Getting the most from Software Assurance

I saw an excellent article on the Office blog and thought I would repost for all you guys who have SA benefits to put to good use, this article focuses on DDPS and has some great info, as a side note, for those of you with extra training vouchers, you can also convert those to extra xDPS days………..

Got Software Assurance? Don’t let your Deployment Planning Services benefit sit on the shelf
If your organization has a Volume License agreement with Microsoft, there’s a good chance you’ve also got Software Assurance with its collection of benefits, including Deployment and Business Planning Services. In case you don’t know, Planning Services, one of several benefits of Software Assurance, provides you with Microsoft Consultant or Partner with expertise on Microsoft Office, Windows 7, SharePoint, Exchange and Lync to help you plan or pilot a deployment. Imagine, expertise to help your deployment planning with no impact to your budget.
Each Planning Services offers a variety of consulting engagements that provide value to organizations of all sizes, based on years of experience working with customers on complex deployments. You select the type and length of engagement, based on your planning needs and the number of days you have available. Say you have 10 days available. You can use them for a 5-day engagement on Office and then later use your remaining days for an engagement for Exchange and Lync planning. Or use three days for a Jumpstart Lite Proof of Concept to pilot Office and Windows. Use them the way it makes sense for your organization. But don’t let them sit on the shelf.
Here’s a few ways you can use your Planning Services:
• Plan your migration to Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7 with Desktop Deployment Planning Services (DDPS) to help you evaluate your environment, identify opportunities, and plan a successful transition to the latest Microsoft Office platform.
• Use DDPS for your Windows 7 and Office 2010 Proof of Concept Jumpstart. Start evaluating technologies and assess the readiness of your desktop infrastructure. Get help with your application compatibility assessment, image engineering and PoC deployment.
• Explore how your organization can use SharePoint to improve team collaboration with SharePoint Deployment Planning Services (SDPS).
• Discover how migrating to Exchange 2010 and Lync can help your organization be more productive with Exchange Deployment Planning Services (EDPS).
• Want to explore how your organization can use technology to be more efficient? Business Value Planning Services (BVPS) can help you identify ways to take the technology you have and put it to work.
Visit the Volume Licensing Service Center to activate your Planning Service and get started today.
Check out these SA resources:
• Software Assurance Quick Start Guide
• Getting Started with Volume Licensing Video



  1. I have Software Assurance, and I had the impression it was a legal license/contract. But I’ve been unable to find anything vaguely resembling a contract, laying out details of what new upgrade rights it confers and so on. Does such a thing exist?

      • Thanks. The March 2012 document says, “Microsoft Software Assurance is an offering that provides benefits that may include new version rights, … For details on each of the benefits and policies, refer to the Software Assurance (SA) Benefits Section of this document.” And in section 6 on Software Assurance Benefits, I find “New Version Rights” for the “Server Pool” are “Yes”. Then I find, “New Version Rights means, for any underlying licensed product for which Software Assurance coverage is ordered, the right to upgrade to, and run in place of the underlying licensed product, the latest version of that product that we make available during the covered period. For example, if a new version of Microsoft Office is made available during the term of your coverage, your licenses will automatically be upgraded to the new version.”

        I have SQL 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition with a Server+CAL license on a 64-core server. It seems that the language above would grant me a free upgrade to SQL 2012 on the whole server, yet that was not what my Microsoft representative was offering. That’s why I was trying to track down the contract specifics.

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