Software Assurance Frequently Asked Questions – SA FAQ


Just to finish off my SA overview, below are the common FAQs asked in relation to SA and the resources available

How do my customers track and manage SA?

Customers may review their SA transactions through MVLS or eOpen. MVLS and eOpen are also the benefit management tools for SA. Customers will receive communication from Microsoft, letting them know when their agreements with SA will expire and how to renew.

Partners need to:

  • Inform their customers about improvements in the value of the SA program, including software releases available for deployment or SA benefits available to the customer.
  • Outline deployment options to help customers realize the value of their investments.
  • Follow up with customers for their renewal orders.

How do customers manage their SA benefits?

A customer notice contact will need to assign a benefits administrator responsible for activating and managing benefits. This role can be fulfilled by customers directly, or they can assign this responsibility to a channel partner. The notices contact will receive an e-mail message from Microsoft with SA benefits details. SA benefits administration training is available at

What steps should customers take to designate their partner access to eOpen or MVLS as SA benefit administrators?

  • eOpen: The designated notices contact will receive an e-mail message with eOpen access details. The notices contact accesses eOpen and designates permission for others to access eOpen and manage SA benefits.
  • MVLS: The designated notices contact will receive an e-mail message with MVLS access details. The notices contact must access MVLS and establish the partner as a benefits administrator for one or more of the SA benefits. The partner will then receive an e-mail message with details on how to access MVLS and manage the SA benefits assigned.

Can customers consolidate licenses and SA from multiple agreements and expiration dates?

Volume Licensing customers can consolidate their Software Assurance coverage from one or more expiring program agreements into another existing active program agreement. Some benefits of consolidating Software Assurance may include:

  • Continuous Software Assurance coverage with fewer agreements.
  • Improved license management (fewer agreements to manage with different terms and expiration dates).
  • Increased flexibility and greater pricing predictability by eliminating the need to have different volume licensing agreements at different price levels.

How do customers track licenses and SA as new versions are released and deployed?

MVLS and eOpen detail license transactions. As new software versions are made available, the underlying transaction record will not change. Customers’ SA transactions and agreement end dates can be used for documenting version rights qualification through SA.

How do partners manage their customers’ SA expirations?

Microsoft regional operations centres send expiration notices to customers between 60 and 90 days before the coverage/agreement expires, depending on the program the customer is enrolled in. However, Microsoft does not send notices directly to the channel partners. Partners should track their customers’ SA transactions.

When does SA expire?

Coverage begins at the same time your customer and Microsoft both accept the agreement or add new licenses with Software Assurance to the agreement, and it expires with the Volume Licensing agreement term.

What SA options are available for OEM and Full Packaged Product (FPP) software?

Customers may acquire SA for OEM and most FPP software from any authorized Volume Licensing reseller. Customers may choose any Volume Licensing program to acquire SA that they are qualified for, according to the program rules. Then OEM and FPP software with SA coverage and underlying licenses have the Product Use Rights and SA benefits of the Volume Licensing program under which the SA coverage was acquired.

Is SA available and consistent worldwide?

SA is available worldwide. Specific offerings and language availability vary from region to region.

How does my company track SA benefits?

Open Value, Select License, and Enterprise Agreement customers can access and manage SA benefits through Microsoft Volume Licensing Services. Open License Business and Volume customers can access and manage SA benefits through eOpen. New software releases are listed in the Microsoft Product List at

My customer has SA on its server. Does the customer need SA for its CALs in order to receive server support benefits?

Yes. For server software licensed using the server/CAL model, the customer needs to acquire SA for both the server license and for all CALs accessing that server.

What support issues can my customer contact Microsoft about for licenses covered with SA?

The types of issues covered by SA are characterized as responsive, technical operational problems. Issues that are more proactive and consultative in nature are not covered under SA, but are still available from Microsoft under the Premier Support program.

Can anyone from my customers’ organizations call for support on a server covered by SA?

There are limits to the number of callers that can call for support. The limits are based on the type of Volume Licensing program and discount level through which you acquired your SA. Technology partners can be listed as parties that can access support under SA.

How do my customers who have an expiring SA agreement move from their current Volume Licensing program to another?

Customers may move expiring SA coverage into another Volume Licensing program by purchasing SA for their covered license on a new agreement in the Volume Licensing program of their choice. The order will need to be processed according to the rules of the new program, and customers may need details about their expiring agreement(s) to complete the order.

Which Volume Licensing rights do customers receive if they add SA to Office OEM?

When SA is bought for Office OEM licenses, all Volume Licensing rights apply, including the downgrade right, the right to move a license to another computer, and re-imaging rights.



Software Assurance is constantly evolving. For the latest updates, refer to the following resources:

Microsoft Volume Licensing website:

Benefits Entitlement Chart:

Microsoft Licensing Advisor:


Benefits Support Center


Phone: 0800 917 9016 for benefits assistance.



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  2. Hi Emma,Can you please clarify the Volume Licensing rights that customers receive if they add SA to SQL OEM in relation to transferring the license to another server? Can they transfer the OEM server license and the SA to a new machine?ThanksLinda

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