As of July 1, 2015, the Microsoft Select Plus agreement will be retired. Existing Select Plus customers can continue purchasing new products and renewing Software Assurance through their Select Plus agreement for one more year, but after July 1, 2016 no SA can be renewed and all Select Plus purchases will cease after the customer’s next agreement anniversary.
The retirement of Select Plus as it pertains to your current agreement should be approached from three perspectives:
From a Commercial Perspective, What Will Replace Select Plus?
In response to Satya Nadella’s “Mobile First, Cloud First” agenda, Microsoft established the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) which consolidates and simplifies T’s & C’s from standard Volume Licensing Agreements to include terms for purchasing Microsoft Online Services, such as Office 365, Intune, Dynamics CRM Online, and Yammer.
Organizations currently enrolled in Select Plus should consider moving agreement structures to the MPSA immediately to ensure any points accrued from purchases under the Select Plus agreement transfer to the MPSA. You can tie the MPSA to your Select Plus contract, meaning you continue with Select Plus until the end of the contract term, at which point MPSA takes over along with any accrued points. Furthermore, by tying MPSA to Select Plus, you will not have to worry about purchasing a minimum number of points per pool (typically 500) to secure a discount if you already have that minimum point count with your existing Select Plus.
From a Technical Perspective, How Will My Current IT Infrastructure Be Affected?
The MPSA inherits the price level of your existing Select Plus contract and doesn’t realign until the anniversary, giving you plenty of time to strategize how you want to allocate your licenses under the MPSA structure. This allows you to really consider the biggest difference offered by MPSA that is not available under Select Plus: the capability to purchase Online Services through self-provisioning Purchasing Accounts.
Organizations can establish as many Purchasing Accounts as they need to ensure an efficient self-provisioning service for purchasing any software, Online Service, or Software Assurance. Since many organizations are moving to the cloud to supplement their IT needs, being able to purchase Office 365 seats as you identify a need for them is a significant added benefit.
From a Compliance Perspective, What Are My Options Going Forward?
In both Select Plus and MPSA, you can mix-and-match between User CALs and Device CALs. Certain institutions need this sort of flexibility given the nature of their staffing requirements. Hospitals, for example, staff multiple receptionists working in shifts on a single device, making the Device CAL the ideal scenario. Physicians, on the other hand, may bounce around between multiple devices either at work or at home, making the User CAL the more cost-effective option.
However, maybe your organization is heading in another direction which requires you to reconsider whether the MPSA matches your growth strategy. Perhaps instead of flexibility, you require standardization, in which case the Enterprise Agreement is the ideal scenario over the flexibility of the MPSA.
Now is the perfect time to consider the direction you’d like to take your IT. With Select Plus ending in stages over the course of the next year, waiting until last minute to determine whether you’d like to tie an MPSA contract to your existing Select Plus agreement limits any other options. SoftwareONE offers several Microsoft Advisory Services ranging from Microsoft Contract Support to Microsoft Technology Solution Discovery & Roadmap.
To schedule a Microsoft Advisory Service with one of our Microsoft Certified Professionals, click the banner below and enroll in a workshop to uncover your available commercial, technical, and compliance options for migrating off the soon-to-be-retired Select Plus agreement.