go prices. These Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines are evicted when Azure no longer has available compute capacity and must reallocate its resources. At that point, the virtual machine is deallocated, and no additional virtual machine-related changes are incurred, but other resources, such as disk or network, continue to run and accrue charges. Take advantage of Spot pricing for Azure Virtual Machines or Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Select the right deployment model based on your preferences and the characteristics of your application. Microsoft Azure Spot Virtual Machines are suitable to run workloads that do not need to be completed within a specific timeframe.

Please find the official announcement here:

Microsoft Azure Information Protection Plan 2 end of availability

Microsoft Azure Information Protection Plan 2 is being discontinued as a standalone offering. The April 2020 Product Terms document confirms that existing customers will continue to have access to the service for the term of their subscription, and customers with true-up rights will continue to have the option to true-up for the term of their enrollment. For further information, find the Product Terms documents here:

Autodesk end of Multi-User Licensing

Autodesk is retiring plans based on serial numbers and launching named user plans based on people. For those customers on multi-user subscriptions, Autodesk will extend the availability of these plans to August 7, 2020 and delay their retirement to August 7, 2021.

The new plans will deliver you and your business many benefits now, and in the future, at a cost consistent with what you pay today.

  • Dedicated access for all employees whenever they need it. No more downtime because all of your licenses are in use.
  • New ways to optimize licensing costs. New named plans will allow you to have visibility into your usage data allowing you to make smarter investments for your company.
  • Plans for individuals, teams, and enterprises with dedicated or flexible software access, depending on how your company works.
  • You will no longer have to manage network servers or track anonymous serial numbers.

Autodesk offers different Trade-in offers for multi-user subscribers and standalone or network maintenance plan customers. Contact us for details.

For further information on Autodesk end of Multi-User Licensing, please visit:

VMware Platinum Portfolio end of availability

VMware announced the end of availability of vSphere Platinum, Cloud Foundation Platinum, and vCloud Suite Platinum product editions. Effective April 2, 2020 the Platinum portfolio is no longer available for purchase. VMware continues to support the components of the above bundles through their respective published support periods, which you find here:

For more information on the end of availability of the VMware Platinum portfolio, please visit:

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 mitigates the risk of losing access and control over your Microsoft Office 365 data so that your data is always protected and accessible. It gives you the power to securely backup Microsoft Office 365 and:

  • Protect your Microsoft Office 365 data from accidental deletion, security threats and retention policy gaps
  • Quickly restore individual Microsoft Office 365 items and files with industry-leading recovery flexibility
  • Meet legal and compliance requirements with efficient eDiscovery of Microsoft Office 365 backup items.

For more information on Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, please visit:

Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus device-based licensing announced

Microsoft announced that a Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus device add-on license will be available for Enterprise Agreement (EA) and Enterprise Subscription Agreement (EAS) customers in the summer of 2020.

This will effectively allow a Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus license to be assigned to a device so that multiple users can use Office 365 ProPlus on that device, whether they have their own User Subscription License (USL) for Office 365 or not. In August 2019, a similar add-on was made available for education customers with an Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES), where the add-ons are free if all Education Qualified Users (EQU) are licensed with an Office 365 ProPlus USL.

Find the latest announcement for commercial customers here: and recap on the education offer here:

Microsoft 365 E3 Unattended License available

The Microsoft 365 E3 Unattended License enables the use of Office applications with service or other non-user accounts, as is typical during automation process execution. Microsoft still recommends that automation processes should leverage product APIs like Microsoft Graph when possible. However, this new license can provide a new option for working with productivity data and tools.

For further information, please visit:

Microsoft Teams Premium Messaging available

Until April 1, 2020, unlimited Priority Notifications in Microsoft Teams were available for all users. Since April 1, 2020, licensed users are able to send Priority Notifications according to the terms of their subscription. Microsoft Teams Premium Messaging is available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 and Office 365 offers that include paid Microsoft Teams.

With Microsoft Teams Premium Messaging, messages tagged as urgent will notify recipients every 2 minutes, for a period of 20 minutes. It also enables targeted communications in chats, channels and tasks.

For further information on Microsoft Teams Premium Messaging, please visit: and, for details on managing messaging policies in Microsoft Teams, please visit:

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus supports Microsoft Office 365

IBM announced IBM Spectrum Protect Plus support for data protection of Microsoft Office 365. Many organizations use Microsoft Office 365 for their business. Although Microsoft provides protection against data loss due to hardware outage and short-term protection against data loss due to human errors, the data remains the customer’s responsibility.
The functionality of IBM Spectrum Protect Plus offers protection against malware and provides long-term data retention for legal and compliance purposes.