“The bottom line: Early adopters are finding serious benefits, meaning that cloud computing is real and warrants your scrutiny as a new set of platforms for business applications.” [Forrester]
The ability to move things to the cloud, use the cloud for extra compute or storage or expose or share services is of particular importance in the current economic climate.
If we believe the hype, businesses are already moving to the cloud. Analysts predict that the vast majority of large businesses will be using some type of cloud services in the next few years and that many will drastically be cutting the IT assets that they run and maintain in favor of pushing it to others to run for them.
Google have been slinging their message hard and while Microsoft has been seen as coming to the game later, It’s worth considering that they have been providing free cloud based services in Hotmail and Live Messenger IM and have a successful game platform – Xbox Live with 35 million paying subscribers globally.
Microsoft delivers its software as a service for both consumers (with Live) and for businesses (with Online Services). Organizations with as few as five users can subscribe and use Microsoft Online Services and because they are subscription-based, customers pay per user per month or per user per year.
Business Productivity Online Suite
The Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) is a communication and collaboration service offering that includes hosted messaging, collaboration, instant messaging, and web conferencing. BPOS makes available enterprise class software delivered as subscription services hosted by Microsoft. BPOS includes Exchange Online, Office SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online, and Office Live Meeting.
There are two ways that customers can purchase BPOS: User Subscription Licenses (USLs) and Step-Up User Subscription Licenses (Step-Up USLs). Both of these options are licensed on a per user basis, and both of these licenses grant access rights to the service.
These licenses are different than how customers consume traditional on-premise software. Rather than procuring Client Access Licenses (CALs), customers will be required to purchase USLs or Step-Up USLs. Similar to a CAL, these USLs are required for each specific user that accesses the online service. Different to a CAL, USLs are always licensed on a per-user, per-month basis and does not offer device licensing.
While USLs benefit new customers by providing “all inclusive” rights, but are also intended to complement existing Volume Licensing (VL) agreements through the availability of the Step-Up USLs.
User Subscription Licenses (USL)
The USL grants users non-perpetual rights (with no buy-out rights) to the services they’ve purchased licenses for. The USL includes everything the user needs to access the service (software and service elements). To purchase a USL, customers are not required to have ownership of a Client Access License or Software Assurance (SA). As long as the customer is current on their subscription payments for the service, they will have access to the most up-to-date version of BPOS services in which they are licensed. Since the service provides the latest features for customers, there is no need for customers to purchase SA to complement their USLs. Customers that have previously purchased a CAL and SA for on-premise software may utilize a Step-Up USL to access online services.
USLs provide license portability, which allows dual use rights for a single user. This means that the USL may be leveraged to access online services hosted by Microsoft, as well as existing on-premise customer servers. For on-premise use, the USL “acts” like a CAL in that the licensee may use the license to access on-premise servers.
For customers who want to use the USL as a CAL, server licenses for on-premise servers still need to be purchased and maintained separately from USLs. USLs only carry access rights of a CAL and do not cover the server licenses that are needed.
Step-Up User Subscription Licenses (Step-Up USL)
In the Step-Up USL model, there are essentially two parallel agreements the customer has: a new or existing SA agreement that the customer will continue to maintain and renew, and an additional Step-Up USL Agreement that provides rights to the service. Many Microsoft customers will have previously purchased perpetual software licenses (CALs + SA) from Microsoft for on-premise use.
These customers will be allowed to migrate to the equivalent Online BPOS service at a discounted rate by getting a credit for the software assurance portion of their licenses. Please be aware that customers that have Software Assurance (SA) will be allowed to purchase USL Step Up SKUs only if they are current on the SA for the relevant on premise products (as below)
If a customer chooses not to renew the associated SA agreement, they lose the right to purchase the Step-Up USL and will be required to purchase a non-discounted USL to retain online service access rights. It is important to note that the customer will not receive any credit for the License (L), only credit for Software Assurance (SA)
BPOS on an Enterprise Agreement
- The BPO Suite complements the Platform EA by being an additional product that attaches to the Core CAL or ECAL Suite. This means that customers will continue to purchase Core CAL & ECAL in EA.
- If they want the BPO Suite of services, they would purchase either the BPO Suite Step-Up USL from Core CAL, or the BPO Suite Step-Up USL from ECAL and attach it to their corresponding CAL Suite licensing position.
- BPOS Services may not be licensed at the device level (only on a per user basis). However, Device CALs that were purchased as part of a Platform EA agreement have a 1:1 relationship with BPOS Step-Up USLs: one Device CAL qualifies for one Step-Up USL.
- The BPOS step-up agreements will become co-terminus with the existing EA. As with the EA, billing for BPOS step-up agreements attached to an EA agreement is consistent with EA terms and is on an annual basis.
Licensing Agreement Types
Customers are able to license BPOS through Volume Licensing (VL). Enterprise Agreements will utilise the traditional Volume Licensing Agreements and Programs, while Non-Enterprise Agreements will utilize Microsoft Online Service Agreements (MOSA) and will only be able to license BPOS under one year agreements.
Microsoft Online Services Program Agreement (MOSPA)
- All services can be purchased
- Only 1 year agreements offered
- Evergreen – auto renewal
- Billing starts immediately
- Monthly or Annual billing
Enterprise Agreement (EA)
The premium Microsoft Volume Licensing program is for organizations with 250 desktop PCs or more
- Add services with the price advantage an EA offers
- No platform commitment required (additional product)
- Additional savings off BPOS when the organization has a Core Client Access License (CAL) or Enterprise CAL (ECAL) (Device)
- Consolidated reporting is available for all licensed software and services through the EA Enrollment
- Microsoft Financing options are available through EA and EAS
- Only BPO Suite Step-Ups & Deskless Worker Suite can be purchased
- Attached to EA
- Co-terminus with EA
- Billing starts immediately
- Billing and terms consistent with EA
Customers may also choose to order the following individual services,
Exchange Online Standard
SharePoint Online Standard
Office Live Meeting Standard
Office Live Meeting Professional
Exchange Online Deskless Worker
SharePoint Online Deskless Worker
Exchange Online Extra Storage
SharePoint Online Extra Storage
Activation of Online Services through Volume Licensing
A key difference between Online Services and standard Microsoft products is that Online Services reside remotely with a service provider and must be “activated” before they can be used.
- Customer activates through Microsoft Online Customer Portal (MOCP)
- Notification sent to customer confirming service has been activated
- Customer manages BPOS-S services via Microsoft Online Administration Center (MOAC)
- Through an Enterprise Agreement (EA) or Campus and School Agreement (CASA)
- After the Channel Price Sheet (CPS) is signed, the Regional Operations Center (ROC) processes the deal
- Once processed, the Online Customer Portal (OCP) sends an activation mail to the customer
- Activation mail is sent to customer’s Online Services Administrator e-mail address (same address as on customer enrollment within the EA)
- When promoting trial, use this Windows Live ID in advance to avoid migration issues (versus customer’s personal Live ID)
- Customer receives the activation mail and must activate using a Windows Live ID
- Live ID MUST BE the same email address that received the activation mail (Online Services Administrator address)
- Deal processing and generating an activation mail should take approximately 48 hours. If the customer does not get the activation mail, they or the partner should contact the ROC or escalate the issue directly to the email@example.com
- Customers can begin using the service at any time after they have activated
- Microsoft Online Website http://www.microsoft.com/online/
- Microsoft Volume Licensing: www.microsoft.com/licensing
- Microsoft Support Center: mvlshelpa@MSDirectServices.com
- Microsoft Volume License Services (MVLS): https://licensing.microsoft.com/
- Windows Live ID (Formerly Passport ID) Registration: http://get.live.com/getlive/overview/
- Online Services Guide: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/resources/volbrief.mspx/
- Online Use Rights http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/online-use-rights.aspx