Microsoft Software Assurance support benefit extended

In May 2020, Microsoft declared that they are giving their customers more time to use their Software Assurance support benefit to plan for the upcoming changes.

Effective February 2021, Microsoft is further extending the support grace period from February 2022 to early 2023, with the exact date to be announced later.

There is no impact to the current process for accruing and using your Software Assurance 24×7 Problem Resolution Support benefit in 2021 or 2022. With the extension you can continue to convert your existing Software Assurance 24×7 Problem Resolution Support incidents to your Premier or Unified Support contract until the change is in place. Starting sometime in early 2023, customers with a minimum Software Assurance spend of USD $250,000 will receive as-needed basic support instead of incidents. Software Assurance support will provide business hours support with a 24-hour response time goal.

Software Assurance continues to offer helpful benefits coordinated across software and cloud to support your organization’s deployment, management, and support needs.

For a Software Assurance FAQ, please visit:

For a full list of benefits and eligibility, please visit:

To learn more about Microsoft Unified Support, please visit:

Please contact us for more information.

Microsoft Software Assurance Benefit changes

Effective January 31, 2021, Microsoft Deployment Planning Services (DPS) customer planning days as well as customer training days from Training Vouchers will stop accumulating.

You can still create vouchers for those days until June 2021. Those vouchers are still valid for 180 days after the creation date.
Therefore, we recommend creating the remaining vouchers before June 2021 and using them within the 180 days before they expire.

Please contact us for more information.

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 Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) Updates

Microsoft is retiring two Software Assurance benefits that have similar offerings outside of Software Assurance and changing the eligibility criteria for a third benefit. Specifically, this means:

  1. Microsoft retires the Deployment Planning Services benefit and will fulfill your implementation needs through Microsoft’s premier cloud migration and deployment program Microsoft FastTrack.
  2. Microsoft is investing in new, modern skilling programs. Training vouchers will be phased out as a Software Assurance benefit and will no longer be used to convert to planning services.
  3. Microsoft is adjusting the eligibility criteria of 24×7 support and changing support allocations to align Software Assurance support with Microsoft’s new Unified Support offering.

Continue reading Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) Updates

Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Microsoft Azure Dedicated Host

According to the August 2019 Microsoft Product Terms, Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit now includes options for the Microsoft Azure Dedicated Host. The main aspects of Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and SQL Server remain unchanged. Here’s a summary of the rules for both Windows Server and SQL Server.

What does this benefit offer for Windows Server on Azure Dedicated Host?

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server on Azure Dedicated Host can be used in three ways:

  • Standard edition: Customers with Windows Server Standard edition are entitled to 2 instances, similar to how Azure Hybrid Benefit applies to Windows Server on Azure Virtual Machines (VM) on shared servers. Each 2-processor license or each set of 16-core licenses are entitled to two instances of up to 8 cores, or one instance of up to 16 cores. The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Standard Edition licenses must be used either on-premises or in Azure although customers get 180 days of concurrent use rights while they are migrating their servers. Continue reading Microsoft Azure Hybrid Benefit for Microsoft Azure Dedicated Host

Microsoft dedicated hosted cloud services updates to licensing

Microsoft announced that starting October 1, 2019 there will be an update to the licensing of dedicated hosted cloud services. Currently, there aren’t any specific rules for dedicated cloud services in place. In the scenario of dedicated hosted cloud services, currently the same rules as for on-premises servers apply. The existing terms say, that as long as the hardware is dedicated to a customer, the customer can use his own licenses to license dedicated hardware in hosted cloud services. There is no requirement for Software Assurance or any other sort of eligibility criteria. The rights for licenses acquired before October 1, 2019 remain unchanged.

Licenses purchased after October 1, 2019 will underlay new rules when used with dedicated hardware from the following hosting organizations defined as “Listed Providers”: Microsoft, Alibaba, Amazon, and Google. Basically, you’ll now need Software Assurance on your licenses. The License Mobility benefit is updated to include both multi-tenant and dedicated services from these providers, and the Azure Hybrid Benefit is updated to include deployment to the newly announced Azure Dedicated Host.

For the Microsoft announcement, where you can also download an extended FAQ document on the bottom of the page, please visit:

Microsoft Office 365 Home Use Program Software Assurance Benefit

The new Office 365 Home Use Program (HUP) benefit is added to the February 2019 Product Terms. If a customer has Software Assurance Membership coverage on the Applications pool then employees may buy an Office 365 Home or Personal subscription through the Microsoft Home Use Program website at a discounted rate.
What’s interesting (and different to its Office 2019 HUP counterpart) is that employees may renew the subscription at the special HUP price regardless of whether they’re still employed by the qualifying organization and that organization’s Software Assurance Membership coverage status.
For more information about the Microsoft Home Use Program Benefit, please see the February 2019 Product Terms, page 80:

Microsoft Home Use Program: Office 2019

The Microsoft Home Use Program is available to those customers who have active Software Assurance on their Microsoft Office licenses, and it enables users of licensed devices to buy Office products at a heavily discounted price for home use. Office 2019 is now available through this program with a choice of Office Professional Plus 2019, Office Home and Business 2019, Visio Professional 2019 and Project Professional 2019.

To find out more about the Home Use Program and to order the products, please visit:

Microsoft Software Assurance (SA) Benefit Microsoft Exchange Online Voice Mail Service

Microsoft Exchange Online Voice Mail Service has been added as a Software Assurance (SA) Benefit for Customers with active SA coverage for Microsoft Exchange Server Standard 2019 or Microsoft Exchange Server Enterprise 2019.

For more information on the Microsoft Exchange Online Voice Mail Service, please visit: