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Microsoft Licensing Online Summit: A Recap

Microsoft online summit

On December 11, 2019 we ran our 3rd Online Summit – “Making Sense of Microsoft”.
This was our most successful Online Summit to date with 724 registrations from 44 different countries across 5 continents, again showing that Microsoft, and ITAM, really is a global concept!

While you can only cover so much Microsoft licensing in 3 hours (!), with the help of our sponsors and co-presenters, I think we did an excellent job of highlighting key issues and giving an idea of what next steps can look like.

If you missed it at the time, don’t worry – it’s available to watch on-demand by registering here –


When building the agenda, there were so many different topics I could have included but, as I had 3 hours rather than 3 days (at least!), I had to keep it sharp and focus on the areas that we tend to hear a lot about at our conferences. That means the agenda for the Microsoft licensing online summit looked like this:

Microsoft in 2019

I did a very quick overview of the various Microsoft licensing changes introduced throughout 2019 – spoiler alert, it’s quite a lot! 10 minutes was just about enough time to highlight them to give an idea of the amount of change across Microsoft’s portfolio.

Deciphering the Microsoft cloud

Leigh Martin, Snow Software, covered a range of Microsoft cloud topics including:

  • Cloud migration strategies
  • Azure Hybrid Use Rights
  • Maintaining compliance in the cloud
  • Extended Security Updates for End of Life software

And shared a 9 point “Savings Action Plan” to help keep costs down in the Azure cloud.

Is there life beyond MAP?

Maarten Saeys, LANsweeper, covered Microsoft’s plans to cease to development of the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit and what the lack of new features in this key tool might mean for businesses when it comes to software inventory.

Evolution of SQL Server licensing

Niamh Ni Shuilleabhain, Version 1, talked through some of the key changes to SQL Server over its long and illustrious career including:

  • The move to Per-Core licensing
  • Changes to License Mobility rights
  • Passive Failover becoming a Software Assurance (SA) benefit
  • Azure Hybrid Rights
  • New SA benefits introduced with SQL Server 2019

And also shared some tips on managing SQL Server licensing.

Microsoft Listed Provider licensing changes

I popped up again to run through the changes Microsoft made to their Outsourcing terms, which impact dedicated environments from Alibaba, Amazon, and Google by making License Mobility rights required to run Microsoft software in those 3rd party scenarios.

Office 365 Optimisation

Stuart Dicken, SHI International, had the final session of the day and focused on optimising spend in Office 365. He talked through many of the difficulties that organisations can face with Office 365 such as:

  • Over-provisioning the service
  • Failing to properly train staff on the new software
  • Lack of on-going monitoring

And how reporting can help you identify areas of potential cost saving as well as user adoption, overall spend, and where users may need additional support to fully engage with the new tools.

Panel Session

We wrapped up the online summit with a Q&A session for our attendees to get their questions answered by the speakers – and we had some fantastic questions that included:

  • Extended Support Updates on SPLA
  • Getting inventory from Linux servers
  • Big Data Clusters
  • Managing non-production servers
  • SQL licensing
  • Continued value of Software Assurance

And more.

Don’t forget, you can watch the online summit in all its glory on-demand here –

What’s next?

We aim to run 4 Online Summits each year and the first for 2020, on February 27th, will be the always-relevant topic of Software Cost Reduction.

Software Cost Reduction

Featuring organisations including:

Sharing their views and expertise on topics such as:

  • 3rd party maintenance
  • Secondary software market
  • Open Source alternatives
  • Managing cloud spend

To help you choose where to focus, find quick wins, and identify strategic opportunities for reducing the cost of your software.

Register here –

About Rich Gibbons

Rich has been in the world of IT and software licensing since 2003, having been a software sales manager for a VAR, a Microsoft licensing endorsed trainer, and now an ITAM analyst looking at software licensing and cloud.

A Northerner renowned for his shirts, Rich is a big Hip-Hop head, and loves travel, football in general (specifically MUFC), baseball, Marvel, and reading as many books as possible. Finding ways to combine all of these with ITAM & software licensing is always fun!

Connect with Rich on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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