Microsoft Licensing update November 2022

Microsoft has announced quite a few changes recently. For example, during the recent Ignite event, Microsoft Teams was mentioned with new features. Below you will find, in our opinion, the most important changes or new features. Do you have another question? Contact us.

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General news

  • Azure Active Directory Basic now allows unlimited SSO (Single Sign On) – the previous limit was 10 apps so a significant change.
  • There is a 50% off promo for Defender for Endpoint on EA from Nov 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

Microsoft Intune

It appears that Microsoft has made Intune its main brand for endpoint management going forward… As part of this, say goodbye to Microsoft Endpoint Management (MEM).

The new suite will include:

  • Advanced endpoint analytics
  • Endpoint Privilege Management
  • Remote Help for Windows & Android
  • Microsoft Tunnel for Mobile App Management

More features to be announced in 2023.

The add-on license will be less expensive than purchasing each component separately and will be available for Microsoft 365 E3/E5 and any licenses that incorporate Intune. This is just another instance where businesses with M365 E5 licenses still need to buy additional licenses.

Read more

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What’s new in Microsoft Teams?

See below the new features in Microsoft Teams:

  • Assign seats in Together mode
  • Customised branding
  • Pop out shared content into a separate window
  • Detailed call history
  • Microsoft 365-connected templates
  • Adobe PDF experience
  • Video clip
  • Teams calendar now includes scheduling form pop-outs
  • ISV App Subscriptions instead of 3P app subscriptions in Teams Admin Center

See all new items

Microsoft Teams Premium

Microsoft has developed a Teams Premium add-on SKU, which was announced at Ignite 2022, giving organizations greater advantages as hybrid working spreads and develops. It is reasonable that Microsoft will attempt to commercialize Teams with an emphasis on hybrid features given its enormous success and its importance to so many organizations. These new choices consist of:

  • Customised branding
  • Advanced Meeting Protections
  • Advanced webinar features
  • Intelligent Recap

Learn more about Microsoft Teams Premium

Microsoft Azure Savings Plan

This new way of paying for Microsoft Azure was announced at Microsoft Ignite 2022 and seems to bear more than a passing resemblance to Amazon AWS Savings Plans. The similarities are probably a bonus for customers, meaning you don’t have to learn 2 totally different IaaS cloud payment options.

What is it?

Azure Savings Plans is, to some degree, the next step beyond Reserved Instances (RI). This new offering comes with a spend commitment on an hourly basis (over 1 or 3 years) and gives discounts over the PAYG pricing on resources where you have consistent usage. Eligible compute services include:

  • Virtual Machines
  • Dedicated Hosts
  • Containers
  • Azure premium functions
  • Azure app services

How it works

Savings Plans discounts are applied automatically (starting where the largest discount exists) to any eligible services on spend up to the hourly commitment i.e. £9 per hour. Any spend over that amount is then charged at PAYG pricing so, just as with Reserved Instances, accurate understanding of current and future usage is a must.

They only apply to infrastructure costs but can be combined with Azure Hybrid Benefits for Windows Server & SQL Server etc.

Manage Azure Savings Plan

Save with Azure Savings Plan

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Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Stack HCI

Ignite 2022 saw Microsoft expand the Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) to grant access to Azure Stack HCI.

What is it?

Licenses must be assigned for each physical core in the Azure Stack HCI cluster, and it is only available to Enterprise Agreement customers and only applies to Windows Server Datacenter licenses with SA. By using this method of licensing, you can employ as many Windows Server base instances as you want throughout the cluster. The “dual-use” rights do not apply under the Product Terms, therefore licenses may be utilized as either Windows Server licenses or Azure Stack HCI licenses.

It is activated in the Azure portal.

Azure Hybrid Benefit for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

As well as the Azure Stack HCI news, Microsoft has also added Azure Hybrid Benefit (AHB) for AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service).

How it works

This benefit is available for Windows Server Standard and Datacenter (both with SA) and also CSP server subscriptions. Hosts must be Windows Server 2019 (and later) or Azure Stack HCI

Each Windows Server core license w/SA allows the use of 1 virtual core of AKS. The AKS AHB is additive, this means the licenses can be used to cover on-prem/Azure workloads AND to use AKS. Read more.

SQL Server price increase

Microsoft is increasing prices for all Microsoft SQL Server on-premises licenses by 10% effective Jan. 1, 2023, regardless of licensing program.This will impact all SQL on-premise SKUs, including Software Assurance. All channels and Volume Licence programs will be affected globally, including SQL server subscriptions purchased via CSP.

Minor exception for Microsoft Service Providers (SPLA programma), their prices are increasing 10% for SQL Server Standard and Web edition and 8% for SQL Server Enterprise.

There are currently no price changes announced for SQL Server on Azure (Azure SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server IaaS and Azure SQL Database). If you have a purchase of new SQL Server licenses or Software Assurance coming up, now is the time to act.

Microsoft is quick to make the point that this is the “first substantive change to the list price since SQL Server 2012”.

Microsoft local currency pricing

Microsoft will also introduce a global and uniform US Dollar price list for the whole Microsoft Cloud on January 1st (with the exception of Azure through a CSP partner, which already has a US Dollar price list). The 16 (local) currency pricing lists that are now available will no longer exist. Microsoft will update local currency prices, which are taken from the US Dollar price list, twice a year to reflect FX exchange rates.

There won’t be a price increase for clients with active subscriptions until the end of the subscription period. Prices may change (or go up) at renewal, but they are once more set at renewal for the life of the new subscription.

Microsoft claims that the new price model (one worldwide license) also applies to traditional on-premises licensing. Read more about this.

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The world of licensing is quite complex, especially the pricing models. Our experts can support you with this, and make sure you have the best conditions for your company.