Interlink Cloud Blog
Max Donaldson

Microsoft Software Assurance Benefit Changes

Microsoft-Software-Assurance-Benefit-Changes

Learn what is coming next regarding Software Assurance and keep your organization prepared.
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What is Software Assurance?

Software Assurance is a comprehensive Volume Licensing program that includes a unique set of technologies, services, and rights to help you deploy, manage, and use your Microsoft products more efficiently. Starting next month and continuing over the next two years, Microsoft has announced they will be making substantial changes regarding Software Assurance benefits. Make sure your company is prepared and knowledgeable about what comes next!  

Moving Forward 

Microsoft is making changes to Software Assurance, specifically with Planning Services, Training Vouchers, and 24x7 Problem Resolution Support. In February 2020, Microsoft will begin the phase-out of these benefits, so taking the time to understand the changes and put a plan together is important so you don’t miss the deadlines. 

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Max Donaldson

Microsoft Kaizala | Reasons your Firstline Workers will Love This Simple & Secure Mobile Chat App for Work

Microsoft-Kaizala

See what Microsoft Kaizala is, how you get it, and how it’s different from Microsoft Teams

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A common struggle for organizations is figuring out the best way to bridge the gap in communication between corporate offices and their firstline workers – the people who work in service or task-oriented roles across a variety of industries such as retail, hospitality or manufacturing. Oftentimes, associates in these roles want a more convenient and secure way to connect with their team, view company resources, and manage their schedules or shift changes. As a solution, Microsoft has developed Kaizala – the messaging app that brings unique capabilities to Microsoft 365, with its ability to connect and engage people both inside and outside of an organization’s directory – including contract workers, vendors, partners, suppliers, and customers.

Sound a little familiar? Microsoft Teams already offers features like instant chat, mobile applications, and even Shifts for firstline workers, so why do you need a Kaizala integration at all? Kaizala was designed to complement Teams – which is why Microsoft recently announced they would be delivering Kaizala capabilities into Microsoft Teams as part of an integrated offering. Read on to learn more about Kaizala, including what it is, how you get it, and how it's different from Teams...

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Max Donaldson

Is Your Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) Renewal Coming Up?

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For many companies, the end of their Microsoft EA is coming up this June, and it’s time to think about renewal or alternate options like A Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).

Choice is critical in business, but sometimes it’s difficult to determine the best decision for your specific organization. Such is the case when it comes to contracting services for Azure and your other Microsoft cloud applications. For many years, the best choice for larger organizations was signing up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA) directly with Microsoft. However, now there is a new option called Cloud Service Provider (CSP), a contract you can purchase from a certified Microsoft partner like Interlink.

Both offer similar services and similar pricing. There are advantages and disadvantages to both depending on your size and type of business. So, how do you decide what’s the right choice for your organization? Below is a look at the two options in several key areas.

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Max Donaldson

Changes to Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA) Might Have You Reconsidering Your Renewal

Microsofts-Enterprise-Agreement-EA

Big changes are on the horizon for Microsoft’s Enterprise Agreement (EA).

If your company is currently on an EA for licensing, you may need to rethink your renewal. Back in March of 2018, we published the blog article Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) vs. Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) Licensing Agreement: What's Best for You? and due to the most recent and future changes, the time has come to revisit the topic. SMB customers that currently have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA will soon be faced with the decision –  or be forced – to say goodbye to the EA and hello to an alternative licensing program like Cloud Solution Provider (CSP).   

The EA has been the flagship licensing program for many years for companies with more than 250 users or devices looking to standardize their organizations on enterprise products like Windows OS, Office Pro, and the CAL Suites. The EA is beneficial because it offers support and other deployment and training benefits via Software Assurance as well as offering predictable pricing for the 3-year duration of the agreement. If you met that criteria, it was hard to argue why you wouldn’t sign up for an EA, as the discounts far superseded the alternatives. Another benefit with the EA is being able to mix on-premise products and cloud products on the same agreement, which was 100% cloud only until Server Subscriptions was recently added to Cloud Solution Provider Licensing Program (CSP). 

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Max Donaldson

Save Money in Azure with Server Subscriptions

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Do you have a steady workload that you expect to continuously run?

If so, there are a few options that offer great savings.

In our previous blog, Azure Pricing – How to Get Your Best Deal we discussed how Reserved Instances can help save you money on the compute side. In this article, we will walk through another way to drive down Azure costs for your Windows Server and SQL Server through a new offering called Server Subscriptions (SS).

So, what is a Server Subscription? A SS is when you subscribe to the use of the Windows Server or SQL Server family of products on a Cloud Solution Provider Agreement (CSP) and have the ability to use that software in Azure through the Hybrid Use Benefit (HUB).

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