Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite


Microsoft have released further info about the Enterprise Mobility Suite and how it will be licensed.

“Businesses can add Enterprise Mobility Suite to any user or device with active Software Assurance on CoreCAL, ECAL, or BridgeCAL for Microsoft Office 365.”

A big point of EMS is that it offers bundle pricing, making it cheaper for organizations to grab all this Cloud goodness.

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Download the datasheet here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/enterprise-mobility-suite/buy.aspx#fbid=GoFMyywgvz8

Thanks, as ever, to Licensing School for the heads up on the datasheet.

Enterprise Mobility Suite


Satya Nadella didn’t just announce Office for iPad yesterday, he also announced the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS).

The capabilities packaged in the EMS are a giant step beyond simple MDM. The EMS is a people-first approach to identity, devices, apps, and data – and it allows you to actively build upon what you already have in place while proactively empowering your workforce well into the future.

The EMS has three key elements:

  • Identity and access management delivered by Azure Active Directory Premium
  • MDM and MAM delivered by Windows Intune
  • Data protection delivered by Azure AD Rights Management Services

What do these bits do?

Azure AD Premium is packed with features that save IT teams time and money, for example:

  • It delivers group management and self-service password reset – dramatically cutting the time/cost of helpdesk calls.
  • It provides pre-configured single sign on to more than 1,000 popular SaaS applications so IT can easily manage access for users with one set of credentials.
  • To improve visibility for IT and security, it includes security reporting to identify and block threats (e.g. anomalous logins) and require multi-factor authentication for users when these abnormalities are detected.

Windows Intune is Microsofts cloud-based MDM and PC management solution.

Since its launch we have regularly delivered updates to this service at a cloud cadence. In October 2013 and January 2014 we added new capabilities like e-mail profile management for iOS, selective wipe, iOS 7 data protection configuration, and remote lock and password reset.

Following up on these new features, in April we will also be adding more Android device management with support for the Samsung KNOX platform, as well as support for the upcoming update to Windows Phone.

Microsoft Azure Rights Management is a powerful and easy-to-use way for organizations to protect their critical information when it is at rest or in transit.

This service is already available today as part of Office 365, and Microsoft recently added extended capability for existing on-prem deployments. Azure RMS now supports the connection to on-prem Exchange, SharePoint, and Windows Servers.

For example, if an employee leaves an organization or if a document is accidentally sent to the wrong individual, the company’s data is protected because there is no way for the recipient to open the file.

The Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) will be available via Microsoft’s Enterprise Volume Licensing programs from May 1st.

See more info here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/archive/2014/03/27/enterprise-mobility-for-every-business-and-every-device.aspx

Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite Rumour


Rumours abound that Microsoft are set to make 2 announcements at tomorrow’s (27/03/14) web conference:

1) Office for iPad

2) Enterprise Mobility Suite

Office for iPad is a big one, that’s been talked about for a long while, and is a tricky thing to consider. On one hand, there are millions of people with iPads who will surely buy Office – bringing in significant revenue to Redmond. On the other hand, does Office on iPad weaken the Windows tablet message somewhat?

I don’t think it does, Office isn’t the only benefit of a Windows tablet – but I can see it being a question MS will need to address.

The second point is a newer rumour – the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). According to ZDNet, this will be a bundle of:

  • Windows Intune
  • Azure Active Directory Premium (a new offering)
  • Azure Rights Management Services

This would enable organizations to easily manage 1000’s of devices – Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone as well as iOS & Android – with features such as self service password reset, group management and more.

Source – ZDnet: http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-to-unveil-enterprise-mobility-suite-alongside-office-for-ipad-7000027717/

Adobe, Creative Suite & Volume Licensing


Adobe are continuing to make big changes to the world of Creative Suite licensing in their move towards Creative Cloud.

From June 1st, Creative Suite products will no longer be available via TLP or CLP, the 2 Adobe Volume Licensing programs.

This affects Commercial & Government (NOT Education) and the last order date will be May 30th.

As always, there are exceptions:

  • No change for Education
  • Still available for Government customers in Japan
  • China will continue to sell CS6 throughout 2014 in all segments.
  • Individual copies of CS6 will still be available to purchase via adobe.com

It is to be noted that this ISN’T the end of TLP & CLP as all non-CS products are still available via Volume Licensing – in particular Acrobat.

SQL 2014 Release Date


Microsoft have announced that SQL Server 2014 has been RTM’d (Released To Manufacturing) and will be generally available from April 1st.

SQL 2014 brings a host of new and improved features, particularly around Business Intelligence and Cloud computing.

  • In-memory transaction processing (In-Memory OLTP), speeds up an already very fast experience by delivering speed improvement of up to 30x.
  • Customers do not have to rewrite their application or deploy new servers. We approached in-memory columnstore the same way – it is built into SQL Server.
  • Customers can easily and securely backup and recover on-premises SQL Server databases using Windows Azure
  • SQL Server 2014’s AlwaysOn technology was not just improved for this release, it was built to enroll Windows Azure virtual machines running SQL Server into a customers’ disaster recovery solution.

You can read more about this release here:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_blog/archive/2014/03/18/sql-server-2014-released-to-manufacturers-will-be-generally-available-april-1.aspx?WT.mc_id=Blog_SQL_RTM_SQL14

Windows 8.1 Enterprise Upgrade


One of the fundamentals of MS licensing has been changed. It’s always been the case that:

“the only way to get Windows Enterprise is to buy Pro + SA”

Well not anymore!

As of March 2014, there is a standalone Windows 8.1 Enterprise SKU available via Volume Licensing.

Why?

This means organizations who can’t/won’t enter into an agreement with Software Assurance can now benefit from things such as:

  • Direct Access
  • AppLocker
  • Windows To Go

and more

Other SA benefits are not effected so things such as:

  • New Version Rights
  • MDOP
  • Virtualization

etc. are still only available with SA.

What else has changed?

It is now ONLY possible to attached SA to the Enterprise Upgrade SKU.

This takes away one relatively common practise. Organizations would often buy machines with Windows Pro OEM and then attach Windows SA within 90 days. This is no longer possible as SA can be attached only to Enterprise – and that won’t come pre-loaded on machines.

If you bought the OEM devices before July 1st 2014, you still have the 90 days to purchase SA. Once that date passes, it will no longer be possible.

Windows Intune & Power BI coming to Open Licensing


In a very encouraging move, Microsoft have announced that, from April 1st 2014, customers will be able to purchase both Windows Intune through the Open licensing program.

Currently Intune is available only via the MS portal but will now sit alongside Office 365 (and soon Power BI too) on the regular pricelists.

See more here:

http://www.digitalwpc.com/Community/Perspectives/Pages/Windows-Intune-and-Power-BI-coming-to-Open-Volume-Licensing.aspx?fbid=-jjTmFnB-aO&mtag=mbar-twitter&mtag=mbar-linkedin#fbid=PVSRpLQGbVC

Hat tip to Licensing School for finding this.

Cloud Platform Suite


This is a new licensing program that will be available on the January 2014 SPLA price list. It is aimed at Service Providers who run heterogenous environment – that is environments with a mix of Operating Systems such as Windows, Linux & Unix.

It is licensed in a “Host and Guest” model – the Host license covers the hardware and you will then purchase a Guest license for each Windows VM you wish to run.

Host SKU: Includes Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack, host capabilities and rights to manage all guests

Guest SKU: Includes Windows Server 2012 R2 guest capabilities

For more info, check out my good friends over at Licensing School:

Permalink to Cloud Platform Suite

Adding Azure to an Enterprise Agreement


It’s now easier than ever for customers to add Windows Azure to their Enterprise Agreement (EA).

You commit upfront to a monthly amount that you feel will cover all your needs, and that monetary commitment can be utilised in any way within Azure.

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Previously, you would receive great payment terms for your monetary commitment but – should you go over that amount (known as “overage”) – the extra usage would be charged at much higher rates. This effectively punished organizations who thought “wow, this Azure stuff is cool” – but no more, Overage is now charged at the same rates as the initial agreed amount. This makes increasing the usage of Azure a much more compelling proposition.

See Josh Waldo’s full post here:

http://www.digitalwpc.com/Community/Perspectives/Pages/Windows-Azure-added-to-Enterprise-Agreement-Use-it-to-power-your-solutions-.aspx?wt.mc_id=corp_mpn_tw_dwpc_joshwaldoazureagreement#fbid=7Lt8ur4Ygjd

Office 365 Cross Family Transitions


At the 2013 WorldWide Partner Conference (WPC), Microsoft announced plans to make it easier for customers to switch between Office 365 plans – this was greeted by smiles & cheers from many!

The initial introduction worked only for a few cases but the supported switching scenarios have now been expanded to include:

From To
Small Business MidSize Business
Enterprise E1
Enterprise E3
Enterprise E4
Small Business Premium MidSize Business
Enterprise E3
Enterprise E4
Exchange Online Plan 1 Enterprise E1
Enterprise E3
Enterprise E4
MidSize Business
Exchange Online Plan 2
Enterprise E3
Enterprise E4

Microsoft say:

“We continue to work on transition solutions for both additional scenarios (e.g., Exchange Online to Midsize Business) as well as for Open subscriptions and Government/Academic SKUs”

So there will continue to be additions and improvements around this – making Office 365 even more relevant for businesses everywhere.