In all honesty, Reimaging Rights and Downgrade Rights are two separate concepts with unique elements. That said, the one aspect that ties the two together is the fact that they both grant end customers the ability to replace an existing software installation with... something else.
Here’s my longwinded attempt at defining and differentiating between the two options:
1) This concept is a license grant available to Volume License Customers.
2) The grant allows end customers to replace an existing software installation (Retail or OEM) using Volume Licensing media.
3) Reimaging is only permitted if the copy of the Volume License media is identical to that of the original software installation (FPP or OEM license). This is key as customers are only permitted to reimage a license, using VL media, “if they are the same product and version, contain the same components, and are in the same language” (Re-imaging Rights– Volume Licensing Briefs).
Below are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when Reimaging:
· OEM and FPP licenses don’t always align with the Volume License offering. This is especially true with Microsoft Office. For example, Office Professional (OEM or FPP) and Office Pro Plus (Volume Licensing) are not the same product. Also, Office Home and Student, which is available through the OEM and FPP channel, cannot be procured under Volume Licensing.
Microsoft Windows (Desktop)
· Customers with Windows Vista Business OEM or FPP licenses cannot reimage their software with Windows Vista Enterprise as the latter is a Software Assurance Benefit.
For more information on Re-Imaging Rights I highly recommend reading the Re-imaging Rights document on our Volume Licensing Briefs website.
Taking all of this into consideration, I bet you still have one burning question on your mind: Can my customers replace their Vista Business installation with Windows XP Pro? The answer is a resounding YES. This however is not defined as Reimaging - enter Downgrade Rights...
This concept grants end customers the right to downgrade their Microsoft Software to a prior version. You will find that software purchased through OEM and FPP channels has varied limitations.
Below are a few things to remember when Downgrading:
· The Desktop OS must be the professional edition (i.e. Windows Vista Business)
· Full Packaged Product (FPP)licenses of Office and the Windows Desktop OS cannot be downgraded
· OEM licenses of the Windows Desktop OS can only be downgraded 1 version
· Software purchased under Volume Licensing is granted full Downgrade Rights across all three Microsoft Product Pools (Applications, Systems, and Servers)
· Customers have a 90 day grace period to attach SA to OEM or FPP licenses. This option is only available under the following Volume License Programs: Open Business, Open Value (non-companywide), and Select.
For more information on Re-Imaging Rights, I highly recommend reading the Downgrade Rights Chart document on our Volume Licensing Briefs website.
I hope I didn’t disappoint anyone who thought I found a way to merge Downgrading and Reimaging. In the end, it’s evident that they are two separate concepts, but being able to define them is key in knowing which concept applies to your customer’s situation.
Happy Selling (& Downgrading/Reimaging)!
The new Open Value price discount (affectionately known as OV 250) is finally available in Canada!
OV Level C launched April 1st and, because it is not a new Volume Licensing program, you can find it on the Open Value and Open Value Subscription price lists (just filter for "C" under the “Level” category).
This discount level is available to customers with a minimum of 250 desktops and will be sold in Canada exclusively through our Ultimate VAR and LAR resellers.
Understanding Open Value CompanyWide is key to understanding the new price discount. Customers are required to standardize across all eligible desktops on at least one of the three Components or Enterprise products (see below) in order to qualify for the price level.
Once the minimum requirements is met (250 desktops and CompanyWide) end customers will receive Level C pricing on not only Enterprise products but they will also save on Additional (other than the components below) software.
Targeting the right customer
Minimum requirements aside, you will have to take a few more points into consideration before helping your customers settle on the right Volume License (VL) program:
1) Geographic Territory
Based on the Microsoft Open Affiliate Participation, every Open VL Program (Business, Value, & Subscription) is restricted to price sharing within a particular geographic region. This simply means that companies in North America (defined by the program as Canada and the US) cannot share their price discount (including OV Level C) with affiliates outside of their territory (i.e. Europe, Asia, etc.). Organizations that require Global coverage will have to consider the Enterprise Agreement.
Open Value is a simple standardized agreement and it does not allow for changes to the Terms and Conditions. That said, as organizations grow/progress, they may need to make changes to their agreement terms to accommodate their business requirements, only an EA Program allows for the possibility of an agreement review.
3) Software Investment
If you are working with customers who have investments in Software Assurance for their desktops (CompanyWide Components: Office, Windows, or the core CAL), and they are looking to avoid having to pay for overlapping Software Assurance coverage for those purchases, an Enterprise Agreement would be a good choice. Microsoft incorporates consolidation as necessary into Enterprise Agreements.
That said, Open Value Subscription offers customers the opportunity for significant savings through the Up-to-Date Discount. Customers with qualifying software licenses can receive a 50% discount on their first year payments.
Overall, Open Value Level C is a great offering for companies and Ultimate VAR resellers. The discount enables Ultimate VARs to sell technology solutions to their customers with comparable pricing to Enterprise Agreement Level A. In addition, advantages of the Price Level go beyond just the cost of software as customers will also be entitled to an array of Software Assurance benefits, again, similar to those offered through the Enterprise Agreement Program.
Partner Licensing Manager