When you purchase Software Assurance along with your software purchases from Microsoft, you get Deployment Planning Services“ credits.  These credits can be spent on deployment planning training/consulting on all manner of Microsoft software.  This is nothing new.  It’s been in place for a while.  I don’t think it’s well understood but it’s not new.

What’s new is that we now have some developer tools offerings that you can spend your credits on.  These offerings are primarily designed for enterprises undertaking large scale or involved deployments (high availability, broad feature set, migration from other tools, etc).  They are a safety net to make sure you have easy access to resources to ensure you know how to be successful with the transition.  We’ve recently rolled out 3 offerings:

  • Team Foundation Server Deployment Assessment – This is a five-day assessment that provides a detailed overview of the steps required for a successful deployment of Team Foundation Server 2010.
  • Visual SourceSafe Migration Assessment – This is a three-day engagement that provides a detailed overview of the steps required to migrate from Visual SourceSafe to Team Foundation Server 2010.
  • Visual Studio Quality Tools Deployment Assessment – This is a five-day assessment that provides a plan to simplify and streamline test planning and manual test execution processes by utilizing Team Foundation Server 2010 with Test Professional 2010.

**UPDATE** Check out http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/software-assurance/planning-services-overview.aspx#tab=2 for more info on how to cash in on your points.

**UPDATE**

In a comment I was asked about credits for VS + MSDN and I posted a chart which didn't render very well.  At the same time I wondered how many points the various assessments cost.  So I go that information and have provided it here too:

Here's the number of points you get for some of the VS SKUs:

Product

Points per License

Visual Studio Ultimate + MSDN

75

Visual Studio Premium + MSDN

50

Visual Studio Pro + MSDN

25

TFS CAL

1

And here's what the assessments cost (in points).  Remember though, you can use points from any of your SA agreements (not just VS ones):

Offering

Engagement Length

Deployment Points Needed

TFS Deployment Assessment

5 days

2000

Visual SourceSafe Migration Assessment

3 days

500

Visual Studio Quality Tools Assessment

5 days

2000

If you find yourself in the situation of needing this kind of support, check with your Microsoft sales rep and see how you can use this.

Brian