Some principle product and licensing updates for December 2018 –
- The Office Professional Plus ‘Dual Use Rights’ for Microsoft365 ‘From SA’ was extended to August 2019, advance notice for companies to seriously look adopting Office365 ProPlus C2R.
- Microsoft updated the CSP channel partner qualification criteria, requiring a partner performance assessment, requirement for advanced or premier support, and provision of Value Added Reseller (VAR) and Support service requirements. Microsoft continue to ‘streamline’ the partner reseller channel to enable their ‘Modern Commerce’ strategy.
- Microsoft clarified the new licensing rules for advanced security and compliance features for Office365 Groups, with a group organizer only needed for ‘premium’ features, and a group mailbox inheriting the license of the organizer. This is important for Teams which is built on Groups.
- Microsoft updated the Dynamics365 licensing (an ongoing theme), with re-alignment of the ‘light tasks’ use rights, and broadly maintaining ‘read only’ access across Dynamics365 for knowledge sharing.
- Microsoft cull the empowerment for Open Agreements, with the financial value of discount at $10,000 for Open and driving Open SMB customers towards CSP.
- Microsoft open up eLearning, a traditional Software Assurance Benefit, with 80 hours of learning content at launch and certifications for core technologies like Azure and Dynamics.
- Microsoft update to the Microsoft365 SKU, with a single item in the portal, not broken out into components, making the licenses easier to assign. The New SKUs would apply to new agreements and renewal only (rather than mid-term on a contract).
- A new Meeting Room SKU for Microsoft Teams SfBP2, Teams, Phone System, Audio Conferencing, Intune, Licensed Per Meeting Room Device (Notably Microsoft had a price list error for the SKU – MQH-00001 is incorrect – Do Not Order)
- Microsoft Stream features moving broadly across Office365 SKUs – features include – speech to text transcription and speaker timelines that use facial detection to see who’s talking. Available across all Office365 E Plans, Firstline, Edu, SMB – Bus Essentials & Premium and M365 Business.
- Microsoft confirmed the MPSA Azure Retirement Extension & Automated Tool Release (MPSA to Azure CSP
- Microsoft acquire FS Logix to bolster their Virtual Desktop capabilities in Azure. https://goo.gl/jc4iZx
- Exchange Server 2019 will leave Extended support on Jan. 13, 2026, three months after Exchange Server 2016, so upgrading will not buy additional supported life.
- Now included in the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, Microsoft is on course to deliver tools to move email, calendar, and contacts from Google G Suite to Office 365 (in reality, to Exchange Online) with an expected availability in the second quarter of 2019. https://goo.gl/i4Ywde
- Microsoft Intune announces device-based subscription for shared resources https://goo.gl/t6euQA and updated in the November Product Terms https://goo.gl/wyYFMZ
- Microsoft recognize silo of labels under Azure Info Protection (AIP) and O365 DLP polices, and merges unified labelling under Microsoft Info Protection in the Microsoft Security Compliance center. https://goo.gl/L3V2KP
- Simplified licensing requirements for group-based licensing. Users who are targeted for group-based licensing need Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Basic (and above), or Office 365 E3/A3. The original messaging around Licensing appears to have been slightly relaxed: https://goo.gl/QWR1y4