Insights

Changes to the Microsoft SA Benefits: Do They Impact you?

06 May 2021, MOQdigital

Business Insights, Microsoft, Executive, Licensing

hubspot software blogMicrosoft recently announced more changes to their Software Assurance Benefits (SAB) offerings that have been gradually rolled out since February 2020 and will be fully implemented by January 2022. If your organization has or plans to invest in SA, you will need to understand how these changes will impact your ability to accrue, redeem, and consume these benefits moving forward. 

What is Changing? 

Microsoft’s updates will modernize these offers to align with the support needs of organizations evolving their cloud deployment strategy more closely. 

Specifically, three SABs will be impacted: 

  • Deployment Planning Services (DPS) will be retired in favour a single approach to supporting cloud deployments through Microsoft’s FastTrack program. 
  • Training Vouchers will be retired and replaced with a free online digital learning platform – Microsoft Learn. 

In this blog we are going to look at the recent changes Microsoft has announced to the SA Benefits Program. Specifically we will look at the changes to Deployment Planning Services and Training Vouchers 

How do you get SA Benefits? 

Customers who purchase Software Assurance through Microsoft Partners like MOQdigital receive various benefits based on what products they purchase Software Assurance (SA) on. The quantity of each benefit you earn is outlined in the Microsoft Product Terms. 

Microsoft will be retiring Deployment Planning Services (DPS) over the next 2 years and moving customers to their FastTrack Program. Microsoft is making this change to align themselves more closely with their goal of driving adoption of their cloud products (Microsoft 365, Azure and Dynamics 365). Many customers in the past took advantage of DPS, as it allowed them access to Microsoft Consulting or Partner Services to assist with deploying Microsoft technologies. 

Key Dates For Changes To The DPS 

February 1, 2020 – all Cloud Services have been removed from the DPS catalogue. If you want Cloud Services after this date, you will have to access them through the FastTrack program. 

February 1, 2021 – for customers who no longer receive additional DPS days for incremental purchases or true ups, it was also be the last day that new/renewing contracts could create DPS vouchers. 

June 30, 2021 – is the last day to create a DPS voucher for you to use. The good news here is that you do have 180 days to use a voucher from the date from the date you create it (meaning the last redemption date is January 1, 2022). 

Microsoft is evolving its training platform, both online and instructor led. Microsoft launched its online training portal Microsoft Learn, which is focused on instructor led training through certification and role-based curriculum. 

Training Vouchers 

Microsoft is evolving its training platform, both online and instructor led. Microsoft launched its online training portalMicrosoft Learn, which is focused on instructor led training through certification and role-based curriculum. 

Key Dates For Changes To The Training Vouchers Will Occur As Follows 

February 1, 2020 – All Azure courses have been removed as well as the ability to transfer to DPS as mentioned above. 

February 1, 2021 – Customers can longer receive new training vouchers for incremental purchases or true ups. It will also be the last day that new/renewing contracts can create training vouchers. 

June 30, 2021 – as with DPS, this is the last day to create a training voucher with 180 days to redeem it. 

What this means for you 

Amid these updates, Microsoft will continue to offer a wide variety of program and product-specific benefits through the SA model that will help organizations run their IT environment efficiently and effectively. Though the changes will be rolled out gradually, the first deadline will be here before you know it.  

These vouchers can be used on training and short-term services with Microsoft CSPs like MOQdigital, aligning with the already comprehensive benefits MOQdigital can provide as a CSP, including disaster recovery and upgrade rights. Be sure to take advantage of your existing SA benefits before it is too late! If you would like to learn more about how best to utilise your vouchers before they expire, please contact us here.