Guest post by Paul Harris, UK Academic Licensing Sales Specialist

Firstly, an introduction – as the UK Academic Licensing Sales Specialist (LSS – we love a 3 letter acronym at Microsoft – in fact there will be 4 in this blog post alone!) an important part of my role is to try and help our Education customers understand the intricacies of our Academic licensing programs

Over the coming months, I’m going to write a regular blog which will hopefully de-mystify some of the key licensing topics – if there are any burning questions you have, feel free to get in touch – my contact details at the bottom of this blog entry.

The first topic is actually something which went under a lot of peoples radar when announced back in December 2012, but is a pretty big change which means that Education customers can provide productivity services to Students in a cost effective way

With the launches of Lync Server 2013 & Exchange Server 2013, External Connectors for both Exchange Server and Lync Server were discontinued and removed from our price lists. At the same time the SharePoint for Internet Sites (FIS) license was also withdrawn. Instead, all the usage scenario’s previously covered by external connectors/FIS are now included in the Server license.

OK, so what does that actually mean & why is this good news?

Students no longer need a Client Access License (CAL) to access Exchange Server or Lync Server, and in most scenarios SharePoint too*!

This new approach to licensing our productivity solutions is a clear indication of our goal of anytime, anywhere learning for all and demonstrates the flexibility we can provide when considering our platform.

Whether you are looking to move to the cloud through Office 365 for Education (which provides Exchange Online, SharePoint Online & Lync Online free of charge), or you are looking to keep your staff & students productive through your on premises investment, or if you are looking at hosted services through a Microsoft partner or maybe even a mixture of these approaches, Microsoft is making the hybrid IT approach a reality….and saving you money

But what about Windows Server & RDS I hear you cry! Well no changes here. If your users are authenticating with a Windows Server then they will need a CAL, same goes for RDS….if you are providing access remotely using RDS, then a RDS CAL is required.

If you are looking to cover a lot of Students then a cost effective way of licensing Student access to Windows Server & RDS is via an External connector. The concept is pretty simple – you purchase a Windows Server External Connector for every server to which you are allowing access and all of your students are covered** Same goes for RDS – purchase an external connector for the servers you are allowing RDS access to and they all get the right to use.

What’s more the external connector also permits access by

· Parents/legal guardians

· Prospective students

· Alumni (student and faculty/ staff)

· Student and faculty/staff of collaborating academic institutions or government institutions.

If you have a small number of students you wish to license then purchasing individual CAL’s may be more cost effective – ask your reseller for more info/pricing to compare your options

Any questions? My contact details below & my next blog will be around Virtual Desktop Access i.e. delivering Windows from your datacentre

Paul Harris - Academic LSS

@paulnharris

*A-ha – the dreaded asterisk! – when I say most scenarios, CALs are not required to access content, information, and applications that you make publicly available to Students/Parents over the Internet e.g. extranet & internet sites

** and another asterisk!! External connectors cannot be used for faculty and staff – a CAL must be purchased for Faculty & Staff