Arraya Insights | January 18, 2021
Back in the fall of 2019, Microsoft laid out its timeline for overhauling its Software Assurance program. While that may feel like eons ago, only some of those changes have come to fruition. Others will go into effect this year and even beyond it. Organizations will need to make sure they’re ready to pivot accordingly as these modifications are implemented in order to ensure they continue maximizing the ROI on their Microsoft investments.
First, let’s consider what’s due up next. As of this upcoming February, Microsoft plans to retire the accrual of both planning days and training vouchers for all of its customers. Following not too closely on the heels of that deadline is the next. Come July 2021, customers will no longer be able to create new planning day engagements or training vouchers. The final dates worth noting on Microsoft’s current Software Assurance road map won’t hit until 2022. In January of that year, Microsoft will eliminate customers’ ability to redeem planning services and training vouchers. Also at this time, any customers leveraging Software Assurance for incident support will need to convert to a Unified support model from Microsoft. Then, in February 2022, Microsoft will retire accrual of 24/7 support incidents and instead provide as-needed support to qualifying Software Assurance customers under Microsoft’s Unified support label.
That’s a lot to take in. Essentially, these pending changes all fit in to one of three buckets: Deployment Planning Services, Training Vouchers or Support. Microsoft has stepped up investment in each of these areas, offering customers new benefits in place of those on their way out the door. Here’s what organizations can expect:
- Deployment Planning Services: Microsoft is bolstering its FastTrack program to help organizations plan and further their digital transformation and cloud journeys.
- Training Vouchers: Microsoft is working to create and build out new options for training and certification, including Microsoft Learn, to help others grow their skills and competencies with the company’s solutions.
- Support: Microsoft is adjusting support to be as-needed instead of incident-based for qualifying organizations while seeking to lower the barrier of entry for those seeking to utilize its Unified support model.
How Microsoft’s Software Assurance program has already changed
As we mentioned, Microsoft’s renovation of its Software Assurance program is already underway. In February 2020, which itself feels quite a ways away, Microsoft:
- removed cloud services from its planning services catalog
- eliminated the Azure training voucher
- stopped the conversion of training vouchers to planning services days
It’s likely your organization has already adjusted to life without the above services. However, given everything that has happened since February, it’s entirely possible one or more of these changes slipped through the cracks in favor of far more pressing concerns. As more services start to go offline over the coming months, it could make it harder for organizations to continue realizing full value from their Microsoft environment.
Next Steps: Keep up with Microsoft’s changing support and training options
Need a hand keeping up with the changing face of Software Assurance? Arraya Solutions can help. As a FastTrack Partner Ready-certified Microsoft provider, Arraya can help organizations of all shapes and sizes make the adjustments they need to see immediate and ongoing value from their digital transformation efforts. Through this program, our team can help stand up and optimize Microsoft solutions, boost user adoption, and map out future cloud endeavors as needed. If you’d like to learn more about FastTrack, or any of the ways Microsoft has evolved or will continue to evolve its Software Assurance program, reach out to Arraya today.
Visit https://www.arrayasolutions.com/contact-us/ to connect with our team now.
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