This is how Microsoft’s upcoming product and pricing changes will affect you

 In Microsoft, Software, Volume Licensing

In May, SHI detailed the upcoming price changes impacting Microsoft’s Client Access Licenses (CALs). These changes, which took effect Aug. 1, 2015, will result in an approximate 13 percent increase on the cost of User CALs.

But that was not the only change from Microsoft: In conjunction with the User CAL price increase, Microsoft adjusted additional products and pricing that impact multiple product offerings, SKUs, and licensing programs.

The following is a summary of the licensing and pricing changes effective Aug. 1, 2015.


Licensing changes

Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA): Microsoft introduced a solution that uses machine learning and behavior analytics to help organizations protect their data from advanced attacks. ATA is an on-premises software product that will be available through the following options:

  • Standalone License – ATA will be sold as a standalone Client Management License per User or per Operating System Environment (OSE).
  • Included in ECAL Suite – ATA will be included in the Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Suite; organizations licensed for the ECAL Suite will have rights to ATA going forward.
  • Included in EMS and ECS Suites – ATA will be included in both the Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS).

System Center Client Management Suite: System Center Client Management Suite, which includes Service Manager, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager, and Orchestrator, will be removed from the ECAL Suite and only sold as a standalone offering. The rights to use System Center Client Management Suite will be included with the ECAL suite and ECAL Bridge for O365 through Dec. 31, 2016. A migration path post-Dec. 31, 2016 will be provided at a later date.

CAL Bridge Simplification: Microsoft is simplifying the licensing of the CAL Bridge with two fundamental changes:

  1. Per User CAL Bridge – Historically, the CAL Bridge was licensed on a per-user or per-device basis, depending on how the underlying CALs were licensed on premises. Moving forward, the CAL Bridge will only be available as a Per-User SKU. Since Office 365 (O365) services are user based, aligning the CAL Bridge as a Per-User SKU will simplify licensing. Existing customers licensed for the Device CAL Bridge will have a transition path to Per-User SKU at renewal.
  2. Subscription License Only – Historically, CAL Bridge was sold as a perpetual license. After Aug. 1, CAL Bridge will only be available as a subscription SKU to align with how O365 is sold today. As a result, customers licensed under the perpetual model will transition to subscription at renewal.

Pricing changes [Note: Price changes vary depending on customer scenario(s)]

Windows 10

  • Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) is now included with Windows 10 Software Assurance (SA).
  • Existing Windows with MDOP customers will see no change in cost.
  • New Windows 10 licenses with SA SKUs reflect, on average, an 11 percent increase based on inclusion of MDOP.
  • The Volume Licensing programs impacted are EA/EAS, MPSA, and Open/Open Value.

Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)

  • EMS pricing has increased to reflect the inclusion of ATA functionality.
  • The price increase varies between 4 percent and 27 percent, depending on an organization’s licensing profile and SKU options.
  • The Volume Licensing programs impacted are EA/EAS, MPSA, and Open/Open Value.

Enterprise Cloud Suite (ECS)

  • ECS pricing is impacted by the inclusion of ATA and MDOP as part of Windows SA.
  • The price increase varies between 3 percent and 10 percent, depending on licensing profile and SKU options.
  • The Volume Licensing programs impacted are EA/EAS and MPSA.

CAL Bridge (Per User Subscription)

  • CAL Bridge User Subscription pricing is impacted by the shift to per user, subscription option only. Pricing changes vary based on the organization’s current CAL footprint and renewal scenario.
  • Only EA/EAS is impacted.

Any change to Microsoft licensing models, programs, or pricing warrants a review of how an organization is procuring and managing its products and licenses. Certainly, this change is no different. With multiple changes taking effect at once, it’s important that organizations have a strong understanding of immediate and future impacts. Reviewing your current product footprint, license entitlements, and current and future IT initiatives related to these changes will provide a better perspective on optimizing your Microsoft estate in the future.

Don’t hesitate – contact your SHI Account Executive now to learn more about these licensing and price changes.

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  • William M. Mailler

    So, how long do you think it will be before Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7?

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