An important reminder for all partners using Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate program benefits - transition your licences to maintain uninterrupted service.
Are you an active cloud seller? You may be eligible for a licence extension, read on for more.
The Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate incubation programs provided Microsoft Partners worldwide with no-cost, Internal Use Rights (IUR) access to Microsoft's public cloud solutions - such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Intune and Microsoft Azure. At introduction, these programs provided the only way for Microsoft Partners to receive IUR for cloud solutions.
In November 2013, Microsoft announced a number of significant changes to the Microsoft Partner Network. In particular, the February 2014 retirement of the Cloud Essentials program, the removal of licence benefits from the Cloud Accelerate program and the introduction of Cloud IUR as an Action Pack and Competency Partner benefit - see the full Action Pack (page 5) and Competency IUR entitlement.
What does it mean for you?
All partners using Cloud Essentials (or Cloud Accelerate) licences, even those already with an Action Pack or Competency, must take action to maintain their service. The following guide speaks directly to the Office 365 transition process, read the Cloud IUR Transition Guide for guidance on other Cloud Essentials benefits.
How do I know if my business is using Cloud Essentials licences?
I've sold Office 365 - am I eligible for an extension?
If you have sold at least one seat of Office 365 between March 1, 2013 and February 24, 2014 and are listed as the Partner Of Record, you may extend your Office 365 Cloud Essentials licences to October 2014.
If your licences have not already been extended, please email the following details to email@example.com:
How do I maintain my service?
1. Learn more about the changes and entitlements
As a member of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN), you receive a set of core benefits that help save you time and money while you strengthen your capabilities, better serve customers and build connections to reach your full business potential.
On February 24, 2014 cloud licences were added to the IUR entitlement of all Action Pack and Competency Partners. With the retirement of Cloud Essentials and the removal of Cloud IUR from Cloud Accelerate, users of Cloud benefits are required to take action to maintain their service.
2. Assess your current IUR usage and the expiry date of your licences
Tenant administrators can view the number of Office 365 assigned users within their organisation through the Microsoft Online Portal. Simply sign in and click "billing" / “licencing” on the left menu bar, take note of the expiry date of your Cloud Essentials licences, select “Licences” to view the number of assigned users. If needed, you can view individual users by clicking “users and groups” from the left menu bar.
3. Ensure your new entitlement meets your needs and plan for shortfalls
If your MPN membership entitlement meets your seat requirements, please proceed to step .
If you are an MPN member at the Community level, or your membership entitlement does not meet your seat requirements, it is important to plan for shortfalls.
Option 1: Upgrade your membership
Upgrading your membership could be the quickest and most cost effective way to increase your entitlement. See below for a brief overview of membership fees and requirements, see here for more.
*Fees and requirements are specific to the Small Business competency, see here for all competency requirements. Special pricing for the Small Business competency is available only to partners who have not held a competency within the past 12 months. For all other partners, the standard fees apply ($3,300^ for Silver and $7,480^ for Gold).
^All fees are in $AUD and include GST where applicable. Fees correct as of 02/06/2014.
Option 2: Purchase additional seats
Additional seats may be purchased and added to your tenant. Australian Office 365 partners may purchase Enterprise family licences via their authorised cloud Distributor, purchases of 150 seats or more may be facilitated with an Enterprise Agreement. Once available in Australia, partners may choose to purchase additional licences direct through the Microsoft Online Portal. For the foreseeable future, licences purchased via the Telstra T-Suite are incompatible with your IUR tenant.
Connect with your Distributor to learn about the Office 365 pricing offers available to Microsoft Partners:
Upgrade scenario guidance and offers:
a) Community Partners:
To maintain service, Community partners are advised to purchase additional seats or upgrade to Action Pack or Competency.
b) Action Pack Partners:
Action Pack partners are eligible for 5 seats of Office 365 E3, this entitlement doubles to 10 if you have sold at least 25 seats of Office 365 within the past 12 months. For additional coverage, Action Pack partners are advised to purchase extra seats or upgrade to a Silver or Gold competency.
c) Silver Competency Partners:
Silver Competency partners are eligible for 25 seats of Office 365 E3. For additional coverage, partners are advised to purchase extra seats or upgrade to a Gold competency.
d) Gold Competency Partners:
Gold Competency partners are eligible for 100 seats of Office 365 E3. For additional coverage, partners are advised to purchase extra seats or attain an Additional Benefit Tool Kit (contact Jack Pilon for more).
4. Transition existing cloud IUR to the new model before your licences expire
To maintain service, partners are required to transition from their Cloud Essentials IUR - to purchased licences and/or Action Pack / Competency IUR – before their licence expiry date. Please note: After expiry, your licences will enter a 30 day grace period. During this time all users will still have access to their services and data. Transitioning during this period is the same as transitioning prior to subscription expiration. Learn more on page 10 of the Cloud IUR Transition Guide.
Transitioning is a quick and easy process which requires no physical migration of data and no service down time. See below for a brief overview of the Office 365 transition process. Download the Cloud IUR Transition Guide or “How to transition” video for further information and guidance for Dynamics CRM Online, Windows Intune and Microsoft Azure licences.
How to transition your Office 365 Cloud Essentials IUR to Action Pack or Competency IUR:
How to transition your Office 365 Cloud Essentials IUR to seats purchased via Distributor:
Follow the process listed above, starting at step 4. All plans in the Enterprise family (including standalone plans) are eligible. Depending on the seats you add, you may want to assign certain plans to specific individuals – manage your licences through the “users and groups” section of the Microsoft Online Portal.
Need help? Contact our friendly support staff on 13 20 58 (Options 2,4,1).
Join the discussion in the Microsoft Australia Small Business Reseller LinkedIn Group.