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Microsoft announced a change to licensing options for Windows Enterprise edition on March 1. Below I provide an overview of the changes and how they might impact organizations looking to take advantage of the features and functionalities.
Historically, Windows Enterprise edition has been only available through the acquisition of Windows Professional with Software Assurance (SA). Organizations that wanted these capabilities needed to purchase them through one of the following means:
- A new upgrade License with SA
- The renewal of existing SA
- The acquisition of SA only within 90 days of OEM or a Full Packaged Product (FPP) purchase
These procurement options were accompanied by certain restrictions on the type of qualifying volume licensing programs. For example, organizations couldn’t acquire SA within 90 days of OEM or FPP purchase under the Enterprise Agreement program, only via Select or Open. In addition, the ability to renew existing SA depended on keeping maintenance current to ensure continuity of coverage. SA renewal rules are defined in the Microsoft Product List.
Microsoft will now provide Windows Enterprise edition as an upgrade License only offering moving forward, making the features of Enterprise edition available to organizations not invested in Windows annuity licensing or programs. In addition, SA will come standard with the Windows Enterprise edition only, eliminating the Windows Professional Upgrade with SA option. Organizations with active SA on Windows Professional will have the option to renew using the Windows Enterprise SA SKU. Continue Reading…
By now everyone should know that Windows XP support ends on April 8. But that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone has jumped into action. Despite a nearly two-year warning about this deadline, at the end of 2013 more than one in four PCs around the world had yet to break the XP habit. And while the number of PCs running on Windows XP is surely dropping, many organizations still need to step into the light and adopt Windows 7 or Windows 8.
While moving to a new version of Windows might seem like a hassle, organizations should look at it as an opportunity to inspect their entire IT infrastructure beyond just the OS they use and identify any room for improvement.
For those working to upgrade their OS in the next couple months, Microsoft offers three free tools for all organizations, no matter their size, infrastructure, or IT resources, to smooth the transition. Here’s how they can help: Continue Reading…
Microsoft recently selected SHI to join the Windows Azure Circle, an elite group of partners that demonstrate excellence in assisting customers with planning, designing, procuring, and implementing Windows Azure solutions. Not every Microsoft partner is eligible to join this group since program acceptance requires a Microsoft executive sponsorship and a partner commitment to provide world-class solutions and support leveraging Windows Azure.
SHI has helped customers implement Windows Azure since Microsoft made it available through volume licensing in November 2011, and adoption continues to accelerate as customers move toward cloud-based solutions. SHI increased revenue generated through Windows Azure agreements by 259 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, and we continued to exhibit strong growth in early 2014. January’s revenue alone reflected an 816 percent increase compared to the same month last year.
In joining the Windows Azure Circle, SHI can now access even more Windows Azure training and technical resources to help us assess, develop, and implement Windows Azure for more customers. Membership in this group reinforces our commitment to providing customers one-of-a-kind, world-class support.
Have you considered implementing Windows Azure? Do you have questions about how Windows Azure will fit within your organization’s environment? If so, email your SHI sales representative today.
I’m proud to share that this week at VMware Partner Exchange 2014, SHI received the Solution Provider Partner of the Year Award. This is the sixth VMware Partner of the Year Award we have won during the last several years — an indication of the strength and maturity of our VMware partnership.
2013 was a strong year for our relationship with VMware. We became one of the first partners to offer VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) and, in fact, booked the first ever vCHS order! The addition of this service to our portfolio of VMware virtualization and cloud solutions no doubt contributed to SHI’s 44 percent increase in VMware revenue in 2013.
Equally impressive is the commitment we made to developing and training VMware support personnel. SHI currently has on staff:
- 25+ VMware Certified Professional (VCP) — certified engineers and architects
- 50+ VMware Technical Solutions Professional (VTSP) — certified sales resources
- 500+ VMware Sales Professional (VSP) — inside and outside sales
Congratulations to everyone at SHI who contributes to the success of this partnership! And to our customers, you can be sure we will continue our commitment to providing unparalleled VMware solutions and support.
2013 was a great year for SHI, bringing tremendous growth, new service offerings, and widespread recognition. In a press release issued yesterday, we reported $5 billion in revenue for 2013, a 15 percent increase from 2012. For the first time ever, SHI’s public sector, corporate, and enterprise commercial sales divisions each surpassed $1 billion in revenue.
“If we were a public company, SHI’s $5 billion in revenue would rank us among the Fortune 500, which includes many of our valued customers and partners,” CEO Thai Lee said yesterday. “It’s clear that the close relationships we’ve built with our clients, partners, and, of course, our employees have been–and will remain–the key to our success now and well into the future.”
As Thai mentioned, SHI’s employees were a key component to our success in 2013, and we’re pleased to be expanding. We added over 400 new employees at offices throughout North America and Europe last year, expanding our headcount to 2,500–the most in company history.
SHI also continued to be recognized for its outstanding partnerships, winning the Microsoft Channel Partner of the Year for state and local government and academic, as well as VMWare Solution Provider Partner of the Year. Dell also named SHI its DMR Partner of the Year for the fourth consecutive year, and the company won the Microsoft Operational Excellence Award for the 10th consecutive year.
Has the best yet to come? We don’t think so. We look forward to an even bigger 2014!
Most IT directors, IT professionals, and network administrators are asking themselves which enterprise technologies they should move to the cloud, and what platform they should adopt. The answer to the latter depends largely on the business goals the organizations hopes to achieve. When it comes to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), we’re seeing tremendous demand for Windows Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-based platform.
After initially falling into the category of Platform as a Service (PaaS), Windows Azure IaaS offerings have made a name for themselves by providing customers access to several different services and capabilities, including virtual machines (VMs), test and development environments, and storage services, among others.
Here’s how Windows Azure’s IaaS offerings assist many IT organizations. Continue Reading…